The “Kishida downing” has begun! Team Abe’s plan to “totally oppose” the defense spending tax hike, including Takaichi, Nishimura, and Akiba! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The “Kishida downing” has begun! Team Abe’s plan to “totally oppose” the defense spending tax hike, including Takaichi, Nishimura, and Akiba!

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The bell rang for the opening of the “downing of Kishida” when Takaichi, Minister of Economy and Security, a “member of the cabinet,” dared to challenge Prime Minister Kishida’s aggressive policies. Photo: Yoshio Tsunoda/Afro

A large increase in defense spending. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has proposed a tax hike of up to 1.2 trillion yen, saying that the financial resources needed for this will come from corporate tax, cigarette tax, and reconstruction income tax. With the local elections coming up in April of this year, the cabinet ministers and the LDP stormed in vehement opposition to Kishida’s policy.

From within the Cabinet, Sanae Takaichi, Minister of Economy and Security, was quick to express her opposition.

The prime minister has the authority to appoint cabinet ministers, so if he has to dismiss them, that’s just the way it is. I am saying this with determination.

He dared to say that if he wanted to fire him, he could do so at any time. Then, Yasutoshi Nishimura, Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, said, “The increase in the corporate tax rate is a good thing for companies.

“An increase in the corporate tax rate will dampen the momentum for companies to raise wages and invest,” he said.

He expressed his confusion and distrust at the timing of the corporate tax hike and Prime Minister Kishida’s lack of foresight. In addition, Reconstruction Minister Kenya Akiba said at the press conference

He said, “We will never divert funds for reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake for any other purpose.

He then changed his color and expressed his vehement opposition to the idea. In the first place, it can never be said that there has been sufficient discussion about a large increase in defense spending.

Reasons why “Kishida’s Downfall” is Inevitable

The firestorm of “criticism of Kishida” spread further, and at a meeting held on March 13 at the House of Representatives building by 20 conservative-leaning Diet members, some radical voices were heard saying that the Cabinet deserves a vote of no confidence.

The process of deciding on the tax hike policy is too violent. If the decision is made only by the executives of the tax commission, it will become a political affair. In the first place, it is against the rules to use tax revenues for purposes other than those for which they were originally intended.

Whether the political situation, i.e., resignation or reshuffling of the Cabinet, is resolved, the prevailing mood is that the situation will not be allowed to continue as is. Within the party, the sense of crisis is growing daily that the LDP will collapse under a Kishida administration. Some of them even said, “At this point, we will carry the spearhead, Takaichi,” and showed no mercy in taking concrete action to “get rid of Kishida. A senior official of the Liberal Democratic Party’s tax commission revealed the following.

“The proposed tax hike to finance the defense budget will be implemented on November 11, 2011. In late November, Prime Minister Kishida announced that he was going to raise taxes to finance defense spending. The proposal to raise taxes to finance defense spending was discussed by Prime Minister Kishida at a series of informal meetings with Deputy President Aso and former Prime Minister Kan in late November. It was probably communicated in advance to Hagiwada, who is also the chairman of the policy research committee. Both urged Prime Minister Kishida to change his mind, but to make national defense a one’s own affairs The prime minister insisted that he wanted the public to understand national defense as a “personal matter,” and he announced the tax hike at the end of the extraordinary Diet session.

However, it is only natural that people would be angry if he simply said, “Give us money to buy weapons,” without indicating what he would buy with the increased defense spending. For Prime Minister Kishida, the way he did it was a little rough.

The LDP’s policy policy research committee meeting, which was called on the 9th in response to Prime Minister Kishida’s top-down action, turned out to be a wild affair with more than 50 people shouting and cursing at each other.

For lawmakers, for whom tax reform is directly linked to elections, the tax hike is painful. Even without it, the lawmakers are feeling a sense of crisis over the tax hike policy that has come out of Prime Minister Kishida, whose approval rating has only fallen to a low level.

Those involved are now trying to prevent the prime minister’s disruption, even if somehow by force. However, a leading figure in the liberal wing of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) warns that the true nature of the defense budget hike must be observed.

There is no “financial resource” anywhere in the budget.

The only point of contention is the “tax hike” for the 1 trillion yen shortfall, without any basis for calculating the defense budget. However, it is doubtful that even the remaining ¥3 trillion in financial resources has been secured. The money to be provided this time will come from the special account for the special fund for foreign exchange and the sale of buildings, and it is not a permanent source of revenue.

The “defense capability enhancement fund,” the source of funds that Prime Minister Kishida is relying on, was “gathered” from the Foreign Exchange Fund Special Account, Fiscal Investment and Loan Special Account, surplus funds for the new coronavirus countermeasures, and the sale of the government-owned building “Otemachi Place” in Otemachi, Tokyo. The government has not secured any funds for defense spending after FY2027.

If the government decides not to issue bonds, it will have no choice but to rely on another tax hike to finance its budget. Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki is exhausted. He sighed and said, “We will have to somehow devise a way to come up with defense spending.

Needless to say, before discussing financial resources, there needs to be more discussion about the “drastic increase in defense spending. Prime Minister Kishida has ordered the defense spending issue to be settled by the end of this year. This is an attitude that will pass no matter what. Does Prime Minister Kishida, a member of the Koikekai, which has emphasized the economy, really want to run an administration that foments fear of China, Russia, and North Korea and propagates a contingency plan? Do not the people want a politics that avoids war at all costs?

This February, at a plenary session of the House of Representatives. Kishida listens to Koichi, who speaks to him with a smile. When did the prime minister lose his “ability to listen”…
  • Interview and text by Shutaro Iwashiro Photo Yoshio Tsunoda/Afro

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