Japan took over the G7 Presidency on 1 January and in the environmental track is keen to showcase its "GX plans" - plans for an economy- and society-wide "Green Transformation". GR Japan has produced the attached summary of these plans from recent materials released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as reference for all those keen to engage and understand Japan's thinking on decarbonisation policies.
On 29 September, Fumio Kishida, former Foreign Minister, Defence Minister and Chair of the Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council, won the LDP presidential election, setting him up to become Japan’s 100th prime minister on 4 October.
After long resisting calls for stronger measures to control the increasing number of new Covid-19 infections, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga instructed the government this week to prepare for a new state of emergency, which was officially announced on 7 January .
Japan’s government lifted the nationwide state of emergency on 25 May but some restrictions remain. The government is now working to lift border restrictions in phases with business travellers allowed in first, and resumption of tourism later in the year. Following the record-breaking supplementary budget on 30 April, the government is now preparing a second, even larger package to tackle the crisis and support economic recovery. The crisis has proved a challenge to Japanese leaders, with Abe’s ratings falling below 30% despite the low number of cases.
The world is grappling with the rapid spread of COVID-19 and Japan is no exception. The World Health Organization has stated that Europe is now the world’s COVID-19 pandemic epicenter. But Japan is in a delicate position as the country is gearing up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the timing of which is becoming increasingly uncertain.