FOCUS: Japanese Political Parties Pushing to Reopen Economy
Tokyo, June 26 (Jiji Press)--Roughly two years after Japan's first COVID-19 outbreak, both ruling and opposition parties are campaigning on measures to reopen the economy and prepare for a possible new pandemic toward the July 10 election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament.
The shift in the parties' focus from the fight against the current pandemic comes as infection cases are at a relatively low level while the COVID-19 situation remains to be under control.
The government adopted a set of measures earlier this month to deal with future infectious disease outbreaks, including the launch of a new agency to oversee responses and greater administrative authority over hospitals. It plans to enact them as early as this autumn.
Those plans are reflected in the ruling coalition's campaign pledges. "We will further advance social and economic activity," the dominant Liberal Democratic Party said, pledging strong support for regional transport and tourism sectors hit hard by the pandemic.
The LDP's pledges also include promoting COVID-19 vaccinations, securing supply of domestically produced treatments and vaccines and taking sufficient infection prevention measures in public transport and at the country's borders.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]