National / Politics

Ishihara's new party embraces 'neoconservative' policies

by Ayako Mie

Staff Writer

Jisedai no To, or the “Party For New Generations” established by conservative lawmakers including former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, unveiled its basic policies Thursday, including drafting a new Constitution and denying non-Japanese residents the right to vote in any election, national or local.

The policies were drafted along “neoconservatism” lines — what the party described as a mix of conservative security policies, stricter immigration laws and advocacy of traditional values on the one hand, and “liberalism” in economic areas on the other, such as pursuing regulatory reform.

The basic policy of the party, which broke away from Osaka-based Nipon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), is quite similar to the Liberal Democratic Party in terms of the Constitution and national security, which could give the ruling party a boost in pursuing its goals.

Jisedai no To said the new Constitution would encourage independence and “neoconservative” policies while “serving new generations.” The requirements for amending the current Constitution should also be eased, it said.

In addition to stating that only Japanese nationals should have the right to vote, the party calls for stricter standards for foreigners to obtain citizenship. It also backs the reinterpretation of the Constitution to permit Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

Jisedai no To was set up in June after 19 members of the Lower House and three from the Upper House bolted Nippon Ishin to support Ishihara’s call for the drafting of a new Constitution that does not renounce war.

Nippon Ishin co-leader Toru Hashimoto broke with Ishihara on this issue while Nippon Ishin and Yui no To (Unity Party) were discussing a merger.

Still, Jisedai no To’s platform overlaps with Nippon Ishin in some areas. For example both parties call for directly electing the prime minister and pursuing the “doshusei” regional administrative system.

Yet Jisedai no To supports nuclear power while advocating the pursuit of multiple energy sources to reduce dependence on atomic energy, while many Nippon Ishin members are on the fence about aggressively backing nuclear power.

Ishihara, a staunch proponent of nuclear energy, clashed with some members of Nippon Ishin when the party decided to oppose to an atomic energy agreement with Turkey.

Jisedai no To is scheduled to hold a leadership election next Thursday and to make its official debut on Aug. 1.

Interim leader Takeo Hiranuma is expected to win the election because Ishihara has said he will not seek the post.

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