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Home » Archives » August 2005 » Japanese Political Parties: Election Platforms

Japanese Political Parties: Election Platforms

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 Posted: 08:46 PM JST

The main political parties in Japan have finished their manifestos for the general election of September 11. Here follows a list of their platforms:

Liberal Democratic Party (Ruling Party)

(Post-election plans)

-- to maintain the coalition government with the New Komeito party.

-- to continue promoting Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's reform drives.

(Postal policy)

-- to pass once-defeated postal privatization bills through the Diet during the next parliamentary session. (May be delayed)

(Social security)

-- to reform the pension, medical and nursing care insurance systems altogether.

-- to raise the government contribution to the basic pension scheme from one-third to half by fiscal 2009.

-- to unify private and public workers' pension systems.

-- to study child-rearing allowances and a tax system to support child rearing.

(Finances and tax)

-- to bring the primary national fiscal balance into the black in the early 2010s through structural fiscal reform.

-- to continue spending cuts without any areas exempted.

-- not to follow the governmental Tax Commission's recommendation to impose an income tax increase on salaried workers.

-- to drastically reform tax systems, including the consumption tax, by around fiscal 2007.

-- to create a small government and realize healthy finances and economic development through deregulation.

(Constitution)

-- to announce the party's new constitution draft by Nov. 15.

-- to aim for early enactment of laws as steps necessary to establish a new constitution, including a law to authorize a national referendum to revise the current Constitution.

(Diplomacy and security)

-- to beef up Japan-U.S. relations for world peace and prosperity and carry out diplomacy for peace through U.N.-focused international cooperation.

-- to improve and reinforce relations with China and South Korea and pursue an initiative to form an Asian-wide community.

-- to make more use of Japan's official development assistance to address global issues including the environment, poverty and infectious diseases.

-- not to normalize relations with North Korea without a solution to the abduction issue; to do its utmost to resolve the abduction issue through means including possible imposition of economic sanctions on the North.

-- to reinforce Japan-U.S. defense cooperation and alleviate the burden on Okinawa and other communities of hosting U.S. military bases through the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.

-- to revise the Self-Defense Forces Law to make U.N. peacekeeping activities and other international cooperation one of its main duties.

New Komeito (Ruling Party)

(Post-election plans)

-- to keep the coalition government with the LDP.

(Postal policy)

-- to do its best to see the postal bills passed in the Diet after the election.

(Social security)

-- to realize 20 plans to support child-rearing through age 20, including beefing up of child-rearing and childbirth allowances.

(Finances and tax)

-- to thoroughly cut government spending and reduce government employees by 10 percent.

-- to oppose tax increases on salaried workers.

-- to thoroughly review tax systems by around fiscal 2007.

(Constitution)

-- to keep intact both the first and second paragraphs of Article 9 of the Constitution.

-- to study whether to add some elements to Article 9, including the existence of the SDF and international cooperation.

(Diplomacy)

-- to focus more on diplomacy with Asian countries and strengthen future-oriented cooperation with them to build their confidence in Japan.

-- to make all efforts to solve the North Korean abduction and nuclear issues mainly through the six-party talks but without hesitating to put some pressure on the North, including imposing economic sanctions.

-- to promote disarmament by reviewing the unanimous vote rule of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

-- to protect Japan's right to territories and marine resources.

(Other issues)

-- to give couples the option of having separate surnames.

-- to lower the age of the right to vote from 20 to 18.

-- to allow foreign nationals with permanent resident status to vote in local elections.

-- to expedite formulating legislation to address asbestos-caused health hazards.

Democratic Party of Japan (Opposition Party)

(Post-election plans)

-- to establish a new government without useless spending or improper administrative practices, not increasing taxes unless attaining administrative reform.

-- to drastically review budget allocations.

(Postal policy)

-- to reduce the 340 trillion yen in postal savings and postal life insurance money to an appropriate level.

-- to reduce the upper limit of postal savings per account from the current 10 million yen to 7 million yen during fiscal 2006 and then to 5 million yen.

-- to halve postal savings from the current 210 trillion yen in eight years.

-- to study every option about the future of postal businesses, including merger with any government-run financial institution, after scaling down postal savings and insurance.

(Social security)

-- to abolish the Diet members' pension system and unify all pension systems to create a system guaranteeing a minimum 70,000 yen monthly pension payment.

-- to abolish the Social Insurance Agency.

-- to pay a 16,000 yen monthly child-rearing allowance until a child graduates from junior high school and a 200,000 yen childbirth allowance.

(Finances and tax)

-- to reduce national spending by 10 trillion yen over three years through such means as halving large-scale state public works projects and a 20 percent cut in personnel costs for state employees.

