Kishida stresses commitment to boosting economy

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says he will swiftly implement policies to tackle a range of challenges facing the country.

Kishida addressed the nation on Wednesday after his re-election at the Diet as the country's leader.

It comes after the ruling coalition won a comfortable majority in the Lower House election at the end of October.

Kishida said, "How to deal with the new coronavirus remains a top priority. By the end of this week, the government will compile an overall picture of how to deal with the new coronavirus and present it to the public. First of all, we will secure a medical system that can handle cases where the infection capacity is doubled."

Kishida said he will bolster comprehensive anti-virus measures from vaccination and testing to oral medication.

The prime minister also stressed his commitment to helping those suffering from the economic fallout of the pandemic.

He said, "The government will compile a package of economic measures worth several tens of trillions of yen by the end of next week. The government will pass a supplementary budget by the end of the year as soon as possible and deliver it to the people as soon as possible."

Kishida said the ruling parties have agreed to provide subsidies worth about 900 dollars for each child aged 18 or younger to support their families.

He added that households with an annual income of more than 85,000 dollars will be excluded from the handout.

On foreign and defense policies, the prime minister said he wants to hold talks with US President Joe Biden at an early date to strengthen the Japan-US alliance and work together to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific.

As head of the main ruling party, Kishida also said he will push to amend the country's current Constitution which hasn't been revised since it took effect in 1947.

His Liberal Democratic Party is proposing amendments in four areas including adding a reference to Japan's Self-Defense Forces.