The Daily Manila Shimbun


2 DP leadership candidates highlight key policies

August 22, 2017

TOKYO- The two candidates in the main Japanese opposition Democratic Party's leadership election discussed key issues at a public debate held on Tuesday.

"I'll present an alternative option to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party," former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said at the outset of the debate at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo. "I'll create a new bottom-up model for economic growth," he stressed.

Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano emphasized, "Current distortions in the country's political world should be corrected as soon as possible by rebuilding the DP."

The debate was held the day after the start of the official campaign period for the Sept. 1 DP leadership election.

Maehara and Edano are at odds over the DP's election cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party.

Maehara said Monday, "It doesn't make sense to work with political parties having ideals and policies that are different to ours," indicating that he aims to review the DP's relations with JCP if he wins the leadership race.

Meanwhile, Edano said, "I'll do all I can while maintaining the DP's independence," suggesting his stance of keeping the DP-JCP cooperation.

Both candidates are in agreement on the need to improve social security services in the country. With this in mind, Maehara has sounded positive about raising the consumption tax, while Edano has called for a hike in the tax to be deferred for the time being.

The DP race is for selecting a successor to Renho, who announced her resignation as DP president last month following the party's setback in the July 2 Tokyo metropolitan assembly election. Jiji Press