Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged Thursday to set up special economic zones to boost foreign investment in Japan, as domestic demand in the world's third-biggest economy has stagnated amid a declining population.
"I would urge you to evaluate what we are doing in my country, look at the underlying strength of our economy and our plans for the future and then invest in Japan," Kishida said at the Economic Club of New York, a group of top business executives and bankers.
Kishida's government is likely to map out a policy package by the end of this year to revise laws to relax regulations on foreign investment, address Japan's unique business practices and ease barriers to entry into the nation's market, ruling lawmakers said.
In his speech in New York, given in English, Kishida said the assets under management in Japan have surged by 50 percent over the past three years, now reaching 800 trillion yen ($5.4 trillion).
"To encourage new entry from overseas, we will establish special business zones tailored specifically for asset management business where administrative procedure can be completed solely in English," Kishida said.
Kishida, who became prime minister in October 2021, has expressed eagerness to take necessary measures to grapple with the negative effects of the country's falling birthrate and aging population on the broader economy.
Japan's population is expected to fall to 87 million by 2070, shrinking 30 percent from 2020, a government estimate showed earlier this year.
Emphasizing the importance of Japan's revival in the international asset management sector to shore up the economy, the premier told an audience at the City of London, or London's primary financial district, in May last year, "Invest in Kishida."