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INTERVIEW: DPFP highlights “household first” economic policy

Tokyo, July 9 (Jiji Press)–The Democratic Party for the People is placing a “household first” economic policy at the center of its campaign for the July 21 House of Councillors election, according to party leader Yuichiro Tamaki. 

“Stubbornly slow consumption indicates the weakest point of Abenomics (Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reflationary policy agenda), as well as its limitations,” Tamaki said in a recent interview.

“We’re advocating a ‘household first’ economic policy to enrich household purses and realize sustainable economic growth,” he stressed.

 

Tamaki reiterated his party’s opposition to the consumption tax hike from 8 pct to 10 pct in October this year, while insisting that a tax cut should be considered without reservation if the need for one emerges.

 

Meanwhile, he argued that the Abe administration is trying to cover up the truth behind Japan’s public pension system, as it has not yet released a five-yearly review report on public pension finances this year.

 

On the issue of constitutional reform, Tamaki criticized Abe for deviating from substantive talks as the prime minister is only highlighting some opposition parties’ refusal to hold discussions.

 

Tamaki noted that during the last ordinary session of parliament, only his party among opposition forces submitted a bill to revise the national referendum law, to restrict television commercials in the run-up to any referendums on constitutional amendment.

 

Before last Thursday, the first day of campaigning for the Upper House election, the DPFP had 23 Upper House seats, including eight to be contested in the upcoming poll. “We aim to win more than eight seats,” the party chief said.

 

Tamaki stressed that opposition parties including the DPFP need to coordinate their campaigning after fielding unified candidates in the 32 single-seat electoral districts across the nation.

 

To drum up support for his party, Tamaki underscored the need to make low-key efforts steadily, calling on all DPFP lawmakers and local assembly members to “work at full throttle.”

 

Earlier this year, the DPFP absorbed the Liberal Party led by former political kingpin Ichiro Ozawa. “We’re leaving behind-the-scenes coordination with our support groups to him now,”

 

Tamaki said. “His joining our party reinforced our attitude toward elections.”

 

Tamaki predicted that the next election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of parliament, will be held within this year. “We aim to field at least 100 candidates in single-seat constituencies,” he said.

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