Abe’s task force to discuss reform


The government has decided to set up a task force to discuss how to reform Japan’s market economy in an attempt to achieve sustainable growth over the next 10 years, economic revitalization minister Akira Amari said Thursday.

To avoid widening economic disparities stemming from competitive principles based on market mechanisms, Japan will consider what kind of market economy system can attain an appropriate allocation of resources and economic benefits, Amari said at a press conference after a meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy.

The move came amid growing concern that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “policies,” aimed mainly at temporarily stimulating business growth with fiscal handouts and at ignoring much-needed structural reform, will end up doing little for households and regional economies.

Abe, chair of the key economic panel, said: “I want to transmit to the world” the outcome of the discussion at international conferences, including the Group of Eight summit.

The task force plans to hold its first meeting by the end of this month, Amari said, adding that the results will be incorporated into Japan’s medium- to long-term economic and fiscal policy blueprints and growth strategies, scheduled to be crafted in June.