Abe’s economic package lacking strength: Noda

Kyodo

Former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Monday in Hong Kong that the economic stimulus package launched by his successor, Shinzo Abe, isn’t strong enough and that he hopes a trans-Pacific trade deal can be reached soon.

Addressing hundreds as a keynote speaker at the five-day Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference, Noda, of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, criticized Abe’s “three-arrow Abenomics” for lacking the necessary boldness to lift the economy out of its long-standing slump.

“Economic policies dependent on short-term stimulus are not effective. We know that lesson,” Noda said.

He said the “third arrow” — Abe’s growth stragegy — is the most important going forward.

The two other arrows are monetary easing and fiscal stimulus.

“It is true that they (Abe’s Cabinet) are aiming at the right targets, there is no question about that,” Noda said. “But so far, all the arrows and all the efforts lack the strength to reach the targets.”

He said bold deregulation is needed to revive, for example, Japan’s agriculture and medical sectors.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership under negotiation by 12 countries, including Japan and the United States, is vital for regional economic prosperity now that the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round of talks has collapsed, Noda said, and he blamed the U.S. for stalling.