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Fringe party promises ‘basic income’ for all

Date Posted: 2009-08-20

A four-year-old opposition party originally formed by disgruntled Liberal Democratic Party politicians is now promising citizens guaranteed monthly ‘basic income’ as part of its campaign platform.

The New Party Nippon this week unveiled its programs, focusing on the nation’s rapidly aging population and declining birthrate. The party’s president, former Nagano governor Yasuo Tanaka, says “what’s important for Japan now is not growth, but the maturing of the economy and society.” He maintains the party platform is committed to “eradication of collusive ties between politicians and bureaucrats” while promoting more regional employment opportunities and rehabilitation of the entire manufacturing industry.

Tanaka’s New Party Nippon has built its foundation on urban voters, while another small new party, the Kokumin Shinto, the People’s New Party, zeroed in on the rural communities as its base. The Kokumin Shinto was also spawned by LDP postal reformers, but they’ve aligned themselves with the Democratic Party of Japan, and will likely be a coalition partner if the LDP fails to retain power.

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