I The Constitution
We will uphold the basic principles of the Constitution that protect people’s lives, livelihoods and preserve peace
By ensuring that all laws are based on the four fundamental principles of the sovereignty of the people, respect for basic human rights, pacifism and international cooperation, the Constitution has made a major contribution to protecting individual citizens lives and livelihoods and to maintaining peace. The basic principles of the Constitution have a universal value we should strive to protect. However, while maintaining the fundamental philosophy and principles of the Constitution, we can, if we can build consensus among the people, partially modify or add to the Constitution in response to the demands of the times with regard to matters such as citizen’s rights, participation in United Nations peacekeeping activities, the Diet, the relationship between the central and local government, and how Japan responds to national emergencies.
1.Upholding Article 96, the current procedures for amending the Constitution
-We will uphold the current regulations amending the Constitution (Article 96) based on the principle that the Constitution should not easily permit changes to the four basic principles grounded in the sovereignty of the people (the Constitution should remain a hard Constitution)
2. Newly establishing human rights regulations
-We will include new constitutional provisions to clarify the right to privacy and the people’s right to know.
-We will add the state’s obligation to protect the framework of the Constitution.
3. Exercising the Self-Defense rights under the principles of pacifism
-We will uphold the current constitutional provisions that base the right to self-defense and the exercising of the Self-Defense rights on the principle of pacifism (Article 9).
4. Active participation in United Nations Peacekeeping Activities
-We will add constitutional provisions that provide a rationale for the Self-Defense Forces’ participation in United Nations peacekeeping activities. These provisions would state that participation in United Nations peacekeeping activities should be in order to contribute actively to world peace.
5. Strengthening the ability of the Diet to oversee the actions of government
-We will reform the Board of Audit of Japan and re-position it as an organization attached to the Diet. In order to make governmental oversight of civil service organizations even more effective, we will strengthen the democratic administrative oversight functions of the Diet through regulations on the right of minority parties in the Diet to conduct investigations.
6. Clarifying state government and regional government authority
-In order to allow local authorities to make their own decisions and take responsibility for planning and executing the policies they truly require, we will establish clear constitutional provisions on the role of the regions and distribution of authority, including restricting the role of state to core matters that affect the nation.
7. Preparing legal regulations for national emergencies
-In order to promote rapid and effective action in the face of national
emergencies, we will provide constitutional provisions supporting the cabinet’s
right to declare a state of emergency and provisions for ensuring that
Democratic control is upheld during other emergency situations.
II Government Finances / Diet
Creating a Society Led by the Regions
As symbolized by the delay in reconstruction following the Great East Japan
Earthquake, a centralized system of government in which everything is decided by
the state and forced onto the regions prevents citizens from having their voices
People’s Life Party will restrict the role of central government to diplomacy, defense
and crisis management, devolving significant authority and financial resources to
the regions in order to create regional-authority led societies in which financial
resources can be secured without raising taxes.
1.A major shift away from centralized power towards a regionally devolved nation
-We will restrict the role of central government to diplomacy, defense, the judiciary, crisis management, maintaining security, providing fundamental social infrastructure, protecting the global environment and other core state functions.
-We will reform government assistance to allow other functions to be conducted by local authorities, creating a local authority-led society in which regional governments can make decisions appropriate for their own communities. This new system will allow Diet politicians and government civil servants to focus on core national issues.
-We will establish a new, comprehensive law and governmental organizations to allow the reorganization of central government ministries and agencies by cabinet resolution, without passing separate laws for the establishment of each ministry. We will also introduce the political appointment of key civil servants.
2.Establishing the right to overwrite laws with ordinances
-We will introduce a new system allowing local authorities to use their own ordinances to make special exceptions to national laws (the right to overwrite with ordinances)
3.Reducing wastage through the payment of a unified regional subsidy
-As a general rule, all state government subsidies and payments for implementing national policies will be replaced with a single, unified subsidy payment that can be used freely by local authorities. As well as allowing local authorities to enact projects appropriate to local circumstances, the new system will also reduce administrative expenses incurred in administering subsidies, leading to an improvement in national government finances.
