Factbox-Japan main party pledges in Oct. 31 election

By Kiyoshi Takenaka

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese voters are deciding on Sunday whether to back the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in an election that could weaken him just weeks into the job and return Japan to a period of policy uncertainty.

Here are the policy positions of the LDP, junior coalition partner Komeito, the largest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), Japanese Communist Party (JCP), Japan Innovation Party (JIP) and Democratic Party for the People (DPFP).

COVID-19 response:

LDP

– Make oral drugs widely available by the end of the year and take legislative steps to give the government stronger authority to curb people’s movements and secure medical resources.

Komeito

– Pay out 100,000 yen ($881) to everyone aged 18 or under to cushion the blow of the pandemic on child-rearing households.

CDPJ

– Compile a supplementary budget worth more than 30 trillion yen to secure hospital beds, make coronavirus testing accessible to all and support pandemic-affected households.

JCP

– Make free coronavirus tests available to all, and extend financial support to medical institutions.

JIP

– Set up temporary medical facilities, and take legislative measures to secure hospital beds and medical workers.

DPFP

– Pay out up to 200,000 yen per resident to help them cope with the pandemic.

Economy:

LDP

– Mobilise monetary easing, fiscal spending and growth strategy to put the pandemic-hit economy on the recovery path. Offer tax incentives to companies that raise wages. Create a virtuous circle of economic growth and wealth distribution.

Komeito

– Restart a programme aimed at promoting tourism with government subsidies called the “Go To” campaign once the pandemic is over, to support the tourism and hospitality.

CDPJ

– Halve the sales tax to 5%, and introduce income tax exemption for those with annual income of up to about 10 million yen, both as temporary measures.

– Have the wealthy and giant corporations shoulder more tax burden.

JCP

– Cut the sales tax by half to 5% immediately as a step towards eventually abolishing it, and raise the minimum wage to 1,500 yen an hour.

JIP

– Lower the sales tax to 5% for about two years, and carry out deregulation to spur innovation.

DPFP

– Compile an emergency stimulus package worth 50 trillion yen and cut the sales tax by half until the economy recovers.

Security, diplomacy:

LDP

– Take a comprehensive review of Japan’s defence posture in response to China’s rapid military buildup and North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

– Raise the defence budget, while keeping in mind NATO’s target of setting aside 2% of economic output for military spending. Japan’s defence spending has largely been around 1% of gross domestic product in recent decades.

Komeito

– Strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance and work toward a world without nuclear weapons.

CDPJ

– Hold the U.S.-Japan alliance as the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy, and promote cooperation with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia and India.

JCP

– Abolish the U.S.-Japan security treaty and conclude a friendship treaty instead to build equal bilateral ties.

JIP

– Bolster Japan’s defence by closely cooperating with other maritime nations with which Japan shares common values, such as the United States, Britain, India, Australia and Taiwan.

DPFP

– Solidify Japan’s alliance with the United States further.

Energy, climate change

LDP

– Restart those nuclear reactors that have been confirmed safe and promote renewable energy to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Many of Japanese reactors have remained idle since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Komeito

– Expand subsidies to promote electric cars and fuel cell vehicles.

CDPJ

– Achieve carbon neutral without relying on nuclear energy.

JCP

– Do not allow the restart of idle reactors or the construction of new reactors.

JIP

– Pursue Japan’s target of achieving carbon neutral by 2050 prudently so that industry will not come under too much burden and leave Japan.

DPFP

– Position nuclear power as Japan’s important energy option until alternative energy sources are firmly established.

Diversity, women’s empowerment:

LDP

– Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who doubles as head of the LDP, believes more national debate is necessary before deciding whether to allow married couples to keep separate surnames.

Komeito

– Support legislation to allow couples to have separate surnames.

CDPJ

– Introduce a system that allows married couples to have separate surnames and work on legislation to enable same-sex marriages.

JCP

– Rectify wage disparity between men and women, and allow same-sex marriages as well as separate surnames for married couples.

JIP

– Support same-sex marriages and separate surnames for couples.

DPFP

– Eliminate all gender disparity including in education, wages and political participation.

($1 = 113.4500 yen)

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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