Right-leaning Nippon Ishin No Kai (Japan Restoration Party) unveiled an ambitious and extensive policy plan for the Upper House election that is set for next month, including an economic pledge that promises at least a 3 percent growth annually, decentralization of government authority and a revision of the postwar Constitution. The party leaders – Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara – are quite bullish of the party’s ambitious plan and said that it aims to achieve what no previous Japanese administration has done before.
Aside from those mentioned earlier, other key talking points in the party’s manifesto include giving the general public the ability to directly elect the prime minister, changing the country’s existing consumption tax structure into a regional tax, and reorganizing the current geographical structure of prefectures into larger regional groups. Their manifesto also includes a highly controversial plan of abolishing the Upper House and decreasing the number of Lower House seats by half (from 480 to 240). The Nippon Ishin also plans to push on with joining the US-spearheaded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and ending the nation’s heavy reliance on nuclear power. The manifesto also specifically calls for major resolutions in the post war Constitution, including Article 96, which stipulates procedures for constitutional amendments.
Hashimoto has recently been in the spotlight because of his controversial remarks on Japan’s wartime brothel system, and both Hashimoto and Ishihara have specifically vowed to “clarify historical facts” on the “comfort women”, Japan’s military brothel system, and “protect the dignity and honor of Japan and the Japanese people.” In light of Hashimoto’s major gaffe in May – saying that the comfort women system was “necessary” – the party is now trying to tone down the focus on that particular controversy for the upcoming campaign.
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