Japan internal and foreign politics

Katsuya Okada of DPJ – “Dissolution in June-July”

Katsuya Okada of Democratic Party of Japan believes that there is a high probability that the Lower House of parliament will be dissolved after the end of the regular session around June-July next year. As for the reason he stated that should the consumption tax be raised up to 10% as it was planned “there would be no telling how the economic situation would progress for about a half of a year. In such dangerous situation it is impossible (to hold the elections)”.
Okada believes that PM Abe would dissolve the Lower House before the tax raise.



Japan Restoration Party and Unity Party decided on the co-president system

On Sep 6 secretary generals of Japan Restoration Party and Unity Party decided that Toru Hashimoto and Kenji Eda, the leaders of the two parties are to become co-presidents after the parties merge.

Parties aim to hold a merge meeting on the new party creation on Sep 21. The details of the manifesto and party management system as still to be worked out.

On Sep 6 parties agreed about the co-president system and UP accepted that the word ‘restoration’ will remain in the name of the new party. Ideas about the new party name will be collected from the members of both parties before the final decision is made. It was also decided that the party headquarters will be located in Osaka.

On Sep 7 Hashimoto and Eda plan to have a meeting to reconfirm the details.


The Party for Future Generations is officially established

The Party for Future Generations has been officially registered today in Tokyo. Many expected that Shintaro Ishihara would become the president, but earlier he stated that he had no such ambitions. The president of the new party became Ishihara’s old ally Takeo Hiranuma, Hiroshi Yamada became party secretary-general, and Ishihara himself became party’s supreme adviser.

PFG headquarters will be in Nagatachou in the building next to the LDP’s headquarters. Secretary-general of LDP Shigeru Ishiba greeted the appearance of the new party, which policy, for example, changes to the current Constitution, is close to that of LDP saying: “Please give us advice if we fail somewhere”. Hiranuma replied: “Even if we are the opposition party we would support what is good and oppose what is bad. In the spheres we can cooperate, we will.”

There are 22 members in the new party (19 in the Lower House and 3 in the Upper House).


Differences between LDP and Komeito supporters come to the surface

Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network conducted and opinion poll. Popularity of PM Shinzo Abe’s administration among Liberal Democratic Party supporters reached 81.3%. On the other hand it was only 52.2% among the supporters of the New Komeito, another party forming the ruling coalition. Similar difference was observed when people were asked about the major policies of the cabinet. Also, popularity of PM Shinzo Abe’s administration among Next Generation Party supporters, the party created by Shintaro Ishihara faction after the Japan Restoration Party was split, reached 66.7%, the closest number to that of LDP supporters.

When asked about changing of interpretation of the Constitution via cabinet’s decision and making the right to execute collective self-defense possible 57.1% of LDP supporters replied that this is important for them, but 31.0% replied that it is not. At the same time half of Komeito supporters replied that the decision was not important for them and only 43.5% acknowledged the importance.

When answering whether the right to execute collective self-defense will serve as a “deterrence”, half of LDP supporters agreed to this, while only 26.1% of Komeito supporters share this opinion. 38.6% of LDP supporters disagreed as well as 65.2% of Komeito supporters.

Speaking about establishment of the laws that would allow deployment of JSDF abroad on as-needed basis, 49.7% of LDP supporters favored the move, while only 32.6% of Komeito supporters shared the same opinion.

Regarding restarting nuclear facilities 57.1% of LDP supporters agree, while 34.7% oppose the idea. Among Komeito supporters 43.5% agree and 50.0% disagree the restarting.

Looking at the Next Generation Party supporters, not only support of the current cabinet is stronger than that of Komeito, but also 53.3% responded that changing of interpretation of the Constitution via cabinet’s decision and making the right to execute collective self-defense possible is important for them. 66.7% believe that it will serve “deterrence”. As for restarting nuclear facilities 46.7% agree and 40.0% oppose the idea.

Natsuo Yamaguchi during his speech in Kumamoto on Jun 21 was asked if it would not be better for Komeito to oppose the approval of the right for collective self-defense to the very end and leave the ruling coalition instead of reaching the common ground with LDP. He replied: “If Komeito was to leave the ruling coalition, administration would become unstable. PM Abe would befriend Ishihara and would probably adopt the security measures that citizens would not expect.”


Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on BS Nittere TV

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga appeared today in Shinso News program on BS Nittere. He talked about the right to exercise collective self-defense and abenomics.

– Many people think the right to exercise collective self-defense was approved too quickly and they are worried about it.
YS: Cabinet decision does not mean that anything is allowed right now. We need to fix the laws that would allow Japan to really execute the right for collective self-defense. It will take time, about a year, and I am sure people will understand.

– Can Japan be drawn into a war as a result? Many people are concerned that lives of JSDF personnel are now at risk and Japan will be fighting wars for other countries.
YS: The very minimal right to execute collective self-defense that was approved by the cabinet mean that it is to be executed only to protect Japanese nationals. Japan as a country has liability to protect its people. In order to achieve this we changed interpretation of the Constitution, but now the corresponding laws need to be created so that it all would really work. There is misunderstanding that the right to execute collective self-defense was all approved by cabinet decision only. It is not true. The laws are still to be discussed and in any case Japan has the right to execute only for protecting its own citizens.

– Will JSDF responsibility area increase as result? Will their lives be endangered?
YS: We need to be prepared for different scenarios. If we have the right to execute collective self-defense it will serve as a preventive measure as well, and lives of JSDF personnel will be saved thanks to this.
The interpretation until now dates back to 42 years ago. But the situation has changed with North Korea possessing powerful weapons, for example. We did not have this situation 42 years ago, now we do. All this time we had the same interpretation of the Constitution that did not reflect the real international situation.

