Japan's DPJ unveils election manifesto, eyeing economy, collective defense

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-11-25 10:21:06

Japan's main opposition party the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) unveiled Monday its manifesto for the upcoming general election, with focus being put on challenging "Abenomics" and retracting a cabinet bill granted exercise of rights to collective self-defense.

The political platform criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies dubbed "Abenomics," saying it has worsened Japanese people's living conditions and citing recent data on Japan's gross domestic product that suggests the world's third largest economy has slipped in recession.

The election pledge said that a by effect of "Abenomics," the fast retreating yen, has weighed real wages down for 15 months in a row and the policy has enlarged gaps between the rich and the poor.

"If 'Abenomics' continues as it is now, a range of people from workers, students to pensioners, as well as small and medium-sized companies will suffer more," said DPJ leader Banri Kaieda. "We have to change this trend," he was quoted as reporting in a press conference Monday.

To address the economic woes here, the DPJ vowed in the manifesto to revive "wealthy middle class" and to consider introducing multiple rates for the consumption tax and a system of tax breaks combined with cash allowances for low-income people, local reports cited the pledge.

It also called for a flexible monetary policy instead the current aggressive one by Abe and a better-future-oriented growth strategy.

The DPJ's platform said the cabinet bill that gave green light to the Self-Defense Forces to exercise rights to collective self- defense violates the country's pacifism and the "runaway cabinet" that passes unpopular and controversial bills despite public opinion should be corrected.

The opposition party also called for a society without nuclear power in the 2030s.

Abe dissolved Japan's lower house of the parliament on Friday in a move to delay second sales tax hike planned in October 2015 and called a snap election on Dec. 14.
The DPJ was ousted by Abe- led Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from power in last general election in December 2012, putting an end to DPJ's three-year rule.

According to the latest poll, the DPJ only got about 11 percent of support, ranking the second after the LDP, which gained about 37 percent of support.

The release of DPJ's election manifesto also aims to woo unaffiliated voters by saying the party stands at a viewpoint of " ordinary citizen" so as to curb the LDP from securing the majority in the lower house election. Abe said he would step down if the LDP and its partner, the Komeito Party, could not win the poll.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific, Economy

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