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Saturday, May 15, 2010

LDP policy platform targets economy, DPJ

Staff writer

The Liberal Democratic Party revealed a draft Friday of its platform for the summer Upper House election, promising economic recovery and growth while vowing to end the mistakes of the Democratic Party of Japan-led government.

"Our role in the Upper House election is to stop the DPJ-led administration from continuing its abusive politics," said Shigeru Ishiba, chairman of the LDP Policy Research Council, during a news conference.

The LDP's policy platform calls for establishing a new Constitution, restoring fiscal health, including a consumption tax hike, and creating a social security system that would benefit the nation's increasingly aging population.

However, despite indicating in its manifesto that it plans to hike the consumption tax and use the money for social security costs, the LDP did not clarify when it would try to raise the levy, or by how much.

The platform also lacked specifics on the economic growth rate the party seeks. "Further debate will be needed before we can present concrete figures," Ishiba said.

Promise unkept

Kyodo News

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan in its platform for this summer's Upper House election may seek to reduce monthly child benefits from the amount it pledged for fiscal 2011 and beyond, a DPJ panel said Friday, reneging on a key vow that helped the party to win last year's general election and achieve a change of government.

In an effort to restore the nation's tattered finances, members of the DPJ manifesto planning panel also agreed the DPJ will seek to keep new debt issues in an initial budget for the next fiscal year below the ¥44.3 trillion planned for the current year, a DPJ lawmaker said.

But the panel's proposal is not final, as it has to receive the nod from another joint panel comprising higher-level members of the party and government officials, including Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

The panel also agreed Friday to consider cutting the amount of monthly child benefits in fiscal 2011 and beyond from ¥26,000 per child, the lawmaker said, breaking a vow the DPJ made before winning last year's Lower House election.

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The Japan Times

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