Meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy

April 19, 2024

[Provisional translation]


On April 19, 2024, Prime Minister Kishida held the fourth meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy in FY2024 at the Prime Minister's Office.
At the meeting, the participants engaged in discussions on global response and energy as well as the creation of regional vitality among medium- to long-term priority issues.
Based on the discussions, Prime Minister Kishida said:
“Today we discussed the creation of regional vitality as well as global response and energy among medium- to long-term priority issues, as the pace of the declining birthrate and aging population is accelerating.
Without regional revitalization, there will be no development of Japan. As the population is decreasing and infrastructure is aging, we need to translate the resolution of these social issues into growth, thereby building sustainable regional communities. To this end, it is important to carry out selection and concentration of public services and infrastructure through coverage expansion and joint use, while securing sustainable administrative services through digital transformation (DX), utilization of artificial intelligence (AI), and public-private collaboration.
Specifically, we will promote coordination between regions and policies, conduct regulatory and institutional reforms, and provide focused support for regional revitalization efforts with the grants for the Vision for a Digital Garden City Nation (Digi-den grants), so that we can back up pioneering initiatives by regions engaged in social implementation of cutting-edge technologies and other measures, seeking to create autonomous regional economies. In addition, we will also make wide urban areas compact, link community development plans to countermeasures against old infrastructure, and utilize digital technologies to enhance regional disaster preparedness, among other measures.
At the same time, it is essential to improve productivity for Japan, a country with few resources, to achieve lasting economic growth amid the population decline. For this to happen, we must incorporate overseas vitality and make a shift to an energy structure that will ensure energy security, contribute to decarbonization, and enhance domestic earning power.
For this purpose, we will strategically build stronger relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), India, South America, Africa, and other countries in the so-called Global South as well as strengthen initiatives including trade DX with an eye on the digitalization of entire supply chains and acceptance of highly skilled young human resources from outside Japan. With regard to the energy sector, we will push ahead with such efforts as to open up frontiers toward decarbonization through innovative technological development, in light of the recommendations made today.
We will include in this year’s Basic Policy on Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform measures to overcome the aging and decreasing population with the declining birthrate, and create an economy and society where people can experience affluence and happiness. What holds the key in doing so is the acceleration of social implementation of new technologies to solve social issues in Japan, along with the utilization of startups.
I ask Miniter Shindo and other relevant ministers in attendance to take these viewpoints into account and give concrete shape to measures against each challenge in the fields of the creation of regional vitality, global response, and energy, toward the formulation of the Basic Policy.”


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