|The creation of a dynamic Japan. That is our vision.
Our goal is to create a highly safe and secure society with zero unemployment and zero crime, a political system that is fair and transparent, and strong government that protects the people's lives and property.
We pledge to pursue policies that will inspire trust and will restore Japan's self-confidence and pride.
Note: The numbers to the right of text printed in bold indicate the detailed sections of the manifesto from page 37 onwards.(section entitled "Our Promise to the People of Japan")
Based upon the three fundamental principles of the present Constitution - the sovereignty of the people, respect for basic human rights, and pacifism - we will engage in active deliberation on the Constitution in tune with the demands of the times, in particular the increasing diversity of basic human rights and the necessity for international cooperation.
The Constitution should not be seen as an immutable code of laws, and should not be reinterpreted conveniently to suit particular circumstances as they arise; the Constitution is the fundamental norm of the people and the state. Based firmly on that conviction we will initiate a national debate on the Constitution, obtaining a national consensus to move the focus from "Constitution-debating" to "Constitution-creating".
We will switch to economic policies directed at bringing about economic recovery that will lead to the creation of jobs and employment1-1. To achieve those ends it will also be essential to revise drastically the manner in which tax revenues are used, and to secure financial resources to enable sound economic policies to be implemented. It will be possible to secure financial resources1-3 by taking resolute steps to halt wasteful spending on public works.
Based on this we will switch the use of taxpayers' money to one that places emphasis on their daily lives and on the environment2-1(1). A symbolic objective will be the abolition of the Japan Highway Public Corporation and the making of most motorways toll-free2-1(2). In Europe and the United States, motorways are toll-free; it is normal. Why is Japan unable to do what those countries have done? Japan has become a country unable to do what is in the natural course of things elsewhere; a country where such things do not happen. The reason is that it has a structure in which tax monies are used wastefully. We will reform that structure and be resolute in changing the manner in which tax revenues are used.
That is exactly what structural reform is all about.
We will go beyond mere gestures by formulating a "5-year economic revival plan" and a "fiscal reconstruction plan1-4", using these as the basis for the revitalisation of the Japanese economy.
One means that will form part of our resolute measures to change the use of tax revenues will be to foster decentralization. By building a society in which local issues are addressed by the local people themselves, we will give material form to what is in the natural course of things.
However, in Japan it is very difficult to carry out what is in the natural course of things. In consequence, we describe this process as a "decentralization revolution3-1".
The reason why it is often impossible to do what is really only natural is the structure in which the centre controls and dominates the regions. The centre is crawling with venal politicians beholden to special interests, corrupt bureaucrats, and companies in collusion with them. This is symbolized by the grant system.
The root of all evil is the grant system, in which tax revenues collected from the people are allocated to the regions by bureaucrats acting as if those funds are entirely their own.
We will abolish the payment to the regions of ¥18 trillion in tied grants3-1(1), changing them to funds that local authorities can use at their own responsibility and discretion. In addition, we will limit the powers of central government ministries and agencies, and foster the establishment of local autonomy and participation in government by citizens3-1(2).
|Major Reform of Politics and the Bureaucracy
Using their budget powers, including over grants, venal politicians beholden to special interests and corrupt bureaucrats act in pursuit of their own interests. Although there are large numbers of government bureaucrats who are serious and right-minded, unfortunately there are also many who are not.
We will prohibit the giving of golden parachutes to retiring senior bureaucrats2-2, a practice that breeds self-interest and greed, and to trim the surplus fat off the government we will reduce the total personnel costs of the civil service2-2.
Venal politicians beholden to special interests and corrupt bureaucrats collude with profiteering private-sector companies seeking to derive dishonest gains. We will bring such relationships to light, and to stamp out dishonesty by politicians we will ensure full disclosure of political contributions by companies and organizations2-3(1).
In addition to reforming the useless aspects of the government bureaucracy, we will of course also reduce the number of Diet members2-3. Our immediate goal is to decrease by 80 the number of seats in the House of Representatives for members appointed in accordance with proportional representation.
