Shiga Governor Yukiko Kada revealed her new party’s political goals during a media briefing last Sunday. Aside from the stated anti-nuclear thrust, Kada will also be pushing for better child-rearing support and joining the Hague Convention against parental abductions to Japan.
The new party, named Nippon Mirai no To (Japan Future Party), was just formed last week to create a “third force” against the leading political parties and to push for ending the use of nuclear energy in the country. Kada has announced the party’s other goals, which includes providing annual benefits of 312,000 yen ($3,800 U.S.) per child, which could amount to 5.5 trillion yen ($66 billion U.S.) in financial resources. The purpose is to support women who marry or give birth and to invest in the country’s children for the future. Japan’s population is rapidly aging and shrinking due to low birthrates and Kada fears it might become just a third of what it is now by 2100. The party will also push for signing 1980 Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction to remove the country’s stigma of being the “child abduction state”.
Kada’s child support proposal is nothing new and has already been promised by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan. It will also probably face the same difficulties that the DPJ faced when attempting to implement it, namely, a lack of funds. The party leader, however, asserts that she can make it possible by identifying and cutting wasteful government spending, citing how she was able to raise 60 billion yen ($73 million U.S.) by stopping shinkansen (bullet train) and dam projects during her term at Shiga.
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