Tokyo, Oct. 21 (Jiji Press)–Yukio Edano, leader of the largest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, has slammed the Liberal Democratic Party-led government, eager to win power in the Oct. 31 general election.
It is “very regrettable” that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida dissolved the House of Representatives for the election to “evade accountability and debate,” Edano said in a recent media interview.
In its election campaign, the CDP will ask voters to back the party to change “the response to the novel coronavirus, the economic policy and the insincere politics” of the LDP-led government, Edano said.
He failed to say how many seats the party aims to win in the election for the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament.
“Our colleagues have made their life decisions to run,” Edano said. “We aim to win all seats our candidates will contest. That’s all I can say.”
On cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party and other opposition parties, Edano expressed respect and gratitude to the JCP.
He said that the JCP helped highlight the one-on-one battle between the ruling and opposition blocs by withdrawing or moving its own candidates from more than 20 constituencies at the last minute.
Edano defended his party’s agreement with the JCP that the latter would cooperate in a CDP government from outside the cabinet on a limited scale if the CDP wins power,
The two parties have “clearly different” views on key issues such as the Japan-U.S. security alliance and the Imperial system, he observed.
Voters will feel reassured by the pact because it clarifies that any conflict of opinion with the JCP would not be brought into a CDP government, he explained.
On how to finance income tax exemptions and a consumption tax cut proposed by his party as temporary measures, Edano said that entities awash with wealth would be asked to shoulder burdens accordingly as a key source of funds for the measures.
Edano disagreed with Kishida’s proposal to emphasize wealth redistribution. Kishida’s argument that wage hikes and redistribution will follow economic growth is just a repetition of what former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, according to Edano.
“The economy won’t grow unless proper distribution occurs. This is a clear difference, and I believe voters can understand it easily,” he said.
He said that a CDP government would not repeat the failures of the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan, which tried to deploy policies without securing finances for them when it was in power between 2009 and 2012.
“Next time, we will go gradually,” Edano said. He held key cabinet posts under the DPJ government.
Edano said the CDP is in “a dream situation far beyond imagination looking back on four years ago,” when he became leader of the CDP following opposition realignments in the lead-up to the previous general election.
“We are able to present ourselves as an alternative to the current government thanks to the cooperation and efforts of many people,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of a change of government, Edano said, “I think we are in a situation where people can wait (for the moment) with excitement.”