– What people think about the right to execute collective self-defense? The society seems to be divided on this topic.
YS: We should think about people’s’ safety. All countries possess the right for collective self-defense, but in Japan it was forbidden to use it. Now it is allowed to the very minimum extent and just to protect Japanese people. I am sure people will understand this in time.

– Many people say that there was not enough of discussion.
YS: First the cabinet made decision so that we had something to discuss. We showed that the cabinet is united on this. Now we need to amend corresponding laws. It will take about a year to do so. And all the laws will be discussed in parliament of course.

– Many say that the opinion of the opposition parties was ignored
YS: This is not so. Many opposition parties also agreed that the right to execute collective self-defense should be approved – Your Party, Japan Restoration Party, some members from Democratic Party of Japan too.

– But when you talk to people in the street the mood is quite different. It seems there is a discrepancy between public opinion and the opinion of parliament parties.
YS: Cabinet made this decision in order to protect Japanese people. Government has responsibility to do so.

– Should it not be first discussed in parliament?
YS: No. First government has decided on the policy and now we are discussing it.

– Should not PM Abe have explained his motivations better?
YS: It is always difficult when you want to change something or introduce something new. We made decision on the approach and now we have about one year to discuss the corresponding laws.

– About abenomics – has economic situation got better?
YS: GDP has started to grow, so I believe that the situation is changing for the better. Shares price may go up and down, but we are on the right track to make economics better. PM Abe’s administration is only 1.5 years old. The effects of abenomics may not be yet perceived in the regions. It will take time. PM created special commission for regional revival and is a chairman of it. He takes the economic situation and other problems there very seriously. Especially the depopulation problem in the regions.

– How to revive regions?
YS: Tourism, for example. We have relaxed procedures for visa obtaining for several countries. At the same time the regions should also change and take matters in their own hands. If there are employment opportunities, people will stay in regions, doing farming, for example. It will take time though, but after politicians make decision on the policy, it is be easier to go forward.

– It is all long-term, are there any results visible now?
YS: I said already – tourism. Number of tourists increased 1/3 already. Then the individual savings accounts (NISA) – those work very well.

– Can it be said already that the consumption tax will certainly be further raised to 10% as planned?
YS: We need to wait and see what will be of the economic situation. It is not decided at the moment, but we have positive feedback from economy, we will proceed as planned.


The right to exercise collective self-defense is finally approved

Today the government has finally change the interpretation of the Constitution to approve of Japan to exercise the right for collective self-defense. Though some additional ‘wording’ limitations has been made in order to make Komeito, another party in the ruling coalitions to agree to the plan, it is a big step for Japan to take up more responsibility for the peace and stability in the APAC region.

But this is just the first step. The next step must be the establishment of the truly sovereign Constitution created by people of Japan.

by naokawa

The new Ishihara party has decided on the name – “Next Generation Party”

The new Ishihara party has decided on the name – “Next Generation Party”

The 22 members of Japan Restoration Party that joined the Shintaro Ishihara group has decided on the name for the new party – “Next Generation Party”. The idea is to take the standpoint of the future generation that is yet to be born. The new party proclaimed that the issue to be addressed is “the establishment of the new Constitution”. Party principles and policies are to be decided by the end of July. In August the new party is to be officially established and in the middle of September it is planned to hold the first party conference.

Next Generation Party will forward reforms from the neoconservative positions and strive to create independent citizens, communities and independent Japan. Among the topics to be addressed the party mentions the establishment of the new Constitution, world peace and Japan security, administrative and financial reform, decentralization of power, fundamental reforms for social security.

Ishihara said that the new party will cooperate with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on the issues they have common position. On the other hand, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said during press conference on Jun 26 that he is wishes the new party all the best: “It would be good if we could cooperate on the issues we could cooperate and move the politics forward”.


The new Ishihara party name to be decided on Jun 26

The new Ishihara party name to be decided on Jun 26

The group of Shintaro Ishihara, one of co-presidents of the late Japan Restoration Party gathered together in parliament on Jun 24. Members of the group stated that the name for the new party is to be decided on Jun 26. There were 84 proposals for the party name gathered, of which 5 will be selected for discussion on Jun 26 party conference.


Shintaro Ishihara bids farewell to Japan Restoration Party

During the last party convention of Japan Restoration Party on Jun 22, JRP co-president made farewell speech to the party members.

“We could achieve a lot during the short period of one and a half years. We could drive the clueless Democratic Party of Japan who forgot their country to the brink of destruction. This great achievement has very big meaning since the Constitution of Japan was established.

Now there is one big ruling party and the reorganization of the opposition will be the main challenge. It is unfortunate, but Toru Hashimoto and the Osaka faction decided to join with Unity Party. The person, who is a leader of Unity Party (president Kenji Eda) is proclaiming the things that fully contradict to our political credo. So it is impossible for us to get together.

The country of Japan is facing critical times. If taken lightly, Japan may become the vassal state of neighboring China. We have been working to prevent this. Japan is to become truly independent and it to protect itself. The main pillar for this will be rewriting the Constitution, which is the foundation of the nation, with our own hands. Approval for the right to execute collective self-defense will play a great part in protecting lives and property of our people.

I believe there will be many challenges from now on, but since we are already comrades united by a common bond, let us join forces where it is possible to join forces. We will always keep the doors open for our former friends. I want you to bear this in mind all the time.”


Japan Restoration Party has officially decided to dissolve

Japan Restoration Party gathered on an extraordinary convention in Osaka on May 22. As it was previously decided, the party would split into two groups led by each co-president of JRP – Toru Hashimoto and Shintaro Ishihara. At the convention dissolution of JRP has been officially confirmed.