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INTERVIEW: Nippon Ishin wants to chip away at LDP dominance

Osaka, Oct. 21 (Jiji Press)–Ichiro Matsui, chief of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), said that the opposition party wants to chip away at the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s dominance in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, in the Oct. 31 election.


“We’ll make desperate efforts so that the LDP will fall short of a majority, in order to drive even a small part of our policies into the government,” Matsui said in an interview with Jiji Press and other media outlets.


Matsui said he wants Prime Minister and LDP President Fumio Kishida to provide a concrete vision for the country in five to 10 years from now, rather than abstract concepts.


Nippon Ishin aims to make Japan’s social security system more sustainable amid a shrinking population, said Matsui, who is also mayor of the western city of Osaka.


The basic portion of Japan’s public pension system should be financed not by premium payments but by other sources including tax, Matsui said, adding that it would be possible to secure funding sources through government reform.


Asked why Osaka-based Nippon Ishin fielded candidates not only in the Kanai western region but also in other parts of the country for the Lower House election, Matsui said it aims to become the largest opposition party and make the LDP feel tense.


A pairing of the major opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Japanese Communist Party “won’t make the LDP nervous,” Matsui said.


The JCP agreed to offer limited cooperation from outside the cabinet if a CDP-led government is established as a result of the general election.


Nippon Ishin aims to win at least 21 Lower House seats, the minimum requirement for a political party to submit bills on its own, Matsui said.


He said his party will support policies that will benefit the people, whoever leads the government.


Matsui, who has said that he will retire from politics when his current term as Osaka mayor ends in April 2023, denied that he will run for parliament. “I’ve done enough,” he said.


But Matsui said he might return to politics for the generations of children and grandchildren, if a CDP-JCP government is established.

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