4.Freezing the consumption tax rise
-As consumption tax rises prevent economic recovery and adversely affect people’s livelihoods, we will immediately abolish the law to increase consumption tax and freeze further consumption tax rises. In addition to correcting the defects in the current administration of consumption tax, which results in companies incurring tax gains or tax losses depending on their industry and business type, we will investigate new possibilities for a tax system that ensures both social fairness and economic freedom.
5.Securing financial resources through changing the budget and reforming the special account
-By reorganizing budget categories and comprehensively reforming accounts including the special account, we will ensure these financial resources are harnessed for the improvement of citizens’ lives such as for the provision of more comprehensive social security and public services.
-We will eliminate waste and vested interests by abolishing the laws that allow the creation of special government-related organizations such as special corporations and independent administrative corporations. The work currently done by these organizations will be divided appropriately between the public and private sector.
6.Banning the practice of “descent from heaven” and appropriately harnessing the talents of civil servants
-We will ban the practice of “descent from heaven” (bureaucrats taking lucrative posts in companies and organizations they previously had responsibility for overseeing during their career) by prohibiting civil servants from accepting reemployment with such organizations. At the same time, we will provide for the continued employment of civil servants until retirement age under appropriate conditions and also harness the expertise of retired civil servants in a completely different manner from the current system of maintaining privilege and vested interests.
7.Automatically adjusting for differences in the power of one vote
-To address the issue of the varying power of one vote (caused by significant population differences in political constituencies with the same number of representatives), we will demand that constituencies are drawn to correspond to populations and establish a new system for automatically adjusting constituencies every five years on the basis of the national census results.
Increasing National Income and Creating an Affluent Society
Through a regional economic new deal policy, growth strategies enacted from the standpoint of consumers, and through the optimization of systems for wealth distribution, we will stimulate regional economies and increase disposable household income (the money available in each household for discretionary spending) by 50% over the next 10 years, promoting internal demand and revitalizing the economy. We will invest actively in fields with projected future growth, such as energy,
medicine, welfare, forestry, fishing, and agriculture, creating and expanding employment opportunities.
People’s Life Party believes firmly that we cannot improve the livelihoods of our citizens without rebuilding from the Great East Japan Earthquake. We will prioritize
the acceleration of disaster recovery.
1.Increasing disposable income by 50%
-We will implement new tax systems that make it easier for corporations to raise wages. We will emphasize policies that produce actual economic benefits for small- and medium-sized corporations, consumers and Japan’s regions. We consider wealth redistribution to be a growth strategy, and will provide continual subsidies, such as
child benefit, guaranteed minimum pensions, and free high-school education, on an appropriate scale to expand the middle class. In addition to enacting policies to promote a good work-life balance (including measures to encourage workers to take holiday entitlements which will boost consumption), we will also consider implementing methods of returning income to taxpayers through consumption tax-based systems.
-We will implement fiscal spending on an appropriate scale to continually bridge the supply-demand gap. We will enact a basic law on implementing investment in public works according to prescribed standards, procedures and other matters, and ensure that public investment is carried out appropriately.
-We will achieve appropriate financing not only through increased tax revenue from economic growth but also from governmental reform, including the complete revision of the special account, administering fiscal reform, local authority reform and the establishment of the tax systems.
2.Promoting a new deal for regional economies
-We will take measures to ensure that local authorities can, at their own discretion, freely use a significant proportion of government spending on the next-generation of public investments projects truly required by each region.
-In particular, we will allow local authorities to use their own initiative in preparing for possible future earthquakes and to protect people’s livelihoods through “hard” and “soft” infrastructure initiatives to prevent and reduce the impact of disaster.
3.Comprehensive reforms to reduce highway tolls and electricity costs
-We will work to reduce the cost of delivering goods by switching the system of distance-dependent highway tolls to an inexpensive, flat-rate system. We will also implement comprehensive reform of the electricity supply to encourage competition and reduce electricity charges.
