Questions Raised about Abe's Claims in Speech

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 22 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policy speech Monday that highlighted his government's efforts in rebuilding the country's finances and reinvigorating local economies has raised questions over apparent differences to actual achievements.

Abe is expected to be grilled by opposition parties over such disparities in parliamentary debates that started Wednesday, with some pundits saying that the prime minister conveniently trimmed facts in order to emphasize the achievements of his government's longtime rule.

"The Japanese economy grew 13 pct in the last seven years, with tax revenue seen reaching the largest-ever level in the next fiscal year," which starts in April, Abe said in the speech.

In fact, the government's estimate for the tax revenue, totaling some 63 trillion yen for fiscal 2020, could be revised down depending on economic performance and thus may not be appropriate for use as part of data demonstrating his government's achievements.

The prime minister also stated that central and local government bond issues decreased for the eighth consecutive year. In fiscal 2016, however, the public debt issues actually increased from the previous year, when the amount additionally issued during the fiscal year is included.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press