• Kyodo


The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan aims to prevent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party from securing a majority in the Dec. 14 Lower House election, DPJ leader Banri Kaieda said Sunday.

The party, ousted from power in the 2012 election, will campaign on a platform raising middle-class incomes through the stabilization of employment, Kaieda said in an interview.

The DPJ will also call for policy measures to support people who work while raising children, he said.

On the prime minister’s move to dissolve the House of Representatives for a snap election halfway through its four-year term, Kaieda said, “He is trying to receive a blank check (to run the government) for the next four years, taking advantage of some leftover hopes for his economic policies,” dubbed “Abenomics.”

Referring to the LDP’s draft proposal of revising the Constitution in order to rename the Self-Defense Forces the National Defense Force, Kaieda expressed concern that the supreme law may be “revised for the worse” if the LDP wins the election.

In the election campaign, Kaieda said, “Opposition parties including Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party) need to cooperate to block the prime minister’s ambitions,” he said.

“There is a growing sense that the DPJ is perceived as being the only party that can confront the LDP government,” Kaieda said of the main opposition party, which held 54 seats in the Lower House that was dissolved Friday, compared with the LDP’s 294 seats.

But he stopped short of revealing what the DPJ will do if the LDP fails to secure a majority on its own. He also declined to comment on a possible realignment of opposition parties.

Abe has said he will resign if the ruling coalition of his LDP and Komeito fails to secure a majority, or 238 of the 475 seats in the powerful chamber, where the total will be reduced from 480 as part of an overhaul to address vote weight disparities.

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