Factbox: Recent comments by Japan PM-to-be Kan

(BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s ruling Democratic Party picked former finance minister Naoto Kan, a fiscal conservative once best known for battling bureaucrats, as the country’s next prime minister ahead of an upper house election expected next month.

Following are key recent quotes by Kan.

ECONOMY, FISCAL POLICY

June 3

“I think Japan would have avoided a long economic slump and massive fiscal deficits if it had not erred on economic and fiscal policies.

“By compiling new growth strategies and fiscal reform plans in June, I plan to achieve a strong economy, public finances and social welfare system in a unified manner.”

“For the past 20 years, Japan’s economic policies were wrong. I want to seek to boost growth by creating jobs.”

“We initially expected to cut a considerable amount of waste to come up with new budgets and financial resources. But we haven’t been able to do so as quickly as we expected. We will continue to make efforts, but this is one item in the manifesto that has taken longer than initially thought.”

May 17

“Limiting bond issuance does not mean I am saying we will shrink fiscal spending…

“Japan is in deflation, so we need a certain amount of fiscal spending to keep money circulating.”

May 11

“Markets are becoming sensitive to sovereign risk, so in order to prevent this from happening we need to make as much effort as possible so that (new government bond) issuance does not exceed 44.3 trillion yen.”

MONETARY POLICY

June 4

“I will strive to beat deflation through comprehensive policies implemented by the government and the BOJ.”

April 20, when asked about inflation targeting

“It is not an outlandish target at all. I think it is worth listening to.”

March 23

“The BOJ is buying a considerable amount of JGBs from the market now and the BOJ is taking various steps while setting a self-imposed rule with regard to bank notes. I’m not considering revising the law to let it directly underwrite JGBs.”

FOREX

May 11

“Since I became finance minister, I have had doubts about whether Japan really needs such a large amount of foreign reserves. The size is quite big compared with other countries…

“But in general, when we sell foreign currencies, that will mean buying yen and therefore would trigger yen rises. We need to avoid anything that will push the yen higher than now.”

DIPLOMACY

June 3

“The issue of U.S. bases in Okinawa is a very difficult one as it involves lessening the burden on the people of Okinawa and maintaining a trusting security relationship between Japan and the United States. We need long-term efforts with the aim of lessening the burden on Okinawa based on the U.S-Japan deal.”

“I believe the Japan-U.S. relationship is the foundation of Japan’s diplomacy… The course we need to take is to maintain a trusting relationship with the United States and at the same time to consider China as equally important. I think that’s the right course for Japan’s future as well.”

MONEY AND POLITICS

June 4

“To be able to regain public confidence, we need to first show our firm stance about problems of money and politics. I will implement policies based on clean politics.”

“The first thing we need to do is to regain public trust… All the lawmakers and party members need to pull up their collars. I may not be confident to say I am 100 percent innocent…. but I have been making the utmost effort in my political activities.”

June 3

“(Ruling party heavyweight Ichiro) Ozawa should be quiet for a while. That would be good for him, for the Democratic Party and for Japanese politics.”

OTHER POLICIES

June 4

“This morning at the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Hatoyama asked his cabinet members to tackle the issues he has been tackling.

“First, reforms toward allocating more power to regional governments; second, seeking new ways in public services; third, (the establishment of) an East Asian community; and fourth, achieving the target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent… I promise to you that I’ll exert all my strength to tackle these four issues as my own goals.”

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(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto, Yoko Nishikawa and Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Factbox: Recent comments by Japan PM-to-be Kan