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Abe aims to boost Japan per capita income by 1.5 mil. yen in 10 yrs


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will announce Wednesday that his government will aim to boost Japan's per capita gross national income by more than 1.5 million yen ($14,970) in 10 years under the upcoming economic growth strategy, sources close to him said.

In his speech about the strategy later in the day, Abe will also pledge to allow online sales of more than 99 percent of over-the-counter drugs in Japan and set up special economic zones in which deregulation can be promoted, the sources added.

Regarding drug sales, Abe said during a parliamentary session on Tuesday, "If the government allows (nonprescription) drugs to be sold via the Internet, that could enhance convenience in national life," promising to take safety measures against health risks that may be triggered by the move.

Abe has also expressed his eagerness to establish special economic zones in the country in an attempt to spur the economy by bolstering investment and attracting businesses and human resources from overseas to Japan.

Private-sector members of the government's industrial competitiveness council, such as scholars and company executives, have urged Abe to drastically lower corporate taxes in the zones and create a new system that would permit foreign doctors to practice medicine in them.

The Cabinet is scheduled to endorse the growth strategy on June 14. It is one of the "three arrows" of the premier's economic policies, dubbed "Abenomics," designed to shake Japan's economy out of nearly two decades of deflation, along with aggressive monetary easing and large-scale public works projects.

Abe plans to explain the strategy to his Group of Eight counterparts during their summit in Northern Ireland slated for June 17 to 18.