Constitutional Democrats Unveil Campaign Promises

Constitutional Democrats unveil campaign promises

Japan's main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party has announced its campaign promises for the upcoming Upper House election.

Party President Yukio Edano made the announcement at a news conference on Monday.

Edano unveiled the party's campaign slogan, "Reiwa Democracy." He explained that the term is intended to describe a new form of democracy for the country's Reiwa era, which started in May with the accession of the new Emperor.

The party platform lists measures for boosting household consumption and revitalizing the economy.

The measures include freezing the plan to raise the consumption tax to 10 percent, improving support for small and medium-sized businesses, and raising the minimum wage to 1,300 yen, or about 12 dollars, within five years.

The party is stressing diversity as the source of creativity and a vigorous society. It's calling for the introduction of a system to allow married couples to have different surnames, legislation aimed at ending discrimination against the LGBT community, and the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Edano told reporters that the top-down style of governance by a handful of politicians is not up to the task of governing a society that is undergoing major changes. He cited as examples the shrinking and aging population, and the diversification of values and lifestyles.

He said his party wants to work with voters to blaze a new path by starting what it calls "Reiwa Democracy" movements.