In another bid to boost the economy, Japan will move to increase tourism by the 2020 Olympic Games and improve the working environment for foreigners, a rough outline of the government’s revised growth strategy says.
In the outline, released Monday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s team now aims to double the number of foreign visitors to 20 million by the Olympics after topping 10 million for the first time last year,
Among steps to achieve that goal — which might appear in his revised growth strategy to be released around June — are relaxing visa requirements for more countries and improving airports in the Tokyo area.
To counter the ongoing decline in the labor force caused by the low birth rate and aging population, the government promises to promote acceptance of foreigners by developing on-the-job training programs for them.
The outline, presented to the Industrial Competitiveness Council, chaired by Abe, focuses on speeding up structural reforms in the tightly regulated areas of agriculture, jobs and health care.
As for joining the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, the outline said Japan will make efforts to increase the scale of its crop and food exports by encouraging ambitious farmers to expand the use of intensive farming.
The government also plans to allow medical and social welfare corporations to work in an integrated manner, believing it will improve services and efficiency.
Last June, Abe’s Cabinet endorsed a growth strategy aimed at beating nearly two decades of deflation by beefing up private-sector investment and rebuilding businesses.
But most of the policy proposals in the strategy did not break new ground and triggered disappointment, forcing Abe to draft a second version.