A few days after the Olympics began in Tokyo, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga sat for a wide-ranging Zoom interview with Newsweek Global Editor in Chief Nancy Cooper and Chief Washington Correspondent Bill Powell. Some excerpts:
On widespread Japanese opposition to holding the Games in the midst of the pandemic:
There have been issues prior to the Games, but after the Olympics have started, many Japanese citizens have been very impressed and inspired by the power of sport with the great performances demonstrated by the athletes.
Many people are viewing the Games and cheering the athletes on TV, and we’re not hearing so many voices of opposition.
On Japan’s economic policy priorities going forward:
Ever since I assumed the office of prime minister, deregulation has been one of my highest priorities. We must advance deregulation, tearing down vested interests so that we can make a breakthrough to the next stage of growth.
In order for the Japanese economy to lead growth, Green and Digital will have to be hand-in-hand. After I became prime minister I decided on the target of going carbon neutral by 2050. Global warming measures should not be a constraint on economic activity. We made a drastic change in our perspective, thinking that such measures could generate new investment in innovation. So what we have done is, we have put together our green growth strategy. We have identified 14 areas and set targets in those areas including offshore wind power generation and hydrogen. We have established a fund of 2 trillion yen, tax and regulatory reform and international rule-making. All these measures will be mobilized so that we can establish new technologies to commercialize them. And by taking these measures, we’re expecting an economic effect and the impact of 140 trillion yen by 2030.
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