Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike on Friday announced her plan to revitalize the nation’s capital and reaffirm it as a top financial center, a move aimed at boosting the country’s economic growth in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ¥600 trillion GDP target for 2020, the year of the Olympic Games.
At a regular news conference at the metropolitan government office in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, the governor said Tokyo is key to shoring up the nation’s economy, and that she hopes for a return to its former position as Asia’s leading financial hub.
The governor said she would do so by easing regulations and revising the tax codes, which she says are deterring potential international investors from entering the Japanese market amid fierce competition from overseas competitors such as in Singapore or Hong Kong.
“Given it is a central core of Japan’s growth strategy by 2020, I believe we need to work as speedily as if it were our last chance,” Koike said.
She also said she has formed two project teams comprising Japanese and international experts who will, as early as this month, begin work on devising ways to streamline the city’s financial markets.
The teams will work on projects including those aimed at encouraging overseas investors and firms in the fintech industry — made up of innovative companies that provide financial technology services — to locate their operations in the city.
Koike noted that the financial sector comprises 5 percent of the nation’s GDP. Doubling that number would help boost GDP by some ¥30 trillion, she said.
The teams are expected to announce a concrete plan within a year.
Koike also expressed concern over Donald Trump’s win in Tuesday’s presidential election in the United States, saying his pledge to lower corporate taxes in the U.S. could affect the effort to lure businesses to Japan.
Tokyo has to be competitive on the global stage if it wants to become a financial hub once again, she said.
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