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Kishida sharply breaks from reform to redistribution in key speech

Stimulus and wage hike incentives put front and center ahead of general election

Commuters in Osaka: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to incentivize companies to raise worker pay. (Photo by Maho Obata)

TOKYO -- Breaking with his predecessors, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida put income distribution at the heart of his inaugural policy speech Friday, emphasizing such measures as aid to struggling groups while avoiding such themes as deregulation.

In stark contrast to previous Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who used the word "reform" 16 times in his first policy speech before the parliament, Kishida did not say the word once.

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