Komeito's Priority Policy Objectives for 2022 House of Councilors Election

One: Economic Growth, Job Creation and Income Buildup

A socioeconomic system that delivers tangible results for the welfare and wellbeing of citizens

 

Poverty, income disparity, climate change—these and many more mounting challenges make it clear that serious corrections to manifold issues wrought by modern capitalism are needed. To build a socioeconomic system that quantifiably enhances the welfare and wellbeing of all citizens, Komeito will strengthen human-centric investments on a fundamental level, which we believe will drive economic growth while creating new jobs and raise annual incomes for workers.

As for working in Japan, we envisage a highly diverse and inclusive environment, one blind to gender, age, family composition and other prejudicial determinants of the past, where each individual can maximize one’s experience and talents for use at any given stage in one’s life, be it during childrearing or caregiving, for the work one seeks to do.

Our party will concurrently strive to create a new model for economic growth based not only on the quality and satisfaction of life enhancements, but also attuned to the need to ensure sustainability. To do so, we aim to reinvigorate scientific and technological innovation, achieve carbon neutrality and extensively prime Japan’s digital platform to deliver a truly digitized society.

1. Human-Centric Investment and Sustainable Wage Increases

• Create momentum for sustained wage gains with a comprehensive array of programs and initiatives
—Train workers—particularly for women, who have been hit hardest by the pandemic’s economic fallout—for competence in digital technologies, operations and services
—Correct wage disparities between men and women
—Raise the minimum wage as well as improve salaries and government subsidies cost of services set by the government that care providers pay paid out to nurses, caregivers and childcare workers
—Provide tax incentives for companies that raise worker wages
—Build a consensus among government, labor unions and employers on wage hikes; establish a third-party commission to facilitate consensus building
• Increase wages at small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including subcontractors to large prime contractors
—To secure wage increases achieved through legitimate transactions, prohibit unfair demands for price cuts on subcontractors by prime contractors and similar practices
—Adopt tax breaks, subsidies and other measures incentivizing companies to join the so-called “Declaration of Partnership Building” that aims to ensure the prosperity of entire supply chains and enhance the partnership’s effectiveness


2. Freedom to Choose Ways of Work

• Encourage more companies to adopt a system enabling regular employees to work shorter hours; allow regular employees to engage in side businesses and other outside jobs, providing them with a broader, more diverse range of income sources
• Eliminate unfair and unjustifiable differences between regular and non-regular employees under the “same task, same pay” principle; encourage employers to transition temporary non-regular hires into permanent regular positions
• Extend basic worker protections under the law to freelancers


3. Reinvigorating Scientific and Technological Innovation

• Legislate and institute a comprehensive national initiative to drive sci-tech innovation
—Extend state support to double the number of doctoral degree-holders; remove institutional barriers to level the playing field for younger and women researchers
—Extend and expand state support to colleges and universities located outside Japan’s major cities; facilitate and enhance state assistance both qualitatively and quantitatively to startup enterprises


4. Concurrent Fast-Tracking of Energy Security and 2050 Carbon Neutrality Goals

• Securing Energy Security
—Mount a full-scale offensive to advance the energy conservation and renewal energy fields through a close public sector/private sector partnership
—Raise the national level of energy self-sufficiency
—Set up on nationwide basis infrastructural operations of “smart grid” electric power networks as well as a decentralized energy system that redistributes power generation on demand
• Achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050
—Transition from fossil fuels (oil, natural gas) to clean energy sources (solar, wind, hydrogen)
—Establish infrastructure to operate next-generation energy storage systems as well as large-scale hydrogen- and ammonia-fuel supply chains
—Extend and enhance state incentives to SMEs to facilitate transition to carbon-neutral practices and processes


5. Laying Foundations for Digital Infrastructure and Innovation Incubation

—Advance such digital infrastructure platforms as optical fiber and 5G networks as well as datacenters
—Facilitate advances in and adoption of telework, telemedicine, autonomous vehicle and other next-generation fields

Two: Creating a Society Safe and Secure for All

Building out a social services platform benefiting all generations, designating childcare and education as strategic national initiatives



By 2040, Japan will face a social tempest wrought by an ever-growing demographic of senior citizens and rapidly contracting general population. Komeito calls for a multiprong solution to this challenge: first, by enhancing the sustainability of the existing social security system; second, by establishing a framework to resolve the issues that an economic scheme—which is heavily dependent on non-regular workers and freelancers—is now no longer able to cope with; and third, to broaden the subscriber base for a new social services platform that will benefit participants across the entire generational range, one founded on a broad matrix of mutual and cross-demographic support.

