Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to sketch out promised economic measures early next week, a move that comes as polls show voters are dissatisfied with the steps he’s taken so far to alleviate the pain of rising prices partly fueled by weakness in the yen.
(Bloomberg) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to sketch out promised economic measures early next week, a move that comes as polls show voters are dissatisfied with the steps he’s taken so far to alleviate the pain of rising prices partly fueled by weakness in the yen.
Speaking to reporters in New York, where he gave a speech at the United Nations, Kishida warned that Japan’s economic situation remains unstable, while the economic outlook for other major countries is also unpredictable.
“We are at a crucial point that will decide whether Japan’s economy can move on to a new stage” after decades of deflation and cost-cutting, he said. He will outline the bold measures needed in the first half of next week, he added.
Read More: Japan Voters Unhappy With PM’s Price Policies, Poll Shows
While households and businesses are getting squeezed by inflation that has stayed above a 2% target for more than a year, the Bank of Japan continues to insist it needs more time to see if prices and wages will keep rising before it pares back its stimulus. That has left the government needing to take action to alleviate the pain of higher prices and help prop up the yen.
The BOJ is expected by all economists surveyed by Bloomberg to keep policy unchanged at its latest meeting ending Friday. Japan’s top currency official warned again on Wednesday that the government did not rule out stepping into markets again to prop up the yen if there were sharp moves.
Though Kishida need not face a general election until 2025, a further fall in his low approval ratings may prompt the powerful factions in his ruling Liberal Democratic Party to seek to replace him in a party vote in a year’s time.
Kishida sought to revamp his image by reshuffling his cabinet this month and has promised voters more help with inflation. He’s already extended subsidies on gasoline, a step that met with broad approval in opinion polls.
The latest economic measures will be drawn up in October and the necessary extra budget to fund the plan will be submitted to parliament at an appropriate time after that, Kishida said. The measures will include help with price rises, support for higher pay and investment, and steps to help overcome population decline, he said.
Asked whether he had plans to call a general election, Kishida said he is focused on urgent problems and not thinking about anything else.
–With assistance from Yuko Takeo.
(Adds more details on economy, yen)
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