-- to bring the primary balance of national finances into the black in eight years.

-- not to implement in three years any major tax increase to make up for national financial deficits.

-- not to increase income tax only on salaried workers.

(Constitution)

-- to seek furthering the current Constitution's three principles -- sovereignty by the people, respect for basic human rights and pacifism.

-- to revise the Imperial House Law to enable female accession to the throne.

(Diplomacy and security)

-- not to forget the damage and pain caused by Japanese colonial rule and aggression to the people of Asian countries.

-- to set up a national facility to pay respects to those who died in wars.

-- to strengthen relations with China and South Korea.

-- to seek creating an East Asian community and set up a common goal with other Asian countries to make the region a no-war area.

-- to revise the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement in three years.

-- to relocate U.S. Marine Corps bases in Okinawa Prefecture to other parts of Japan or abroad, taking the occasion of the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.

-- to study the creation of a unit other than the SDF for international peacekeeping operations.

-- to seek gaining a permanent seat for Japan on the U.N. Security Council.

-- to formulate new defense plans in two years after taking power, including defense buildup capable of protecting Japan.

-- to strictly keep Japan's civilian control of ballistic missile defense.

-- to formulate a basic law to deal with defense emergencies and establish a government crisis management agency.

-- to do its utmost for an early solution to the North Korean abduction, nuclear and missile issues.

-- to withdraw the SDF from Iraq by December and take measures to support Iraq in a way more suitable for Japan.

Japanese Communist Party (Opposition Party)

(Post-election plans)

-- to play the role of a sound opposition party to oppose tax increases and protect Article 9 of the Constitution.

-- to aim to form a democracy-oriented coalition government to stop privileging major companies and stop following what the United States says.

(Postal policy)

-- to oppose postal privatization to protect the national postal network and services.

(Social security)

-- to shift the focus of budget allocations to social security and protect pension, medical, nursing care and welfare systems.

-- to create a system guaranteeing a 50,000 yen minimum monthly pension payment level, fully financed by the state.

(Finances and tax)

-- to oppose tax increases on salaried workers and consumption tax hikes.

-- to reduce national spending by 10 trillion yen by such means as cutting wasteful public works and military budget to reconstruct national finances.

-- to seek a suitable burden on major companies over national finances and amend a tax system privileging major shareholders and wealthy people.

(Constitution)

-- to oppose revising the Constitution.

(Diplomacy and security)

-- to oppose moves to justify Japan's past war of aggression and colonial rule.

-- to demand Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi not visit Yasukuni Shrine.

-- to demand withdrawal of the SDF from Iraq.

-- to oppose the strengthening and perpetuation of U.S. bases in Japan under the name of realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.

-- to strive to make calls for abolition of the Japan-U.S. security treaty a majority opinion among the public.

(Other issues)

-- to do away with unpaid overtime work and long working hours.

-- to stop unequal treatment of temporary, contract and part-time workers.

-- to ban donations from companies and organizations to political parties and politicians.

Social Democratic Party (Opposition Party)

(Post-election plans)

-- to seek to attain a government that reflects the policies of the SDP, chiefly attaining reliable social security systems, correcting social disparities and stopping tax increases.

(Postal policy)

-- to maintain Japan Post as a public corporation.

(Social security)

-- to unify pension systems, guaranteeing a basic monthly pension payment of 80,000 yen, fully financed by the state.

-- to beef up first-aid medicine, child medicine and obstetrical medicine.

(Finances and tax)

-- to review national spending, including public works.

-- to oppose income tax increases recommended by the government's Tax Commission.

-- to raise the maximum income tax rate to reduce privileges of high-income people and raise corporate tax rates.

-- not to allow raising the 5 percent consumption tax rate.

(Constitution)

-- to seek a creative expansion of the spirit of the Constitution, including pacifism and the protection of individuals' dignity and basic human rights.

-- to oppose the idea of enacting a law to authorize a national referendum to revise the Constitution.

(Diplomacy and security)

-- to immediately pull out the SDF from Iraq.

-- to largely cut U.S. forces in Okinawa.

-- to convert the Japan-U.S. security treaty into a nonmilitary friendship treaty in the future.

-- to scale down the SDF to a minimum level needed for defense.

-- to establish a secular facility for all the war dead.

(Other issues)

-- to guarantee equal treatment of non-regular workers.

-- to tighten regulations on overtime work and long working hours.

-- to make childbirth expenses and medical expenses of preschool children free and create child-rearing allowances.

-- to promote equality of both sexes.

-- to give couples the option of having different surnames and get rid of discrimination against children born out of wedlock.

-- to get rid of nuclear energy and promote natural energy.

Keywords: national_news

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