We also intend to correct disparities in the value of a single vote2-3(2), a factor that prevents changes of administration that are the natural course of events in other countries. Without these disparities, changes of administration would have occurred long ago in Japan.
As part of our major reform of the political system and the bureaucracy, we will take steps to enable large numbers of ordinary citizens to participate in public policy and in the management of local-government bodies.
Policy issues are rapidly becoming more complex and sophisticated, and the speed of change is accelerating. As administrative organizations are staffed constantly by bureaucrats and officials alone, they are unable to keep up with conditions and needs in the real world, making it impossible to respond to people's needs, and in some cases leading to the conduct of administration of a kind that is markedly divorced from those needs.
In the Japan of the future the knowledge and skills of large numbers of people should be put to good use in the management of both the national and regional governments, including not only people with expert knowledge in private-sector companies and administrative organizations, but also people engaged in non-profit activities in non-profit organizations (NPOs).
For that purpose we will nurture the growth of NPOs by structuring an NPO taxation system3-5 through which 60% of NPOs will be able to benefit from preferential tax treatment.
|SMEs and Financing
The private-sector economy underpins the nation, and financing is the lifeline of the private-sector economy.
Financing is the equivalent of blood in humans; if it does not flow, their health suffers. Banks play the role of blood vessels, and the fact that at present these blood vessels are not doing their work properly presents a major problem for the Japanese economy.
The weakened functioning of the financial system has meant that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which constitute the foundation of the Japanese economy, are suffering badly. We will establish creditworthy banks1-2, so as to enable the blood to circulate adequately in the body.
Furthermore, we will revise existing measures to assist SMEs - measures that merely pay lip service to their supposed intent - and make a sevenfold increase in the budget for SMEs and commercial districts, as well as abolish the system whereby individuals act as guarantors for government loans3-2. With measures for SMEs currently accounting for only around 0.1% of the national budget, how can the government say it is devoting its efforts to these measures?
Instead of sham Post Office reform, we will conduct a genuine reform of the Post Office3-4 in a way that helps to enhance people's daily lives and to invigorate regional economies. The point of Post Office reform is to reform the structure in which postal savings and insurance funds are frittered away. We will study the creation of a new system in which those funds are used to assist regional economies and SMEs.
Agriculture is another cornerstone of the nation. As reflected in the term "food security", food policy is also an extremely important field from the standpoint of protecting the people's lives and livelihoods.
To date, more than ¥1 trillion of funds annually have been invested in this field, but farmers and people working in jobs related to agriculture are not of the opinion that Japan's food policy is working well. Why is that?
The reason is that the majority of the budgets nominally apportioned to food policy is in fact not used to facilitate the production of agricultural produce or to enhance the motivation of farmers to produce, but squandered on "agricultural civil engineering budgets" and the like. The budgets are in fact for construction and civil engineering works, for example for constructing unnecessary rural airports and for promoting the clearance of new farmland, while the government is at the same time enforcing acreage reductions. It is obvious from this that agricultural policy and food policy are inadequate. Our aim is to ensure that budgets are used in a way that helps to ensure stable supplies of food, and to increase self-sufficiency in food.
We will reduce agricultural and related subsidies disbursed through these agricultural civil engineering budgets, and create a system of direct assistance and direct payments that prevents waste3-3. We will respond seriously and honestly to any sincerely held wishes and requests that farmers express.
In addition, the ultimate objective of food policy is to assure the supply of safe foodstuffs to consumers, and we will pursue policies designed to make stringent checks on food safety5-1(4).
The size of the population of Japan will peak shortly, and finally enter an era of full-scale aging and decline in the birth rate. As the population declines, people will no longer need the same amount of land and space to live on and use. Notwithstanding this fact, the above-mentioned "agricultural civil engineering budgets" are formulated, and mountains and forests continue to be cleared, and beautiful rivers continue to be destroyed. We want to put a stop to this.
In order to bequeath a land of abundant greenery3-6 to future generations, we will replant 10 million hectares of forest over the next decade3-6(1). Since woodlands have very substantial water-retention capabilities, they will substitute for concrete dams being constructed in the name of irrigation and flood-control measures. In other words they will become "green dams3-6(1)", nurturing both nature and people.
