Japan PM Signals Support for Sustainable, Impact Investing

A new plan to encourage sustainable investing in Japan will help asset owners and managers to engage with corporates, and require major pension funds to join the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). In a speech to the PRI in Person 2023 conference in Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said a plan would be finalised before the end of the year aimed at channelling a greater share of Japan’s high savings levels into sustainable investment vehicles. The initiative would introduce greater competition and innovation among asset managers, and support asset owners and managers in their efforts to engage with portfolio companies on sustainability issues. Kishida said that the government would work with seven of Japan’s largest public pension funds to “accelerate” their membership of the PRI. He also said that Japan would unveil an impact investing programme before the end of 2023 which would create a “friendly environment” for impact investing both domestically and internationally. Japan’s Financial Services Agency was currently drafting guidelines, Kishida explained, adding that the initiative would be “open to the world”. As part of its Group of Seven presidency, Japan recently announced its Impact Investment Initiative for Global Health (IIIGH), which aims to use impact tools and techniques to support UN Sustainable Development Goal 3. “Sustainable and impact investments are not just philosophies; they are at a crucial phase of implementation,” said Kishida. Elsewhere in his speech, the PM flagged Japan’s intention to be the first country to issue sovereign climate transition bonds as part of its ‘GX’ Green Transformation policy, to finance the economy’s move away from fossil fuel dependence. 

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