Japan Digest #362

1.        PM Kishida Launched Unprecedented Scale Of Countermeasure Against Declining Population


Facing the sharply declining number of children in the nation, PM Kishida held a live media announcement this week to inform people of Japan of his cabinet’s “Children’s Future Strategic Policy” explaining some detail of unprecedented scale of financial support to families with children. 

The planned expansion of the financial support will encompass the following items:


  1. Nursery allowance    

l  Expand the eligibility of receiving the payment to high school children  

l  Allow all the families with children to receive this payment by lifting the current income restrictions

l  Increase thee amount of allowance per child

  1. Cost associated with delivery to be covered under the national health insurance
  2. Subsidy that can be applied to nursery school fees
  3. Paternal leave subsidy (net 100% of salary to be covered after the birth up to the first birthday)


2.   Japan-Korea Relationship Being Rapidly Improved


Yomiuri and Hankook Ilbo, one of major papers in Korea jointly conducted a survey from May 26 through 28. 

It found that both Japanese and Korean people’s recognition of the bilateral relationship is being rapidly improved as follows:


                                                 This time                        Last survey(2022)

                                      Japanese         Korean         Japanese                   Korean

The relationship is good.           45%     43%(*)              17%                  17%

The relationship is bad.             50%     52%                  N/A                   N/A

Korea is trustworthy.                 40%                              30%

Japan is trustworthy.                             28%(*)                                        25%    


(*) These percentages of Korean respondents are highest ever since the questions were made in 1995 and 1996 respectively.


Since the beginning of this year, PM Kishida and President Yoon Suk Yeol met three times in person by now taking the leadership to resume the “shuttle diplomacy” between the two nations.

The numbers of visitors between the two nations are also increasing sharply not only for business but also K-Pop/J-Pop, anime and cultural exchanges.


3.   Kishida’s Approval Ratings Might Have Peaked Out


According to NHK’s monthly survey that was conducted on June 9 through 11, Kishida Cabinet’s approval rating went down from 46% to 43%, while its disapproval rating went up 6 points to 37%.

Earlier, there was some minor scandal of Kishida’s family member. 

Also, there were number of incidents reported about My Number Card data mis-registration. 

Those might have impacted Kishida’s approval rating, which had soared right after his chairmanship of the G7 Hiroshima Summit.

Other major findings of the survey were as follows:


How effective do you expect the government’s countermeasure against declining population will be?

            Very much 7%  To some extent 32%            Not much 37%  Not at all 19%

Are you optimistic about “a world without nuclear weapons” after the G7 Hiroshima Summit?

            Yes very much 4%        Yes to some extent 29%       Not so much 43%        Not at all 18%

How do you assess the government’s target that large listed companies’ executive team should have 30% or more female executives by 2030?

            It’s too soon 17%          It’s appropriate 34%           It’s too late 33%           


4.  METI Picked 7 Locations As First CCS Business Bases


METI announced this week that they picked up the following seven areas as its first Carbon Capture Storage sites that are eligible for METI’s support to become an independent going-concern as business.


  1. Tomakomai of Hokkaido where Idemitsu Kosan and Japan Petroleum Exploration lead the project
  2. Japan Seaside of Tohoku where Itochu and MHI take a lead
  3. Eastern Niigata where Tohoku Electric Power and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical lead
  4. Metropolitan Area where INPEX and Kanto Natural Gas Development
  5. Off the coast of northern and western Kyushu where ENEOS and Electric Power Development take a lead
  6. Off the coast of Malaysia where Mitsui & Co. takes a lead
  7. OCEANIA Sea area where Mitsubishi Corp and Japan Iron and Steel lead


Once these seven sites begin operation, they are expected to store 13 million ton of CO2 a year, which accounts for more than one percent of Japan’s present annual emission.  

Japan is committed to a Carbon Neutral society by 2050, and to achieve it, CCS is required to have a capacity of CO2 storage as large as 120 to 240 million ton.