At the same time, our party is calling for the designation of childcare and education as strategic initiatives central to our national interests. We not only plan to augment existing policies and programs focused on minors and young adults but also roll out even more extensive assistance packages for their sake. Our goal is for Japan to become a major educational force in the world, one that leaves no learner behind and ensures the right to learn and schooling as an equal opportunity for all.

Komeito is firmly committed to building communities whose constituent members and agencies work together to mutually reinforce activities benefiting the welfare and wellbeing for both the one and the whole. The phenomenon dubbed the “8050 problem”—in which parents in their 80s must care for acute socially withdrawn offspring in their 50s living at home—thus stands as a direct challenge to communities across the country. Our party aims to ramp up counseling and related social services as part of a comprehensive support package to tackle the problem.

1. Building Out an All-Generational Social Services Platform

• “Total Plan” for childcare assistance
—Provide a “total” cost-free package underwriting expenses incurred from marriage, pregnancy and childbirth to childcare up to and including a high school education, as well as scalable economic assistance
• Facilitate adoption of information and communication technologies (ICT), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics systems to improve medical, nursing care and social welfare services
—Facilitate registration of “My Number” (the Japanese equivalent to US Social Security) card for use in national health insurance, digital prescription and electronic medical record purposes
• Provide an environment utilizing senior citizens who are willing to work
• Legislate a basic law to safeguard the human rights of individuals with dementia and other cognitive disorders, enabling them to lead safe, comfortable lives; extend state support to families who care for such individuals
• Provide proper counseling services for young caregivers to allay their concerns and address their struggles; operate programs to assist such children in carrying out their household affairs

2. Delivering the Best in Prenatal and Postnatal Care Services

• Enact a significant increase in the lump-sum allowance for childbirth from the ¥420,000 paid out at present
• Provide domestic chore and childcare support to the home as a nationwide postnatal service
• Initiate measures to provide cost-free medical coverage for all dependents up until and including third-year high school students
• Facilitate use of childcare leave and shortened work hours, promote among employers wider adoption of childcare furlough use by male workers
• Examine and develop assistance programs for freelance workers and self-employed business operators while caring for newborn dependents

3. Equal Learning Opportunities for All: Japan as a Major Force for Education

• Establish a special program allowing scholarship recipients flexible repayment terms should they meet certain income criteria
• Raise the income ceiling for student loan borrowers and their eligibility for reduced or exempted tuition; increase financial aid to middle-income households with multiple dependents and to university majors in science and engineering as well as in agricultural sciences
• Step up support services to an estimated 290,000 children who have been truant from elementary and junior high schools on a long-term basis
—Establish more than one school designated for truant children per prefecture; secure facilities to operate night junior high schools and “free schools” where truant children from elementary to high school not only come to learn but purely to associate with their peers; provide at-home counseling services; offer online schooling opportunities

4. Building Robust Self-Help Communities

• Prepare a framework for communities to provide an extensive range of funding and support services, including outreach activities, across overlapping and mutually reinforcing layers
• Launch a special grant to help fund services to those suffering from acute loneliness or acute alienation; adopt measures to secure accommodations for those stricken
• Enact legislation promoting social recognition and acceptance for gender preference and gender identity, while advancing the adoption of same-sex partnerships under the law

Three: Securing Peace and Stability Worldwide

Komeito’s commitment to national security and nuclear abolition and achieving SDGs



Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea’s volley of missile launches and other wanton acts threaten to upend the peace and stability of the international community. Equally concerning are the proliferation and potential use of nuclear weapons, global pandemics that are sure to follow Covid-19 and the looming pall of climate change with its grave consequences worldwide.

Komeito believes building out a fully coherent national security framework is vital in order to protect the lives of Japanese citizens and safeguard their right to live in peace. Still, to truly rid the world of war and nuclear arms, we feel that Japan should take the initiative in laying the groundwork to secure international cooperation and coordination. And our nation must be willing to play a more proactive role in addressing such planetwide challenges as global health and climate change.

1. Responding to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

• In order to achieve a halt to the fighting as quickly as possible, Japan must work closely with the international community to forge even stronger responses that include additional economic sanctions
• Step up humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to Ukraine and complete preparations to accept Ukrainian refugees to Japan

2. Building Out a Coherent National Security Framework

• Continue to prepare the capabilities of our country’s armed forces in strict adherence with its longstanding “exclusively defense-oriented policy.” Based on Japan’s peace and security preservation legislation, moreover, the Japan-US alliance has grown even closer—and through this partnership, Komeito looks to enhance the nation’s capacity to deter foreign aggression
• Build out a coherent national security framework that responds to emerging threats to Japan’s economic security as well as in such realms as outer space, cyberspace and electromagnetic pulse attacks, while enhancing the nation’s responses to North Korean advances in ballistic missile technologies

