• Kyodo

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The Democratic Party of Japan said Monday it plans to pledge a ban on “amakudari” jobs received by senior bureaucrats for five years after they leave their government posts, along with a 10 percent cut in official development aid.

The main opposition party unveiled these proposals in conjunction with 25 other commitments it plans to include in its policy platform for the next House of Representatives election, expected in the fall.

The 27 new pledges were tabled during a DPJ workshop for local assembly members at this hot-spring resort.

The party wants to compile a final version of the manifesto after the Sept. 20 presidential election of the Liberal Democratic Party, Yukio Edano, chairman of the DPJ Policy Research Committee, told the workshop.

“We will include only those we can promise the public 100 percent that we can realize (should we take power from the current governing coalition),” Edano said.

The DPJ aims to eradicate dubious ties between the government and the private sector by banning senior bureaucrats from receiving amakudari jobs at government affiliates and other entities.

The term amakudari literally means “descent from heaven.”

The party will fill 30 percent of these ambassadorial posts, mostly occupied at present by Foreign Ministry bureaucrats, with politicians, scholars and other private-sector individuals.

Regarding ODA, the DPJ will seek to cut the annual government budget by 10 percent, with the main focus on addressing poverty and human rights measures.

The DPJ will also promise to improve domestic security measures by increasing the number of local police officers by 20,000 over a four-year period beginning in 2004, and by moving 10,000 police officers to criminal divisions from security and traffic divisions.

The DPJ will also look to limit the number of political party chapters that can receive corporate donations to 1,700 per party.