Prime Minister Kishida: Not planning to raise taxes to tackle low birthrate

Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says he does not plan to introduce new tax increases to fund government measures aimed at reversing the country's declining birthrate.

The government held a panel meeting on Monday to discuss its plan to strengthen childcare measures over the next three years. On the agenda was how to finance the package.

Kishida told the participants that he does not plan to finance the package by raising the consumption tax or by imposing other new tax burdens on people. He said his idea is to engage with everyone in society, including businesses, to provide broad support to child-rearing families in a manner that is fair.

The prime minister indicated that he will consider creating a new framework to achieve that goal by taking the views of those in the ruling parties into account.

Raising social insurance premiums, to which both corporate workers and their employers contribute, appears to be an option.

Kishida also noted that the government will thoroughly review its fiscal spending plans in order to reduce the burden on the people as much as possible. He said that the government will work to ensure that wage increases continue and that both the economy and the fiscal foundation are solid.

He also hinted that the government will tackle the most pressing problems immediately, even if it has not secured all the necessary resources.