YIES: Kishida calls for public-private partnership to realize ‘new form of capitalism’

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks a symposium of the Yomiuri International Economic Society in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said during a speech at a symposium of the Yomiuri International Economic Society (YIES) in Tokyo that his signature policy of a “new form of capitalism” would be promoted through public-private partnership.

“This time, Japan will lead the world economy in a new era,” Kishida said Wednesday, referring to the fact that the West has led the evolution of capitalism in the past.

Capitalism from Japan incorporates systems to remedy market failures and external disadvantages, from the perspective of both economic growth and wealth distribution, he said.

“We must work with the public sector to devise growth and distribution strategies that do not rely solely on markets or competition,” Kishida said during the symposium hosted by the YIES and The Yomiuri Shimbun.

In fields requiring urgent measures, such as climate change, and digital and economic security, the prime minister said “the government will prepare various forms of support and financial resources and ‘show the way’ by pointing out large markets. Many companies will invest in those markets, thereby overcoming their weaknesses,” the prime minister said.

Regarding his distribution strategy, Kishida said, “Salaries and the distribution of wealth to people are not an expense, but an investment in the future.”

He said the government would raise the salaries of nursery school teachers and nursing care workers, which can be determined by the government.

“With this in mind, the government will ask the private sector to raise salaries by 3% in preparation for next year’s shunto spring labor offensive,” Kishida said.

By pursuing those policies, he said, the government will fix the negative effects of capitalism, such as inequality, division and climate change.

On diplomacy and security, Kishida said the government would promote “new-age realist diplomacy” to cope with the increasingly complex international situation in the 21st century. “It is only natural that we tell China and Russia what we have to say, but we must at least maintain dialogue to maintain stable relationships,” Kishida said.

Regarding his life’s work of nuclear disarmament, the prime minister said, “I believe that getting the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) Review Conference to make progress is a realistic step toward nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.”

Japan will send Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Minoru Terada, assistant to the prime minister, to the NPT Review Conference to be held in New York in January 2022.

Kishida also sought understanding for the government’s efforts to contain the domestic spread of the novel coronavirus and prepare for a possible surge in infections, while maintaining border controls.

“We must overcome the pandemic before starting a new economy, and then win next summer’s House of Councillors election to pave the way for a new era,” Kishida said.