In addition to creating these "green dams", we will pursue policies that are pro-environment and that bring about the restoration of our natural surroundings. We will double the budget for clean new energy sources such as wind power, solar power, and wave power, and endeavour to ensure more widespread use3-6(2) of low-pollution cars.
With respect to nuclear power as a transitional form of energy, the administration of nuclear power will be subjected to strict supervision5-1(5), first priority being given to safety.
|The Protection of Working People
Policies concerning spheres such as the economy, industry, and the environment are all formulated to enable you to enjoy an affluent and secure lifestyle. Meanwhile the foundations of everyday life are supported by the work that you do.
Our goal is to create a society in which everyone is able to work in safety. We will establish rules to ensure that everyone has work and due value is given to the work4-1(1). We will improve the treatment of part-time workers, and take steps to enhance childcare/nursing care leave systems4-1(2).
We will also give direct assistance to people who have the misfortune to lose their jobs or whose businesses fail. To assist such people when making a fresh start and to give some stability to their lives, we will improve skill-development and training schemes and pay them an allowance of ¥100,000 per month4-1(3), and will also reduce medical insurance premiums.
|Human Rights, Law and Order
Guaranteeing the human rights and safety of every citizen is a major premise for the realization of a society in which citizens can live in tranquility.
From that perspective we will create a society in which human rights are respected4-4. We will enact legislation to eliminate discrimination4-4(1) and will consider revising the present legal system4-4(2), including the Wire-Tapping Law, the Basic Residential Register Network System Law, and the Law Concerning the Protection of Personal Information, under which there is the risk of the infringement of human rights by the power of the state.
We will also devote attention to protecting the socially disadvantaged. We will foster greater use of subtitles in television broadcasts4-4(3), and enable foreign nationals who so desire to be included in resident registration4-4(4). The type of Japan that we are aiming for is a society of coexistence and mutual prosperity in which the human rights of the individual are safeguarded.
In addition, we will deal severely with crime, making the country a safe place to live in once again. We will raise the arrest ratio by increasing the number of police officers by 30,0005-2(1), institute a system of life sentences without parole5-2(2), and stiffen other penalties for serious crimes. We will also strengthen the Domestic Violence Prevention Law5-2(3).
We will devote our full energies to the creation of a society in which no citizen falls victim to crime or abuse, and those that do are protected.
|National Security and Foreign Affairs
To protect the lives and property of all citizens, we will devote attention to strengthening our national security and foreign policy as part of efforts to protect world peace centred on the United Nations5-3.
To shape trustworthy foreign policy and build a system of national security that will protect the people of Japan, we will seek both to pursue independent diplomacy and to enhance the functions of the United Nations5-3(1). We will also not fail to attend to the improvement of Japan's own defence capabilities5-3(7).
We will also devote ourselves to the resolution of the abduction issue5-3(2), and address directly the problems relating to the revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement5-3(4), including the strengthening of measures to deal with crimes.
We will not dispatch members of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq, where armed conflict is continuing, and will review the Special Measures Law for Iraq, including its repeal5-3(3). We will actively extend humanitarian and reconstruction aid to the suffering people of Iraq, for example, in the medical-care, education, and economic spheres. Once the people of Iraq have established their own government and a resolution has been adopted by the Security Council at that government's request, Japan will - at its own discretion and within the scope permitted by its Constitution - provide assistance by easing the criteria for participation in peace-keeping operations and peace-keeping forces, including through the use of the Self-Defense Forces.
In addition, in order to put diplomacy back into the hands of the people, we will reform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and will increase to 20% the ratio of appointments of people who are not professional diplomats to ambassadorial and other diplomatic posts5-3(5). We will recruit suitable people from all walks of life to serve as diplomats.
By enacting a basic law on environmental preservation and engaging vigorously in environment-related diplomacy5-3(6), we will aim to be regarded worldwide as a leading power in the sphere of the environment.