INTERVIEW: (Update) Kono Sees Social Security Reform as Top Issue in LDP Race


Tokyo, Sept. 16 (Jiji Press)--Taro Kono, who will run in the upcoming leadership election of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said Thursday that social security reform will be the most important campaign issue in the race.

"Policywise, reform in the social security field, including of pensions, medical care and nursing care, will be the biggest theme" in the Sept. 29 LDP presidential election, Kono said in an interview with media organizations.

On public pension system reform, Kono, regulatory reform minister, said the minimum guarantee portion of pensions should be financed by tax revenue, instead of premiums.

Asked about how he would deal with the new coronavirus pandemic, if elected prime minister, Kono said, "I will offer aid for capital investments necessary to mass-produce quick COVID-19 test kits at low cost."

Kono, who currently oversees Japan's coronavirus vaccine rollout, also stressed the need to draw up support measures with maximized utilization of digital technologies, noting that the country has yet to establish a system to register all eating and drinking establishments and transfer subsidies to the bank accounts of such businesses following authorities' requests for cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press