THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
September 8, 2021 at 17:56 JST
From left: Mizuho Fukushima of the Social Democratic Party, Kazuo Shii of the Japanese Communist Party, Yukio Edano of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and Taro Yamamoto of Reiwa Shinsengumi on Sept. 8 (Koichi Ueda)
The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and three other opposition parties have joined forces with an advocacy group to forge a united front in the Lower House election this fall.
It marks the first time the CDP will fight on a shared policy agenda in a Lower House election.
The four parties and the Civil Alliance for Peace and Constitutionalism inked a policy agreement together on Sept. 8.
The pact covers six areas: constitutionalism, measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, reducing economic disparities, transitioning to a decarbonized society, gender equality and government transparency.
In a signing ceremony held in the Diet, Yukio Edano, leader of the CDP, said it is time for a change in government by ousting the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
“Constitutionalism, democracy and people’s livelihoods were destroyed over the nine years” since the LDP took power, he said. “We will not be able to protect people’s livelihoods unless we upend the LDP.”
Edano said the problems with the LDP lie with the party’s structure and cannot simply be blamed on former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and current Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
The three other parties that signed onto the policy pact are the Japanese Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party and Reiwa Shinsengumi.
Kazuo Shii, chairman of the Japanese Communist Party, said the parties will join forces to carry out the policy they promised by becoming an alternative to the LDP.
Together, the signatories pledged to adhere to constitutionalist principles by abolishing “unconstitutional” clauses in the national security law, the specially designated secrets protection law and the anti-conspiracy law.
They also oppose constitutional revision floated by the LDP that would expand government control by exploiting confusion caused by the ongoing public health crisis.
The Civil Alliance for Peace and Constitutionalism was established by opponents of the national security law pushed by the Abe administration.
The signatories also vowed to make the tax system fairer to the public by cutting the consumption tax rate and forcing the wealthy to shoulder more of the tax burden.
They said they aim to steer the country toward becoming a decarbonized society while shutting down nuclear power plants.
They are also pledging to create a system that allows married couples to have separate surnames and launch new inquiries into a series of political scandals involving the LDP.
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