4. Reduced taxation on mortgages, support for the development of “smart
houses” and robust, energy-conserving homes
-We will reduce the burden on homebuyers through tax relief on mortgages, reducing the tax burden at the time of purchase, and through introducing subsidies.
-In addition to promoting the construction of “smart houses” by promoting the combination of “solar cells + fuel cells + rechargeable cells”, we will promote the construction of robust, energy-conserving housing stock, built from a consumer’s perspective, with a barrier-free environmental design, long-term durability and a good living environment.
5.Measures to support and revitalize small- and medium-sized businesses
-Through measures to expand financial support available for small- and medium-sized corporations and new tax systems, we will create an environment in which it is easier to enter new business fields and integrate and reorganize existing businesses. We will also enact active policies to promote private-sector investment (including tax reductions for capital investment and accelerated depreciation).
-We will abolish the system of requiring private individuals to serve as guarantors for loans from financial institutions to small and medium-size businesses, and review the current joint guarantor system,
6.Accelerating recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake
-With awareness that recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake is one of our most important policy issues, we will construct fiscal support systems with a high degree of freedom allowing local authorities to respond to the needs of the communities at each stage of reconstruction. In addition, in those regions where it is impossible to create a safe living environment through decontamination, we will switch to basic policy of relocation and help relocate the people rebuild their lives with appropriate economic compensation.
7.Opposing the TPP and promoting economic partnerships in Japan’s national interest
-We oppose joining the TPP as it is not simply a free trade agreement but a comprehensive agreement that would significantly change the fabric of Japanese society. People’s Life Party’s policy is to take active steps towards free trade agreements and economic partnership agreements including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and free trade agreements with China and South Korea.
IV Energy and the Environment
Creating a Sustainable Society Through a Nation that Leads the Way in New Energy Sources
Through a major shift in energy policy, we will abolish all nuclear power generation in Japan within 10 years. In order to achieve this, the abolishment of nuclear power will be accompanied by the development of the Japanese economy and the expansion of the employment market through the promotion of growth strategies based on policies including a new energy revolution in Japan to harness resources such as methane hydrate, the adoption of Japanese energy-conserving technology and the promotion of sustainable energy, the promotion of highly efficient natural gas combined cycle power stations, and the encouragement of systems of local power generation and local power consumption.
1.Completely abandoning the restart and new construction of nuclear power stations
-People’s Life Party will not permit any nuclear power station re-operation or construction. We promise to completely abolish nuclear power by 2022 at the latest. We will also completely scrap the fast-breeder reactor and nuclear fuel cycle programs. We will allocate surplus equipment and personnel to the research and development of safe, reliable methods of reactor decommissioning and methods of reducing the toxicity of radioactive waste.
2.Establishing three principles for abolishing nuclear power
-We will establish three new laws to govern the electric power industry (the three laws for the abolishment of nuclear power), namely the law to promote the safe decommissioning of reactors, a special measures law to determine appropriate measures for dealing with the problem of used fuel rods, and a special measures law to promote the abolition of nuclear power, which will set out the concrete measures required to achieve this goal. These laws will also clarify measures to be taken by the state and the state’s responsibility.
3.Early abolition of nuclear power through promoting measures including advanced thermal power generation
-In addition to confirming that natural gas combined cycle power stations and the most recent advanced coal-fired power stations can serve as immediate replacements for nuclear power and promoting their use to achieve the complete abolishment of nuclear power, we will also export Japan’s knowledge of these plants and technology in overseas markets.
4.Creating a resource-rich state through the promotion of new sources of sustainable energy and undersea energy resources
-In order to completely abolish nuclear power within 10 years and stability of Japan’s energy supply over the medium- and long-term, we will invest actively in the development and adoption of alternative energy sources, principally solar power, wind power, biomass power, geothermal power, hydroelectric power, and new sources of energy including undersea resources in addition to energy-saving technologies such as smart electronics, fuel cells and rechargeable cells.
-We will promote the surveying, development and commercialization of undersea resources, including methane hydrate, in the waters surrounding Japan, and aim to ensure that following the shale gas revolution, Japan is one of the world’s leading resource-rich countries.
