Candidates mainly say no to TPP

Kyodo

Nearly two-thirds of the prospective candidates in the Dec. 16 general election oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade accord, which seeks the elimination in principle of all tariffs, and 40.3 percent want to abolish nuclear power soon, a survey says.

While 63.2 percent of the respondents oppose Japan’s participation in the TPP talks, 30.8 percent said they support it.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan backs participation, but 27.0 percent running on the DPJ ticket said they oppose it and 56.5 percent back it.

Those opposed account for 82.7 percent of the Liberal Democratic Party’s candidates, 96.9 percent in Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) and 65.7 percent in New Komeito.

Kyodo News distributed questionnaires to 1,304 people who were expected to run in the Lower House election as of Nov. 26 and received valid responses from 1,193 by Sunday.

Of the respondents, 230 plan to run for the DPJ, 276 for the LDP, 65 for Nippon Mirai, 35 for New Komeito, 100 for Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), 311 for the Japanese Communist Party, 62 for Your Party, 30 for the Social Democratic Party, six for New Party Daichi, two for Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party), one for New Party Nippon and 56 for other parties. The remaining 19 will run as independents.

On energy, 40.9 percent said Japan should end nuclear power gradually by increasing the use of renewable energy in the nation’s energy mix. Only 8.7 percent said either that Japan should not accelerate efforts to drop nuclear power or that Japan should stick to its previous plans to build new reactors.