Japan's new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (front center) poses with members of his cabinet at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on Oct 4, 2021. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / POOL / AFP)
TOKYO – Members of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's cabinet on Tuesday started their first full day on the job, laying out their priorities for their weeks and months ahead, local media reported.
Kishida's ministers held their first press conferences at their respective offices on Tuesday, breaking from a tradition of holding them on the night of the cabinet launch.
New Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito said that he would consider when to restart the government's "Go To Travel" subsidy program to promote the domestic tourism that has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We will consider the situation regarding COVID-19 infections and consider when to resume the program," he said, adding, "It is a program crucial for the recovery of tourist sites and local economies."
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a press conference on Monday that he would dissolve the House of Representatives on Oct 14, with the campaigning period to start on Oct 19
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Saito also said that the government would remain the goal of attracting 60 million foreign visitors to Japan by 2030, despite the sluggish international journey amid the pandemic.
Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda said at his press conference that he would "push forward with the restart of nuclear power plants while putting top priority on safety" with noting the need to reduce carbon emissions.
Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Shigeyuki Goto emphasized the importance of curbing COVID-19 infections, saying, "Resolutely tackling the COVID-19 is the most urgent task to protect people's health and their daily life."
In addition, Noriko Horiuchi, minister in charge of vaccine rollout, said that she would work to promote double vaccination for anyone who wants to get them and reach as many people as possible.
Takayuki Kobayashi, who took the new post tasked with protecting Japan's economic security, said, "Japan is facing a very severe situation both at home and abroad. Under such circumstances, we will protect people's lives from an economic perspective."
Kishida told a press conference on Monday that he would dissolve the House of Representatives on Oct 14, with the campaigning period to start on Oct 19.
A strong mandate from voters would provide Kishida's cabinet, which is full of fresh faces with 13 first-timers taking a ministerial post, greater freedom to pursue his policies.
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