Tsuneo Watanabe and Sota Kato, both senior fellows and directors of policy research at the Tokyo Foundation, discuss the big issues confronting the Shinzo Abe administration in an article originally published on May 25, 2016, as part of a Japan Times special supplement on the Group of Seven Ise-Shima Summit. Watanabe credits the prime minister with pursuing a realistic foreign policy aimed at elevating Japan’s international standing through “proactive contributions to international peace,” while Kato warns against populist fiscal policies that may appeal to voters today but could saddle future generations with massive debts.
Japan’s “Missing Landowners”
Legal Framework for Land Ownership Inadequate to Cope with Aging, Depopulation
Measures to enhance the collection of land ownership data are urgently needed, but this will entail decisions on who will spearhead such efforts and how the costs will be shared. Research fellow Shoko Yoshihara points out that the growing cases of “missing landowners” raise fundamental questions about how land will be passed on to future generations in an aging and depopulating society. A new legal framework for land ownership is an urgent priority.
The government’s plan to exempt food and drink from the consumption-tax hike scheduled for April 2017 is a serious mistake, writes tax expert Shigeki Morinobu. In an essay based on his expert testimony before the lower house Committee on Financial Affairs, Morinobu exposes the false allure of reduced rates and makes the case for refundable tax credits as a cheaper and more effective means of helping low-income households.
About the Tokyo Foundation
The Tokyo Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit think tank that presents concrete policy proposals based on a lucid analysis of the issues combined with a solid grasp of everyday life and the reality on the ground. We also cultivate socially engaged future leaders with a broad perspective and deep insight, both in Japan and overseas. We fervently hope that our unique combination of policy research and human resource development will change society for the better.