Restoration Party pledges to include review of arms export principles

The Japan Restoration Party will seek to review the nation's principles on arms exports and to approve the use of the right to collective self-defense, according to a final draft of the party's pledges for the upcoming upper house election.

The draft, obtained Tuesday by Kyodo News, also proposes reforming Japan's education system by allowing grade-skipping, and creating a system that facilitates death with dignity in keeping with one's wishes in a living will.

"We will undertake necessary reforms without considering whether it works to our advantage or disadvantage," the paper said ahead of the House of Councillors' election next month. "This can never be done by political parties backed by vested interests."

The party, co-led by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, will pledge to strengthen the nation's security policies by reviewing the nation's so-called "three principles on arms exports."

Under Japan's arms export principles, weapons should not be exported to communist-bloc countries, countries subject to an arms embargo under U.N. Security Council resolutions, and countries involved in or likely to be involved in international conflicts.

The party also seeks to deepen the Japan-U.S. alliance and supports the plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station from the city of Ginowan to the less populated Henoko area in Okinawa Prefecture.

Other policy pledges include the introduction of the principle of competition among agricultural cooperatives and medical corporations.

On Japan's military brothels during World War II, the draft said, "As to the so-called 'comfort women' issue, we need to clarify historic facts and protect the dignity and honor of Japan and Japanese citizens."

The party's co-leader Hashimoto has been under fire since he said in May that anyone can understand that the women at the brothels, euphemistically called "comfort women" in Japan, were "necessary" for front-line soldiers during the war.