Japan to invest 1 tril. yen in talent development over 5 years

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to announce plans to invest 1 trillion yen ($6.9 billion) over five years in human resources development for growth industries in his speech during an extraordinary parliamentary session to be convened next week, government sources said Wednesday.

Kishida is also expected to vow to "sincerely, humbly and respectfully face the severe opinions of the public" in light of the controversy over ties between members of his Liberal Democratic Party and the Unification Church, as well as the state funeral for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

A draft of the policy speech, to be delivered when the new session opens next Monday, showed that Kishida will also indicate plans to submit a second supplementary budget this year to finance an economic stimulus package to be finalized in October, and highlight his drive to create a "new form of capitalism" by achieving both growth and distribution.

On rising inflation, Kishida is expected to warn that electricity prices could surge over a period through next spring and, in order to offset the burden on households and businesses, he will call for "unprecedented and drastic measures," according to the draft.

The prime minister will present the government's target for annual spending by inbound tourists to recover to over 5 trillion yen by taking advantage of the weak yen.

The government will also seek to increase salaries for public-sector care workers and nurses, among others, in line with growth in private-sector wages, according to the draft. Emphasis will be placed on accelerating public- and private-sector investment in four areas that drive growth, including decarbonization efforts and startup promotion.

The draft also indicates plans to "promptly submit" a bill to amend the public offices election law to reflect the latest redistricting in single-seat constituencies for the House of Representatives.

Following the recent death of a 3-year-old girl in Shizuoka Prefecture after she was left inside a bus for hours during the day, Kishida will also pledge to start compiling safety regulations as a matter of urgency, the draft showed.

In connection with a review of the national security strategy and key documents on defense policy due by the end of the year, Kishida is expected to reiterate his commitment to "protecting peace and stability in Asia and the world by conducting multilayered diplomacy and drastically strengthening defense capabilities."

© Kyodo News