National / Politics

JCP releases campaign platform, vows to cancel consumption tax hike to 10%

Kyodo

The Japanese Communist Party has announced a set of campaign pledges for the Dec. 14 lower house election, promising to “cancel” the planned consumption tax hike and seek other ways to secure funds for social security.

The party also took aim at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” policy package of monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and a pro-growth reforms, saying it has caused the country’s income gap to widen and the economy to worsen.

As alternatives to raising the spending tax to 10 percent from the current 8 percent, it offered to increase taxes on the wealthy and big companies, and cut spending on wasteful public works projects. The party also reiterated its anti-nuclear stance.

The JCP expressed opposition to ongoing talks on a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that would create a free trade area among Pacific Rim countries, and to the secrecy law that will impose tougher penalties on leakers of state secrets as a way to bolster information protection. The law is set to take effect Dec. 10.

On other contentious issues, the opposition party said it would “retract” a Cabinet decision in July to reinterpret the pacifist Constitution to enable the use of the right to collective self-defense, and will unconditionally remove U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture.

Abe is promoting the relocation of the base to the Henoko district of Nago from a densely populated area in Ginowan, both in Okinawa, which hosts the bulk of U.S. military installations in Japan.

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