National / Politics

Yuriko Koike criticizes Abenomics at meeting of group seeking to launch new party

JIJI

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Abenomics economic policy mix on Saturday, saying it has failed to meet expectations and inspire confidence.

Abenomics “has not produced an actual feeling of growth or led to hope,” Koike said at the first lecture event of the Kishojuku political school, launched by Masaru Wakasa, a member of the House of Representatives and a close aide to the governor.

“We need to proceed from a new perspective rather than depending on politics constrained by many ties,” Koike said, while expressing support for a one-house parliamentary system proposed by Wakasa. The lawmaker from Tokyo’s No. 10 district has suggested the change as a basic policy for the new national political party he aims to form by the end of this year.

“The people can have hope if this school serves as the base for a movement to seek a public judgment on constitutional amendments from a different perspective, instead of discussing whether to add a third clause to the Constitution’s Article 9,” Koike said in reference to Abe’s proposal to add a third provision to the war-renouncing Article 9 to clarify the rationale for the existence of the Self-Defense Forces.

“It would be impossible for Japan to paint a picture of a hopeful future 30 years from now without fully getting rid of politics bound by entrenched interests,” Wakasa said in his opening remarks.

Koike “will advise the national political party I plan to establish,” Wakasa told reporters later.

He also revealed plans to choose candidates from the school for the next Lower House election.

Saturday’s event was attended by some 200 people, including at least five former national lawmakers, according to Wakasa.

The school will hold a similar meeting every month through February.

Wakasa suggested that former Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, who left the main opposition Democratic Party last month, may be invited to one of the lectures. Wakasa is working with Hosono in efforts to set up the new party.