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Comparison of political parties' election pledges

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The following is a comparison of key campaign pledges made by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner the New Komeito party, and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan and Japan Restoration Party for Sunday's House of Councillors election.

<Economy>

The LDP will:

-- aim to achieve average nominal economic growth of 3 percent and average real economic growth of 2 percent over the next decade;

-- achieve a primary balance surplus by fiscal 2020;

-- substantially cut corporate tax;

-- double farmers' incomes under a 10-year plan;

-- consider taking measures to help people and industries affected by the yen's recent depreciation.

New Komeito will:

-- provide cash benefits to people on low incomes to reduce the impact when the sales tax rate is increased to 8 percent;

-- aim for a lower tax rate to be levied on food and other daily necessities when the sales tax is raised to 10 percent.

The DPJ will:

-- offer an alternative to the government's "Abenomics" policies;

-- support the middle class and work to raise the minimum wage;

-- foster industries related to energy conservation and farming;

-- introduce a guaranteed minimum monthly pension.

The Japan Restoration Party will:

-- set an inflation target of 2 percent and achieve nominal economic growth of over 3 percent;

-- lower corporate and individual income taxes;

-- change the national sales tax to a regional tax.

<Nuclear Energy Policy>

The LDP will:

-- make maximum efforts to secure local governments' consent for the restart of nuclear power plants that are confirmed safe.

New Komeito will:

-- aim to break away from nuclear power as much as possible;

-- ensure operation of existing nuclear power plants is limited to 40 years and not allow construction of new nuclear plants.

The DPJ will:

-- phase out nuclear energy in the 2030s.

The Japan Restoration Party will:

-- aim to end Japan's reliance on nuclear power, expecting it to be phased out by the 2030s.

<Constitution, Foreign/Security Policy>

The LDP will:

-- relax rules for initiating constitutional amendments;

-- stick to the Japan-U.S. accord on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture;

-- boost the Japan-U.S. alliance, develop ties with China, South Korea;

-- make a stronger case at home and abroad for Japan's position on territorial and sovereignty issues;

-- elevate the Self-Defense Forces to a full military through a constitutional amendment.

New Komeito will:

-- uphold the pacifist nature of the Constitution;

-- uphold Japan's three non-nuclear principles of not producing, possessing or allowing nuclear weapons on Japanese territory;

-- uphold the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution;

-- consider stipulating the SDF's role and international contributions when discussing amendments to the Constitution.

The DPJ will:

-- oppose moves to relax the rules for initiating constitutional amendments;

-- boost surveillance and security measures to protect Japanese territory;

-- steadily implement the Japan-U.S. agreement on the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.

The Japan Restoration Party will:

-- clarify historical facts in connection with Japan's wartime military brothels to protect the honor and dignity of Japan and its people;

-- lower the voting threshold for initiating a constitutional amendment from two-thirds of lawmakers in each house of parliament to a majority in each chamber;

-- review the interpretation of the Constitution regarding Japan exercising the right to collective self-defense;

-- enable the public to directly elect the prime minister;

-- combine the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors into one chamber.

<Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks>

The LDP will:

-- seek the best course of action that serves the national interest and protect what should be protected during TPP negotiations.

New Komeito will:

-- ask the government to urge other countries involved in the negotiations to exempt sensitive Japanese products such as rice, wheat and sugar from the TPP principle of eliminating all tariffs, or conduct further negotiations over the items.

The DPJ will:

-- not rule out leaving the TPP free trade agreement negotiations if national interests are not ensured.

The Japan Restoration Party will:

-- join the TPP.

==Kyodo

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130720/comparison-political-parties-election-pledges