5.Creating a society with decentralized energy systems through the separation of power generation and power transmission
-We will comprehensively reform electricity power supply systems by separating power generation and power transmission and completely eliminating regional monopolies on electricity power supply. These measures will promote fair competition and create a society with distributed regional power networks in which regions have authority over their own energy supply, while also leading to lower electricity charges.
6.Implementing thorough, government-led measures to decontaminate irradiated areas
-We will have the government take the lead in resolving the ongoing situation at the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plant, and implement measures to combat radioactivity. We will also take action to ensure the health of power station workers. In addition, we will provide blood tests, urine tests and other tests for the children of Fukushima to monitor their exposure to radioactivity.
-In addition to promoting measures to ensure that radiation from the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plant is kept under control, we will also prevent the spread of contaminated water through seepage from the area surrounding the power plant and prevent the underground spread of highly contaminated materials through measures such as the construction of an impermeable underground wall.
-Tiles and other waste products that may be contaminated with radioactivity will be disposed of under the responsibility of the central government following the principles of contamination prevention in order to ensure that radioactivity does not spread.
V Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Upholding Public Confidence in a Safe Food Supply While Protecting Individual Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Operators
To improve Japan’s food security, we will aim to achieve a high level of food self-sufficiency, steadfastly oppose the TPP, and actively invest in the regeneration of industrial, forestry and fisheries industries.
By providing legal frameworks for, and ensuring the stability of, systems of subsidies for individual farming households, promoting agriculture as the sixth agricultural sector, introducing sustainable power generation in a way that harmonizes with existing agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries, promoting the timber industry and encouraging direct payments to farming, forestry and fisheries businesses, we will aim to maintain and develop stable agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries that remain grounded in local communities while meeting the needs of individual agriculture, forestry and fisheries operators.
1.Aiming to achieve food self-sufficiency
-From the perspective of food security, we aim to achieve food self-sufficiency rates of 50% on a calorie basis and 70% on a production value basis as rapidly as possible. For staple foods, particularly cereals, we will aim to achieve a future rate of 100%.
2.Ensuring food safety
-We will expand labels indicating the origin of ingredients and ensure compulsory labeling of foods such as genetically-modified foods. We will also introduce stronger and more comprehensive inspection for imported foods and quarantine procedures for imported plants and animals.
3.Implementing legal frameworks for systems of subsidies for individual farming households
-From the perspective of growing global food insufficiency and Japan’s own food security, we will establish a legal framework and ensure the stable implementation of subsidy systems for individual farming households, guaranteeing the sustainability of the agriculture industry.
4.Promoting the development of agriculture as the sixth industry sector
-We will promote measures to increase overall income including not only agricultural and fisheries production and processing but also wholesaling and distribution. We will increase employment in the regions and establish a recycling-based / low-environmental-load society based on coexistence with nature.
-We will support local regions in creating their own unique “flagship” products. We will support urban agriculture. We will promote green tourism, including education, medical practice and nursing.
-We will promote domestic production of raw ingredients for traditional Japanese medicines (kampo) and promote the study of traditional medicines and traditional medical practice, fields in which Japan can take great pride, both in Japan and overseas.
5.Supporting agricultural, forestry and fisheries businesses wishing to enter the sustainable energy industry
-We will promote the introduction of sustainable energy, biomass and small-scale hydroelectric power generation in ways that harmonize with the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries, while re-energizing these industries and encouraging the expansion of direct payments to agriculture, forestry and fisheries businesses.
6.Promoting reform of agricultural cooperatives
-In order to ensure that members of agricultural, forestry and fisheries cooperatives receive benefits from their membership, we will appropriately review how such cooperatives are run. These reforms will place an emphasis on support for management, logistics and sales while also taking into account the need for transparency in the management of agricultural and fisheries cooperatives, to appropriately reflect the interests of members, and to achieve comprehensive, integrated business management.
7.Promoting sustainable forestry and fisheries
-We will promote integrated improvements throughout the forestry industry including upstream processes (actual forestry sites), mid-stream processes (including the production of timber and storage) and downstream processes (purchase of timber products through outlets such as hardware stores).
