1.Japan and Russia’s Foreign Ministers Held a Telephone Talk to Seek to Finally Resolve a Peace Treaty
NHK reported on Nov 25, Foreign Minister Hayashi held a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov for the first time, calling for the continuation of peace treaty negotiations, including the stalled issues of sovereignty over disputed islands, as well as the mutually beneficial development of relations between the two countries in a broad range of fields. The two foreign ministers also discussed bilateral relations, joint economic activities in the Four Northern Islands, allowing former citizens to visit graves on the islands, exchange programs, and agreed to work together to realize face-to-face talks as soon as possible. Hayashi and Lavrov also exchanged views regarding North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities. Furthermore, regarding the abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea, Hayashi asked for Russia’s understanding and cooperation in helping to resolve the matter immediately.
2.JPX CEO Says He Seeks Careful Discussion over Capital Gains Tax
Asahi News reported on Nov 25, Akira Kiyota, the chief executive officer of Japan Exchange Group, adding that he hopes “there will be a careful discussion” on any revisions. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called for strengthening financial income taxation as one of the measures to correct the disparity in the LDP presidential election in September. However, including the day Mr. Kishida was elected president, the Nikkei Stock Average, which had been in the 30,000 yen range, fell over 2,600 yen. Furthermore, it was pointed out that the tightening of capital gain tax may have been disliked by investors and led to the decline in stock prices. As a result, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida shelved his plans, and the LDP Tax Commission has also decided to postpone the discussion.
3.Establishing a Liaison Council of Related Government Ministries and Agencies to Ensure Smooth Implementation of New Economic Measures
NHK reported on Nov 25, to ensure the smooth implementation of the new economic measures, Yamazaki Minister of State for Economic Revitalization, announced the establishment of a liaison council of related government ministries and agencies and emphasized the government’s commitment to this effort. It would like to hear the voices from the frontline and the opinions of local governments directly and reflected in the improvement of execution through a detailed understanding of issues and needs. Furthermore, last week, the government decided on a new economic stimulus package to bring fiscal spending to over 55 trillion yen, the largest ever in history.
4.Total Amount of the Extra Budget Is the Largest, 35.9895 Trillion Yen.
JIJI reported on November 25, the government’s extra budget plan for the fiscal year 2021 was revealed on 25. The total expenditure of the general account is 35.9895 trillion yen, the largest ever of this amount, 31.5627 trillion Yen, is earmarked for economic measures. As a result, the tax revenue forecast for the current fiscal year has been revised upward by 6.432 trillion yen and will be included in revenue. In addition, 2.258 trillion yen of new government bonds will be issued to cover the shortfall. The cabinet decision will be made on December 26 and submitted to the extraordinary Diet session expected to convene on December 6. Of the additional government bonds to be issued, 19,231 billion yen will be deficit bonds, and 2,827 billion yen will be construction bonds. As a result, a surplus of 6,147.9 billion yen from fiscal 2020 will be included in the revenue.
5.Japan, Vietnam Foreign Chiefs Vow to Promote Cooperation to Realize a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”
Kyodo reported on Nov 25, Japan Foreign agreed with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son promote cooperation to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” and affirmed that the two nations would continue to collaborate to maintain the “high standards” set in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) free trade pact. Furthermore, Hayashi expressed his “strong opposition to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China seas,” with the two ministers agreeing on the importance of dealing with the issue based on international law. They also agreed to work closely together in dealing with Myanmar under military rule following a coup in February.
6.Japanese Foreign Minister, take all possible measures to prepare for an emergency in Taiwan
Kyodo reported on Nov 22; The Japanese Foreign Minister was asked how he would respond in an emergency in Taiwan and replied, “Of course, we will take all-round measures, including evacuation of Japanese people, to be able to respond to any situation.” He also mentioned that “no details will be given currently.” On the situation in Taiwan, he said, “Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are important to our country and the international community, looking forward to a peaceful resolution through dialogue.” Regarding the CCP, he said, “We will promote cooperation with our ally, the United States, and call on China to fulfill its responsibilities as a major power.” Data from the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association’s homepage shows about 19,000 Japanese in Taiwan as of September.
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