Course on Kisida | Latest news The Moscow Post
01 December 2023

Course on Kisida

Fumio Kishida won the LDP leadership race. He was elected chairman of the country's ruling party.

According to The Moscow Post correspondent, a native of Hiroshima, 64-year-old Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister, won the leadership race in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He replaced Yoshihide Suga as prime minister and should lead the LDP to another victory in the upcoming general elections to the Japanese parliament. Kishida will be officially elected Prime Minister at the parliamentary session, which is scheduled to begin on October 4.

The objectives of the Kisida-led Government will be to protect "core values," including freedom of speech, democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Japan will work with those who share the same values, including the United States, Europe, India and Australia. Japan will "confront authoritarian systems," Kishida said in a recent interview.

Kishida's approaches to security and foreign policy will inevitably be colored by his four-year experience as Foreign Minister under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The issues of economic security, competition in the field of technology with China will occupy an important place on its agenda. In an effort to maintain technological dominance, Japan, the United States, Taiwan and South Korea will coordinate efforts to ensure the security of supply chains of strategically important goods, including semiconductors.

Kishida argued that Japan "needs to think about national security from different points of view, and not only in terms of strength, to protect the geopolitical interests of the country, paying special attention to the economy." His economic plans are based on a modernized version of the "income doubling plan," which, starting in 1960, has been the basis for Japan's transformation into the world's leading economy.

Kishida also said he would "continue the course" to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In this regard, according to him, the government will have to "soberly evaluate" the role of nuclear power plants, the prospects for their construction, expansion or modernization.

Changes in Japanese society also require increased attention. "Inequality has increased further due to coronavirus," Kisida said, adding that "as the economy grows, more attention needs to be paid to inequality and redistribution of wealth."

In his opinion, "raising revenues and compensations" should become a priority.

China and Beijing's "aggressive" diplomatic and economic policies could be his cabinet's top priority. Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga previously expressed "deep concern" about China's policy.

In the field of military policy, Kisida considers it necessary to be able to strike at enemy missile bases, "even if missile defense systems block the first attack," he said. "Missile technologies are being improved, and we have to conduct a detailed analysis of this reality, think about protecting the population and infrastructure," he says.

Former Prime Minister Abe was thinking about Japan building "attacking potential," but his successor Suga postponed the discussion. Until recently, the Japanese government took a restrained position in these matters, guided by a peaceful constitution. The security policy under article 9 of the Constitution of Japan must be purely defensive.

Kishida touched on the proposal to limit the terms of stay in top party posts to three consecutive one-year terms, calling it "a problem that needs to be solved" in order to ensure "air circulation." He stressed the intention to actively involve young party members in this in order to prove the ability of the LDP to renew.

Fumio Kisida faces the task of leading the LDP to victory in elections to the lower house of parliament, controlling the coronavirus pandemic, and looking for new "growth points" for an economy that has weakened under the pressure of the pandemic. The task is to reform the health system. On the external front are regional security problems related to the strengthening of China.

Kishida earned his credibility as part of the administration of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2017. In 2017-2020, he led foreign policy issues in the LDP. He holds moderate views on many issues, including nuclear energy and foreign policy. The support of faction leaders in the LDP helped him defeat Taro Kono, who enjoyed the support of ordinary party members.

Fumio Kisida was born in 1957 in a family of hereditary politicians. His grandfather and father were members of the Japanese parliament from the LDP. He graduated from the law faculty of Waseda Metropolitan University. In 1993, he was elected to the lower house of parliament from the LDP. In 2007-2008, he was Minister for Okinawa and the "Northern Territories" (as the southern Kuril Islands are called in Japan). From December 2012 to August 2017, in the office of Shinzo Abe, he was Foreign Minister. Then he headed the political council of the LDP. Kishida actively promoted himself as a candidate for the post of party chairman, but after Abe resigned, the LDP was headed by Yoshihide Suga. Kishida in the LDP has his faction of 46 deputies.

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