ニッシーブログ

月別一覧を選択
2019.10.01

2019.09.30 在京大使館員にアベノミクスを説明

各国の在京大使館員に日本経済の現状と今後の経済財政政策の方向性を講演。講演の内容、テキストは以下のとおり。
I gave a lecture to embassies in Tokyo about the current state of the Japanese economy and the future direction of economic and fiscal policies. The contents and text of the lecture are as follows.

Minister’s Speech at the Monthly Economic Briefing
(September 30, 2019)

Good afternoon, Everyone. My name is NISHIMURA Yasutoshi, Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy, Economic Revitalization, and Social Security Reform Oriented to All Generations.

When I was appointed as Minister, Prime Minister Abe directed me to tackle three important policy challenges: First, to steadily implement the growth strategy; Second, to manage economic policy flexibly; And third, to reform the social security system for all generations, from the elderly to young people.
Today, I will share with you my thoughts on these topics.

[Brush up for Growth Strategy]
Thanks to “Abenomics” over the past six-and-a-half years, a virtuous economic cycle has started. (Please look at page 1.) Both nominal and real GDP have reached their highest levels, employment and the income environment improved as well, such as the unemployment rate recorded at 2.2%, the lowest in 27 years, and the average pay increase has remained at its highest in this century, for six years in a row.(page 1 figure 1-3) The number of foreign tourists increased: from 8 million before the Abe Administration, to over 30 million last year -- a record high.(page 1 figure 4)
Furthermore, fiscal situation has also improved, thanks to economic growth. The central government’s tax revenue in this fiscal year is expected to reach a record-high level, 62.5 trillion yen.(page 2 figure 5) Newly issued government bonds decreased by 12 trillion yen, from 44 trillion yen before the Abe Administration, to 32 trillion yen this fiscal year.(page 2 figure 5) We expect to achieve our primary surplus target by 2025 with sustained economic growth, by realizing the effects of Abenomics steadily and continuing efforts on expenditure reform. In addition, the number of employed people has increased by about 5 million, whereas the working-age population has declined by 5 million for these seven years.(page 2 figure 6) As a result, the financial situation of social security insurance has improved recently.(page 2 figure 7)

These facts show that economic growth is the most important factor for the virtuous economic cycles and improvement of public finance. When “Abenomics” was launched at the end of 2012, I was appointed as the State Minister for the Cabinet Office and worked for implementing of the “three arrow policies” of Abenomics. Now that I am Minister, I will pursue Abenomics further and tackle to brush up the growth strategy again for raising potential growth rate. This is my first policy challenge.

For example, realizing “Society 5.0”. Now the world is changing amid globalization and rapid innovation, the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. I will promote the dissemination of Japan’s new technologies and their implementation throughout our society, including households. I will promote aggressive investment for new business activities using the retained earnings of companies in cash and deposits, which amounts to 240 trillion yen.(page 2 figure 8) Recently, investment for software, such as cash-less payment and Internet of Things, has been increasing. We can see this as a sign of “Society 5.0”. In the regions, we will revitalize local economies by creating new industries utilizing these new technologies and raising productivity to overcome the labor shortage. These ideas will strengthen our growth strategy to achieve economic growth, even against the demographic headwinds.

To this end, we have started to discuss our next growth strategy at the “Council on Investment for the Future” held on September 19th. To maximize the benefits of new technologies for “Society 5.0”, we will improve the rules for the digital market and promote utilizing automatic driving and drones.

[Social Security Reform for All Generations]
A society with stability needs a “virtuous cycle of growth and distribution”, which means that the distribution of the fruits of economic growth raises economic growth further. To achieve this cycle, along with strengthening the growth strategy, we will construct the social security system for all generations. This is my second policy challenge.

While aging population continues, the number of healthy elderly people has increased. Over 80% of our working elderly people over 60 years old want to continue working beyond 70.(page 3 figure 9) Their capabilities are the same as those five years younger 10 years ago, and their walking speed improved over the past decade.(page 3 figure 10-11) The problem of the so-called M-shaped curve, which means that the female labor participation rate is lower in the childrearing generation, is being resolved. The number of female employed people has increased and the female employed rate has risen by 8.8 points.(page 3 figure 12)

“Social Security Reform Oriented to All Generations” is aimed at ensuring the peace of mind of not only the elderly, but also children, the childrearing generation, and the working-age generation. There are three background factors: First, the declining birthrate and aging population; Second, diversification of lifestyle; And third, the arrival of the 100-year life society.

On September 20th, the “Planning Meeting on a Social Security System Oriented to All Generations” was launched. The meeting is headed by Prime Minister and consists of related ministers and experts. We will discuss on securing employment opportunities up till the age of 70, providing a wider range of options for the timing when people start to receive their pension, and strengthening of the incentive measures for disease prevention and frail prevention. We will tackle the challenges to keep the social security system sustainable for the future generations, ensuring the peace of mind of not only the elderly, but also children, the childrearing generation, and the working-age generation. We will show an interim report by the end of the year, and conclude with a final report by next summer. Based on those reports, we will revise institutional settings of the social security system and implement.

[Measures against the consumption tax hike]
To advance these reforms, a stable economic situation is a must. The consumption tax rate will be increased to 10% from October 1st, tomorrow.
In the face of the consumption tax rate hike, we have decided to allocate about half of the increased revenue from the consumption tax rate hike to free pre-school education and so on. Furthermore, a reduced tax rate scheme will be introduced for food and non-alcohol beverages. These measures will mitigate the adverse impact on the economy to 2 trillion yen.
In addition, temporal and special budget measures, amounting to 2.3 trillion yen, is implemented to sufficiently overcome the adverse impact on the economy.

After the consumption tax rate hike, I will take the initiative to check the economic situation closely and take additional economic measures flexibly if necessary. This is my third policy challenge.

[TPP and Japan-U.S. Trade Agreement]
As when I was State Minister, I am also in charge of TPP again. TPP11 enhances trade and investment based on free and fair rules to the Asian-Pacific regions and creates new markets.

The TPP11 participants share the hope to expand the new common rules, which are high-standard, well-balanced and suitable for the 21st century. We are aware of interests in joining TPP11 expressed by various economies, and we look forward to the accession of many economies. Japan intend to share necessary information with them, and contribute to take a leadership for the necessary coordination for their participation.

Last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump confirm and welcome final agreement on the Japan-United States Trade Agreement, which was negotiated between Mr.Motegi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and, Mr. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative. I will take the role of considering necessary measures, including a revision of “Outline of Comprehensive Policy Measures Related to TPP and the Like”, taking into account of the situation after entry into force of TPP11 and Japan-EU EPA.

[Conclusion]
This monthly economic briefing provides information on the economic situation and policy developments in Japan for the embassies in Tokyo. I hope it has been helpful and will continue to help your better understanding of the Japanese economy, and more generally, of our country.

Let me conclude my remarks by asking each one of you for your continued cooperation and friendship between your country and Japan.

Thank you.

月別一覧を選択