TOKYO – The following is the gist of the campaign platforms of the candidates in the Sept. 14 presidential election of the Liberal Democratic Party who seek to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as its leader.
Yoshihide Suga pledges to:
— expand COVID-19 testing and procure enough vaccines for the population by the first half of 2021.
— reduce bureaucratic stovepipes.
— protect businesses and jobs, including through an existing 230 trillion yen ($2.2 trillion) economic package that includes subsidies for small businesses and promoting domestic tourism.
— revitalize regional economies by raising the minimum wage, promoting agricultural reform and boosting tourism.
— tackle the declining birthrate by expanding support for fertility treatment and nursery services.
— continue to work toward a free and open Indo-Pacific with the Japan-U.S. alliance as the central pillar of foreign policy, while also maintaining stable relations with China and seeking a resolution to the issue of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s.
— work toward amending the Constitution.
Fumio Kishida pledges to:
— reduce economic inequality by raising the minimum wage and introducing measures to cut education and housing costs.
— promote research into artificial intelligence, space and marine science through the creation of a “Japan Innovation Fund.”
— implement regulatory reforms on data use and establish a “Data Agency.”
— improve Japan’s sustainability by tackling the declining birthrate, promoting renewable energy and restoring fiscal health.
— prioritize regional economies in introducing 5G networks.
— keep the Japan-U.S. alliance as the central pillar of foreign policy while cooperating with other like-minded countries such as the Group of Seven and utilizing soft power such as anime and technology.
— foster the public’s understanding toward amending the Constitution.
Shigeru Ishiba pledges to:
— prevent the spread of the coronavirus while taking fiscal measures to boost the economy, including tax cuts.
— create an inclusive society that is fair to women, youth and the elderly, boosting the share of women in management positions and female lawmakers.
— decentralize the Tokyo-centric economy and relocate 3 million people outside of urban centers by the middle of the 21st century.
— promote technological innovation including in artificial intelligence.
— continue to work toward a free and open Indo-Pacific while making the Japan-U.S. alliance more effective.
— create an Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and establish liaison offices with North Korea.
— work toward amending the Constitution in line with the LDP’s 2012 draft, which calls for removing a clause in Article 9 that renounces Japan’s right to maintain land, sea and air forces.