Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi hopes to realize a primary budget balance in the early 2010s and create more than 5 million jobs, according to his long-awaited policy package released Monday.
In the one-page policy leaflet, Koizumi says he wants to attain a primary budget balance — a condition in which expenditures excluding debt-servicing costs are fully covered by tax revenues — and clear the budget deficit so future generation will not have to bear the burden of debt repayment.
Koizumi called for the same target in his policy speech at the start of the ordinary Diet session in January.
However, securing nominal economic growth of at least 2 percent by fiscal 2006, which was expected to be included in his policy package, was missing from the 10-point plan.
Setting such a target, which has already been spelled out in the government’s economic forecast, could be seen as evidence of Koizumi’s resolve to combat deflation, because the nominal figure is less than the real growth figure in the current deflationary environment.
But Koizumi only said in the policy pledges he will “fight deflation through financial, tax, regulatory and spending reforms.”
In apparent consideration of voices within the Liberal Democratic Party, Koizumi said he will push through a program to create 5.3 million new jobs and take measures to support small and midsize firms in rural areas. He did not specify how he would attain this goal.
Many of the pledges are issues Koizumi has already advocated on past occasions.
The package includes the privatization of postal services — mail delivery, postal saving and postal insurance — in April 2007.
Koizumi said that he will map out a detailed plan on how to achieve this goal by autumn next year and submit relevant bills to the Diet in 2005.
He also reiterated that he hopes to submit a bill on privatizing public expressway operators to the next ordinary Diet session beginning in January.
While the policy package was expected to be a manifesto-style pledge with specific numerical targets and time frames, many of the pledges remained vague, such as measures to boost local autonomy, combat the increasing crime rate and realize educational reforms.
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