3. Building an International Order for a World without War and Nuclear Weapons

• Ensure that the “three non-nuclear principles” of not possessing, producing or permitting such weapons on Japanese soil are maintained; set up preparations for a wider adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
• Accelerate diplomatic initiatives based on persistent dialogue to advance peace; encourage and endorse reforms to the United Nations and the Security Council

4. Achieving SDGs and Serving the International Community

• Significantly increase Japanese official development assistance (ODA) in support of global health initiatives
• Prompt ratification of an international agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response; encourage the establishment of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Center in Japan

5. Combating Global Climate Change

• Contribute to the world’s carbon neutralization by providing the means to reduce carbon emissions, a technology suite in which Japan excels, to developing countries
• Push ahead with the domestic provision of primary energy; minimize as much as possible the import of fossil fuels, which currently accounts for some ¥20 trillion annually

Four: Powering Japan to Prosperity through Digitalization

Community building by raising productivity and enhancing the overall quality of life



1. Building People-Friendly Communities through Digital Tools

• Advance “smart city” concepts using information drawn from the panoply of digital devices across every sector in a community to optimize and improve productivity and the quality of life for residents; launch and encourage widespread use of government cloud services
• Utilize My Number reward points to facilitate broader adoption of the My Number Card personal ID system among the general public

2. Creating a Fully Inclusive Digital Society, Providing Education for a Highly Diverse and Skilled Digital Work Force

• Train a women-orientated work force to raise their digital competence; install “digital officers” nationwide to promote and advance digitization

3. Supporting the Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries Industries

• Upgrade the nation’s food production system and raise the level of food self-sufficiency in order to secure a stable domestic supply of food resources; promote the adoption of robotics, AI and other “smart” systems in agriculture, forestry and fisheries

4. Securing Food Safety and Reliability

• Initiate a dramatic reduction in the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers while expanding the corps of farmers engaged in organic agriculture; significantly reduce food loss

Five: Enhancing Japan’s Resilience to Pandemics

Protecting the nation from new pandemics and tackling “long covid” syndrome



1. Establishing a New Crisis Management Regime

• Create a Japanese version of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) entrusted with overall supervisory authority to respond to epidemics and pandemics; enact measures to rapidly secure hospital beds and medical workers in an emergency

2. Preparations to Develop and Roll Out Domestic Vaccines

• Bolster support to set up a comprehensive system for the research and development of vaccines, clinical testing for their safety, production and storage; lay out preparations to build a world-class R&D center

3. Instituting Measures to Combat “Long Covid” Syndrome

• Research effective treatments to combat long-term syndromes rising from Covid-19 infection; establish special outpatient services and help centers staffed by “long covid” specialists

Six: Safeguarding the Lives and Livelihoods of Citizens

Responding to giant earthquakes, tornados, flooding and other major natural disasters



1. Building National Resilience to Potentially Devastating Wind and Flood Damage

• Enhance the accuracy of predictive systems to prevent and/or allay basin-wide flooding and meteorological training

2. Instituting Contingency and Disaster Prevention Measures for Major Quakes

• Set up contingency plans against tsunamis; fortify public facilities to withstand large earthquakes; repair and rebuild aging infrastructure; prepare measures to deal with fires in dense woodlands
• Develop and institute special evacuation plans for the elderly and handicapped as well as disaster prevention action plans

3. Advancing a National Resilience Initiative, Aid to Disaster Victims

• Engage in a methodical and productive manner a special action plan designed to prevent disasters and reduce their impact in order to heighten national resilience; systematize case management of disaster victims on a per-individual basis

4. Promoting a New Disaster Preparedness Model for Government Roles and Services



For Diet Members in Japan, Self-Imposed Reforms are Necessary

While fixing flaws in one parliamentary perquisite, Komeito aims to redress others



• Acting as a key agent between ruling coalition and opposition parties, Komeito was instrumental in successfully revising a law granting Diet members a monthly travel and communications allowance paid in full regardless of the actual amount spent; the revised law requires reimbursement on a per-day basis, but our party is also seeking to mandate disclosure of incurred expenses and repayment of unused allowance, among other reforms
• In addition, Komeito is playing a major role in requiring national legislators whose election was voided due to campaign and other illegalities, to return to the national treasury a portion of expenses, including year-end bonuses, they received during their term of office; another revision is to either halt or cancel remuneration to lawmakers who have been convicted of a criminal offense (retroactively applied for those unable to fulfill their parliamentary responsibilities during their incarceration period and later found guilty)
• Komeito has been equally instrumental in enacting the voluntary 20% reduction of parliamentarian salaries during the pandemic as part of the Diet’s “share the pain” stand with ordinary citizens; the salary cut will continue until Covid is no longer a significant threat to public health