-We will promote sustainable fishing based on the principles of resource assessment and control. We will provide support for freshwater fish farms and other aquaculture businesses.
VI Social Insurance and Employment
Creating a Society based on Mutual Aid and Cooperation without Income Disparity
Through mutual support between the generations, we will build reliable, stable social security systems that allow individuals to plan their futures and that protect the lives and livelihoods of each individual citizen. We will widen the scope of salary raises from just a limited range of workers to all workers, including irregular workers, increasing workers’ disposable income. We will remove anxiety over employment, the foundation of people’s livelihoods, and revitalize regional economies.
1.Creating an employment safety net
-We will encourage the transformation of contract workers into regular workers and a work environment that allows people to maintain jobs for life. We will take particularly rapid action on the pressing issue of increasing the number of young regular workers.
-We will achieve a fair balance in the treatment of people in the same workplace performing the same tasks and promote a good work-life balance through measures including the promotion of work-sharing. We will also promote the employment of healthy senior citizens who wish to carry on working.
2.Preventing the relaxation of restrictions on employment termination
-To protect workers, we will prevent the deregulation of labor laws that make it easier for companies to terminate jobs and treat workers as a disposable commodity.
3.Strengthening anti-poverty measures
-We will provide support for families struggling in poverty, focusing particularly on young infants and elementary school-age children, strengthening policies to break the cycle of poverty.
-We will eliminate the “poverty business” such as the provision of excessive medical services to people on welfare. We will also create appropriate welfare systems through stronger support for employment and the appropriate placement of case workers.
4.Integrating the pension system
-By creating a tax-funded minimum pension and social insurance-based income-dependent pension, we will integrate Japan’s various pension systems.
-We will review social insurance systems and conduct fair and balanced income redistribution in order to provide appropriate support for poor and low income people. We will also consider introducing a “basic income” system.
5.Establishing a basic law for medical treatment in Japan’s regions
-We will clarify the basic principles for the provision of medicine in Japan’s regions including appropriate placement of physicians through government intervention, and also implement a basic law for medicine in the regions which would establish comprehensive medical policies for rural regions.
6.Providing more comprehensive medical and care giving services
-We will build systems under which the state government proposes measures and policy frameworks and local authorities then take responsibility for implementing their own policies under these frameworks in order to provide caregiving and welfare services.
-We will establish systems for promoting the integration of medical care, caregiving and welfare services. We will strengthen systems for comprehensive care-in-the-community and support systems for caregiving at home, to achieve more comprehensive caregiving services. We will also use guidance on healthy living,
sports, traditional medicine and other methods in order to prevent illness, providing support for all citizens to maintain their health.
7.Support for challenged people
-We will revise the law on comprehensive support for disabled people and seek the opinions of disabled people to revise categories of disability and bridge the gaps in current support systems.
VII Raising the Birth Rate, Equal Participation, Education, Science and Technology
Building a Society in which Everyone can Participate
Japan’s population peaked in 2005 and is expected to continue falling. A declining population risks damaging the vibrancy of society. Therefore, in order to reverse the declining birth rate, we will address the issues that make it difficult for people to have and raise children by actively investing in people while also firming up
the foundations of Japan’s future growth by further encouraging the equal participation of both genders in all areas of society. While maintaining respect for each region’s own characteristics, we will promote education appropriate for ongoing socioeconomic changes and developments in science and technology.
1.Dealing with the declining birthrate and supporting childbearing
-We will reduce the financial burden of childbirth. We will provide subsidies of 312,000 yen per year per child for each family until graduation from junior high school. We will provide equivalent amounts in “child-rearing support vouchers”. We will reduce the tax burden on larger families.
2.Upholding the free provision of high school education
-We will continue to provide free high school education. We will seek to eliminate fees for private schools. We will also limit class sizes in elementary school and junior high school to no more than 35 students.
3.Promoting measures to prevent bullying
-Based on laws for promoting countermeasures against bullying, we will create systems for the early discovery and resolution of bullying problems.
