FACTBOX-Major parties vying for Japan’s upper house election
Japan is holding an upper house election on Sunday that is key to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s bid to tighten control of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to allow him and his junior Komeito partner to make pass legislation. Here are the main facts about the major political parties in Japan. LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY Established: 1955 Website: jimin.jp/english/ Number of upper house seats up for re-election this time: 55 Number of upper house seats up for re-election in 2025: 56 The Conservative Party has been in power for almost since its founding, alone or in coalition, and has forged close ties with business and bureaucracy.
In the face of China’s maritime expansion and North Korea’s missile and nuclear development, the LDP aims to sharply increase defense spending, using NATO’s 2% target as a guide. gross interior devoted to defence. That would be a departure from the decades-old Japanese practice of keeping defense spending at around 1% of GDP, but public support for defense building is rising after Russia invaded Ukraine.
As opposition parties call for a 10% sales tax to be reduced or abolished to help the public cope with soaring food and energy prices, Kishida believes the tax should be maintained for support the aging country’s social security system. KOMEITO Established in: 1964 Website: komei.or.jp/en/ Number of upper house seats up for re-election this time: 14 Number of upper house seats up for re-election in 2025: 14 Supported by a secular Buddhist organization, the Soka Gakkai, the Komeito party, was a junior partner in LDP-led governments for 10 years until the ruling alliance’s election defeat in 2009. But he returned to power with the LDP in a election to the lower house in December 2012.
The Komeito is more moderate on security issues than the PLD and it proposes to include defense in an exclusively defensive security policy. The party seeks to promote the interests of the less well-off in matters of economic policy. CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF JAPAN (CDPJ) Established date: 2020 Website: CDP-japan.jp/english Number of upper house seats to be re-elected this time: 23 Number of upper house seats to be re-elected in 2025: 22 The centre-left The CDPJ is the largest opposition party in Japan. Its roots are in the Democratic Party of Japan, which defeated the LDP-Komeito alliance in 2009 and held power for three years.
As part of measures to respond to soaring prices, the party is calling for temporarily cutting the sales tax in half to 5% and offering 10,000 yen ($73) a month as a subsidy to tenants. It advocates investing 200 trillion yen in renewable energy and energy conservation by 2030 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% or more from 2013 levels. is more ambitious than the government’s target of reducing emissions by 46% by 2030.
In a poll by the Kyodo news agency, 28.3% of respondents said they would vote for the LDP in the July 10 proportional representation election, followed by the CDPJ’s 8.2% and the 7.2% of Komeito. JAPAN INNOVATION PARTY (JIP) Established: 2015 Website: o-ishin.jp/ (in Japanese only) Number of upper house seats to be re-elected this time: 6 Number of upper house seats to be re-elected in 2025: 9 left Reform Party saw its seats almost quadruple in lower house elections in October. He hopes to maintain this momentum during the vote in the upper house and to hound the CDPJ, his biggest rival in the opposition camp.
The PIJ joins the ruling LDP in calling for a big increase in defense spending and a constitutional review to make specific reference to the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), as Japan calls its military. The charter, if taken at face value, prohibits a standing army, prompting some scholars to question the legality of the SDF.
JAPANESE COMMUNIST PARTY (JCP) Established: 1922 Website: jcp.or.jp/english/ Number of seats in the upper house to be re-elected this time: 6 Number of seats in the upper house to be re-elected in 2025: 7 The political party with the longest history in Japan, the JCP celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
The party opposes the LDP’s plan to drastically increase defense spending and warns that military expansion would only invite an arms race in the region, which would escalate tensions. DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S PARTY (DPFP) Established date: 2020 Website: new-kokumin.jp/ (Japanese only) Number of upper house seats to be re-elected this time: 7 Number of upper house seats to be re-elected in 2025 : 5 Considering the development of human resources as the key to economic growth, the party calls for free education up to high school and the issuance of education bonds to double the budget for education, science and technology to 10 trillion yen per year. ($1 = 136.2900 yen)
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