The Democratic Party of Japan announced Thursday its 15-pillar election pledge that includes increasing income tax — a move that has previously won support from Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa.
“The party is determined to increase income tax to give a message that it is the DPJ that is really thinking about Japan’s future,” DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama told a news conference. “The government has to stop putting money into unnecessary public works projects to stimulate the economy.”
Miyazawa expressed his support for the plan to raise taxes on a television talk show on Sunday.
With the increased taxation, the party will raise child benefits and cut taxes for those with housing loan repayments, Hatoyama said.
To promote decentralization, the DPJ will reorganize 47 prefectures into about 10 states and 1,000 cities and grant more power to local governments, the pledge said.
The party will also give more power to prime ministers and consider introducing a system to elect the nation’s leader by popular vote.
“Prime ministers need more power to speed up various reforms,” Hatoyama said. “And it is necessary to introduce the popular vote system to elect prime ministers to demonstrate leadership.”
The party will announce about 100 policies it will implement in order to realize its election pledges later in the month, Hatoyama said.