Factbox-Main parties contesting the Japanese lower house ballot

FILE PHOTO: Newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is applauded after being chosen as the new Prime Minister, at the Lower House of Parliament in Tokyo, Japan, October 4, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon reuters_tickers

This content was published on October 7, 2021 – 11:36

By Kiyoshi Takenaka

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida this week set 31 October as the date for national elections for the lower house of parliament.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior coalition partner currently hold a majority of nearly two-thirds of the House’s 465 seats, and Kishida hopes they will retain a majority.

Here are the highlights on the major political parties in Japan.

DEMOCRATIC LIBERAL PARTY

Creation date: 1955

Website: https://www.jimin.jp/english

Number of seats in the Lower House currently occupied: 274

The LDP has maintained close ties with business and bureaucracy, and has been in power almost continuously since its formation, apart from a three-year hiatus between 2009-2012.

Under Shinzo Abe’s leadership, the PLD regained its status as a governing party in 2012.

Abe led the PLD to three victories in the lower house elections and thus became the longest-serving Japanese prime minister. He resigned last year for poor health.

Under his “Abenomics” stimulus policies, stock prices and corporate profits exploded, but household wealth declined as companies hesitated to raise wages.

While pursuing economic growth, Kishida has made closing the wealth gap part of his agenda.

The LDP proposes to revise the pacifist constitution drafted by the United States in four areas, notably by enshrining the role of the Self-Defense Forces.

Despite all the lingering anxiety over nuclear power plants since the Fukushima disaster in 2011, Kishida believes nuclear power should remain an option for Japan to ensure stable and affordable electricity.

KOMEITO

Creation date: 1964

Website: https://www.komei.or.jp/en

Number of seats in the Lower House currently occupied: 29

The Komeito, founded by members of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist sect, was a junior partner of the LDP-led governments for 10 years until the ruling alliance was defeated in the 2009 election. But it returned to power with the PLD during the December 2012 elections.

The Komeito is more moderate on security issues than the LDP. In terms of economic policy, the party seeks to defend the interests of the less well-off citizens. Last year, Komeito continued a program to donate 100,000 yen ($ 896) per citizen to help them cope with the pandemic.

CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF JAPAN (CDPJ)

Date of creation: 2020

Website: https://cdp-japan.jp/english

Number of seats in the Lower House currently occupied: 110

The center-left CDPJ is the largest opposition party in Japan. Although it was only formed last year, the roots of the CDPJ lie in the Democratic Party of Japan, which succeeded in defeating the LDP-Komeito alliance in 2009, and held power for three years. .

The party advocates halving the sales tax to 5% temporarily, to cushion the blow of the pandemic.

Its policies on climate change are more ambitious than those of the PLD. The CDPJ has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% or more from 2013 levels by 2030, compared to the government’s target of a 46% reduction.

A daily Asahi poll showed Wednesday that 13% of those polled plan to vote for the CDPJ in the next election, far behind the LDP’s 41%.

JAPANESE COMMUNIST PARTY (JCP)

Creation date: 1922

Website: https://www.jcp.or.jp/english

Number of lower chambers currently held: 12

Starting with a history of nearly a century, the JCP calls for doubling the number of hospital beds for patients with infectious diseases to better fight the pandemic, and for the rich and big business to support more the tax burden.

JAPAN INNOVATION PARTY (JIP)

Creation date: 2015

Website: https://o-ishin.jp (only in Japanese)

Number of lower chambers currently held: 10

The PIJ calls for deregulation, tax cuts and decentralization of power to help trigger growth. He favors constitutional revisions and was seen as a possible ally for the LDP’s efforts to revise the charter.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY FOR THE PEOPLE (DPFP)

Creation date: 2000

Website: https://new-kokumin.jp (only in Japanese)

Number of seats in the Lower House currently occupied: 8

The party is calling for a stimulus package worth 50 trillion yen to support those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. He sees nuclear power as an important option for Japan, until alternative energy sources are firmly established.

OTHERS

Among the other small parties, one of the most interesting is the regional Tokyo Citizens First party, formed by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. He said earlier this month he would start a national party and contest the lower house elections.

($ 1 = 111.5700 yen)

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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