LDP adopts upper house election campaign pledges

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday decided its campaign pledges for the upcoming upper house election, promising to achieve annual average real economic growth of 2 percent over the next 10 years and double farm families' incomes in the same period.

The LDP also pledged to promote its constitutional amendment proposals, including revision for Article 96 to ease the rules for initiating constitutional change and to make "utmost efforts" to win public approval for resuming nuclear plants after their safety is confirmed.

While aiming at enacting a law to strengthen Japan's industrial competitiveness, the party led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised to cut tax on corporate investments, according to the pledges approved at its general council.

In a bid to restore fiscal health, the LDP maintained its target of achieving a surplus in the primary balance of the central and local governments by fiscal 2020.

The ruling party, however, did not refer to the planned consumption tax hike, apparently reflecting its stance to avoid making it one of the focal points in the election campaign. Abe will make a final judgment on whether to raise the tax rate in the fall.

On the controversial relocation of a U.S. military base in Okinawa Prefecture, the party said it will promote the plan to transfer the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station from the city of Ginowan to the less populated Henoko area.

The party also pledged to "protect what should be protected" in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, apparently with rice and wheat in mind.

The House of Councillors election is slated for July 21, when half of its 242 seats are up for grabs.