Yamaguchi recaps party policy successes as Diet session ends

June 22 , 2024

At a joint meeting of Komeito members in both houses of the Diet held on June 21, Chief Representative Natsuo Yamaguchi reviewed the policy achievements their party secured during the outgoing Diet session. Yamaguchi pointed to two major challenges Komeito sought to tackle: the first was to prioritize the recovery and reconstruction of the Noto peninsula communities devastated by the January 1 mega-earthquake. The second was to restore public trust in Japanese politics by pushing forward reforms to political funding controls.

As to the first challenge, he said Komeito successfully enacted numerous rebuilding initiatives through its extensive network of local and national legislators, who worked seamlessly together to develop solutions catering to the needs of quake victims after meeting with them repeatedly in person onsite. He added that further measures would be forthcoming, drawing on a special fund set up to facilitate the recovery process.

As to the second challenge, which Yamaguchi termed as an “overriding imperative,” Komeito led the effort to amend the Political Funds Control Act to close its loopholes that various factions of the Liberal Democratic Party exploited and to ensure similar transgressions would be prohibited in the future. Among the revisions that Komeito advocated that the LDP agreed to was to set the mandatory disclosure of tickets to fundraising parties sold by lawmaker support groups from the ¥200,000 in the past to just ¥50,000. Another key concession to Komeito was over the “political activity allowance” that other political parties pay to their respective parliament members, making how and when that money is spent to whom, transparent. To enhance transparency even further, Komeito insisted on the establishment of a third-party scheme to monitor the reporting process.

Yamaguchi further cited successes in the policy realm of childcare and support, which were enacted into law to incentivize married couples to have children by alleviating their concerns in raising families. Meanwhile, Komeito persuaded the government to offer or extend subsidies to offset rising utility and fuel costs, particularly for pensioners and low-income earners. He also reaffirmed his party’s commitment to legalize same-sex marriages.

On the diplomatic front, Yamaguchi pointed out that an international conference will be held in 2025 under the auspices of the Japanese government to support demining operations in Ukraine, which Komeito had been lobbying for. He noted the successful holding of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s summit with US President Joe Biden, as well as the trilateral summit by the leaders of Japan, South Korea and China, top-level meetings that Komeito has persistently advocated for in order to enhance dialogue and advance peace both regionally and globally.