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DPJ, allies team up with new promises

Date Posted: 2009-08-22

The Democratic Party of Japan, the taste of victory clearly on its tongue, is aligning itself with other political parties to make promises of more money and free services for citizens in its quest to win.

The DPJ, Social Democratic Party and Kokumin Shinto, the People’s New Party, are planning promotions to make sure they’re getting through to voters new programs to increase disposable income while at the same time transforming the economy from an export-driven machine to one focused on domestic demand. The parties will call for new monthly child allowances aimed at young families with small children, including construction of additional child care facilities. The opposition parties also want to bring back extra benefits programs for single-mom families that rely on welfare.

Expressways free of tolls is another announced political objective of the DPJ. The DPJ’s political manifesto now promises to eliminate tolls if elected. The DPJ contends that since the Japan Highway Public Corporation was privatized in 2005, and is now an independent administrative agency, the corporation’s debts can be abolished and the expressways declared state-owned. The debts now total ¥37 trillion, of which ¥31 trillion would be returned to prefecture governments.

Farm subsidies are also being included in the DPJ platform. The opposition party is looking for ways to garner more public support and attention as it challenges the LDP. The DPJ platform seeks new laws to block financial institutions from reducing loans to small businesses, or bailing out of existing small business loans. The DPJ and its two new allies have also chosen a platform that abolishes the present ¥220 billion limit on social security outlays growth. Another key platform point is promising to ban temporary workers from going into the manufacturing industry, where they’d take jobs from established regular workers.

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