National / Politics

Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan sets out social welfare-focused election platform

Kyodo

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the nation’s main opposition party, on Monday unveiled a set of pledges for this summer’s Upper House election focused on improving the country’s social welfare system to help people receive medical and nursing care without having to worry about their finances.

The party said it will aim to create a society in which elderly people can feel secure even if they do not have a large amount of savings.

The platform for the election, likely to be held July 21, was released as the government has faced strong public criticism over its estimate that, under the country’s pension system, a retired couple will face a shortfall of ¥20 million if they live to be 95 years old.

The CDP, headed by Yukio Edano, said it will “strengthen the function of the minimum guaranteed pension” and introduce an upper limit on taxpayers’ combined medical and nursing care expenses.

The CDP also vowed to freeze the government’s plan to raise the consumption tax from 8 percent to 10 percent in October, but said it will review the current corporate tax rates to secure funds to finance new programs worth up to ¥2 trillion.

As for the Constitution’s war-renouncing Article 9, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to amend, the CDP has said it is against such a revision.

The Liberal Democratic Party, led by Abe, publicized its election platform, which has a strong emphasis on foreign and defense policies, earlier this month.

The six-year term for half the members of the House of Councilors will expire on July 28, with 124 of the chamber’s 245 seats up for grabs.

The CDP and other opposition parties, including the Democratic Party for the People and the Japanese Communist Party, have agreed to field one “unified” candidate in each of the total 32 single-seat constituencies to more effectively face off against ruling party candidates.