A green and digital recovery . . .
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced today a C$24.8-billion stimulus package to be invested in the country’s green projects. Along with the green stimulus, PM Suga also pledged a C$119.2-million investment to promote Japan’s digital transformation. He explained that green projects and digital innovation will be key drivers of Japan’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and that these projects aim to reduce Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. The new funding is expected to support the development of clean technologies, such as hydrogen-fuelled airplanes and cargo ships, over the next decade, as well as digital innovations, including 6G communications technology.
COVID-19 resurgence in Japan . . .
The new stimulus packages come as Japan faces a third wave of COVID-19 cases. Yesterday, its seven-day rolling average of daily new cases reached 2,245 – the highest since the start of the pandemic. While Japan’s pandemic control still performed relatively well compared to Western countries, the new wave threatens the health care capacity in hard-hit prefectures, such as Osaka. Opposition politicians have criticized Suga’s ‘Go To Travel’ campaign, which aims to promote domestic tourism, for spreading the third wave.
Green, digital recovery elsewhere in the Asia Pacific . . .
Japan’s emphasis on the green and digital sectors in its stimulus package echoes other countries' recovery strategies in the region. In July, South Korean President Moon Jae-In announced the launch of the Korean New Deal, an economic recovery plan backed by C$128.5 billion of government investments. The Korean government aims to boost the country’s digital and green sectors with investments in artificial intelligence and renewable energy infrastructure. Similarly, Australia announced in September that the government will be investing C$761 million to support businesses in taking advantage of digital technologies as part of its economic recovery plan. Asia Watch will continue to monitor how these stimulus packages shape the economic landscape in the region and their implications for Canada’s trade and investment opportunities.
- Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada: South Korea’s ‘New Deal’: An example for post-COVID economic recovery
- Nikkei Asia: Japan creates $19 bn green fund to push hydrogen planes and carbon recycling
- Nikkei Asia: Japan’s COVID-19 third wave clogs hospitals’ capacity for care