POLICY FRAMEWORK

New Komeito to propose amendments

New Komeito said Sunday it will propose amendments to the Constitution, including environmental and privacy rights, at the party’s general meeting Nov. 2 while maintaining its three basic principles of popular sovereignty, respect for fundamental human rights, and renouncing war.

The coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the New Conservative Party will also call for injecting public funds into troubled financial institutions, saying in its policy proposals, “We will take every measure to counter deflation and a financial crisis while shoring up the economy.”

On an amendment to the Fundamental Law of Education, the proposals note that the party opposes the inclusion of nationalistic views in the law, adding that it is necessary to take time to consider the revision.

It will also propose lowering the voting age to 18.

On security and diplomatic policies, it will say that exercising collective self-defense clearly violates the Constitution, and also that it opposes military action without deep consideration, referring to an expected U.S. attack on Iraq.

It will also propose that Japan suspend rice support to North Korea until it confirms Pyongyang will talk with Tokyo in a sincere manner. and that the rice will be directly distributed to those who desperately need it.

Referring to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the party notes in its policy proposals that it has not successfully established a relationship of trust with him.

The party regrets Koizumi’s visits to the controversial war-related Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, saying, “We cannot curb the conservative shift in overall national policies.”