Yamaguchi unveils 7-point manifesto
November 18, 2012: New Komeito Chief Representative Natsuo Yamaguchi held a press conference at the party headquarters in Shinjuku, Tokyo, on Saturday, November 17, to introduce the New Komeito manifesto, which targets priority policy objectives and the initiatives to achieve them, for the upcoming House of Representatives election.
For its 2012 manifesto, New Komeito highlights seven policy goals with the aim of rebuilding Japan. Among the key areas are:
- Prioritizing national recovery from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, particularly for Fukushima prefecture. Another facet of this policy goal is a New Deal-type initiative that calls for the allocation of 100 trillion yen over ten years to upgrade Japan's aging infrastructure in preparation for future mega-quakes and other natural disasters. The initiative will not be funded through deficit bonds, but by construction bonds and private sector investment.
- Decentralizing government by transferring greater authority, including the right of taxation, to local governments. One of the first steps under this policy goal is for parliament to pass a basic law establishing a federated system over a five-year period, with the first three years spent on national discussion and the next two spent on the transition of powers to ten or so newly-created "provinces" or "states." As part of this initiative, New Komeito seeks broad cutbacks in unnecessary government outlays and a new accounting system to achieve greater transparency.
- Optimizing the phase-out of nuclear power and transition to renewable energy sources. New Komeito's goal is to raise the ratio of renewable energy to 30% of the nation's total electrical power generation capacity while also reducing its carbon footprint by 30% by 2030. To do so, the party is calling for a host of incentives to spur new technologies, not only in energy but also the environment, and energy conservation.
- Focus on an economic recovery in the present and future growth. New Komeito aims to correct the yen's continued strength and reverse deflation, in part through the close coordination of the government and the Bank of Japan on fiscal policy. Funding for the party's proposed 100 trillion-yen infrastructure initiative and energy-based programs will also stimulate the economy and create jobs. The goal is to achieve annual nominal growth of 3-4% and real growth of some 2%.
- Other policy objectives include fast-tracking initiatives to bolster Japanese healthcare programs, agricultural sector and international competitiveness of smaller companies. New Komeito is also committed to reducing the impact on low-income citizens from the consumption tax increase slated to take place in 2014.