4.Support for working women
-We will create a society in which marriage and childbirth do not adversely affect women’s careers. We will take emergency action to address the problem of insufficient nursery school places. We will work to improve the social and working environment to create a culture in which it is easier for both men and women to take child-rearing leave. We will take measures to make it easier for women to return to the workplace, such as the promotion of workplace nurseries for children aged up to 3.
5.Further promotion of an equal opportunity society for both genders
-We will continue to work to realize the equal participation of both genders in all areas of society. We will take appropriate measures to increase the number of women in managerial positions to 30% as soon as possible.
6.Comprehensive reform of governmental administration of education
-We will create systems in which although the central government has final responsibility for education through the provision of policy frameworks, the provision of financial support, and the guaranteeing and clarification of the status of teachers, regions will be able to implement education appropriate to their own regional characteristics. This will be achieved by measures including confirming the head of the local authority’s responsibility to lead the administration of education and the establishment of local education audit boards.
7. Guaranteeing the opportunity for all citizens to receive higher education
-We will expand scholarship systems, including subsidy-based scholarships, to ensure that everyone who wishes to do so is able to receive higher education. While respecting the autonomy of universities, we will also promote personnel development training programs that respond to society’s diverse needs, including systems encouraging working people to undertake higher education.
8.Improving the environment for advanced research facilities
-We will make nationwide efforts to create a world-leading research environment and bid to become the site of the international linear collider. We will encourage overseas researchers to study in Japan, encourage Japanese researchers to study overseas, and promote international cooperation between domestic and overseas researchers, aiming to develop individuals worthy of winning Nobel prizes.
VIII Diplomacy and National Security
Active Steps to Create Peace
Based on the principles of Japan’s Constitution, we will protect the state, and contribute to global peace and the protection of the global environment.
We will uphold Article 9 and restrict Japan’s right of self-defense to exclusively defensive situations.
We will build an equal relationship with the United States, and, in addition to developing trusting relationships with neighboring countries in Asia, particularly China and South Korea, we will lead the world in achieving denuclearization.
1.Establishing a true Japan-US partnership
-We will develop mutual relationships of trust between Japan and the United States and establish a truly equal relationship. Japan’s national security is at the core of the Japan-US alliance, but we will amend the Status of Forces agreement as well as amending the special exceptions to Japan’s civil aviation laws so that US military aircraft and Self-Defense Force aircraft can operate in the same way in Japanese airspace. We will abandon the plan to transfer the Futenma Air Base to Henoko, and consider transferring the facility outside Japan or outside Okinawa.
2.Promoting cordial relationships with Japan’s neighbors
-We will actively promote the construction of trusting relationships with other countries in Asia, particularly China and South Korea, working to achieve a stronger partnership. We will establish an international forum for regular consultations between public and private sector experts on various issues including different perspectives on history and points of dispute such as territorial disputes.
3.Early resolution of the abduction issue
-The abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea is a human rights issue and an invasion of Japanese sovereignty. We will take a firm stance, leading the way towards the early resolution of this issue.
4.Restricting the right of self-defense to prohibit preemptive strikes
-In accordance with the principle of pacifism and Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution, we will exercise Japan’s right to self-defense if Japan’s peace and security is threatened by imminent and unlawful infringement or invasion. We will limit the exercise of Japan’s right to self-defense to such cases.
5.Active participation in United Nations Peacekeeping Activities
-We will enact a basic law on national security in accordance with the principles of international cooperation outlined in the United Nations Charter and the Preamble of the Japanese Constitution, promoting Japan’s participation in international peacekeeping activities.
6.Taking the lead in denuclearization
-As the only country in the world attacked with nuclear weapons, we will play a leading role in the efforts of the international community to establish a world without nuclear weapons.
7.Promoting citizen-led diplomacy
-To promote citizen-led diplomacy, we will actively encourage diplomacy between regions, private-sector and grassroots diplomacy, in addition to international exchange in sports, culture and other fields. We will also encourage regular, frank exchanges of opinion between politicians and exchanges between Japanese political parties and political parties in other countries for the purpose of building trust.