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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 September 10 - 16  > LDP is unqualified to take the helm of the administration
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2008 September 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

LDP is unqualified to take the helm of the administration

September 13, 2008
Akahata Editorial

With the Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election underway, the Japanese mainstream media are deliberately playing up the campaigns.

All five candidates running for the LDP presidency used to be cabinet ministers under Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichiro. They have continued to occupy positions in the political nerve center. They are responsible for the Koizumi Cabinet’s “structural reform” policy, which only helped large corporations make even larger profits. They are responsible for the downturn of the Japanese economy as well as for increasing the poverty rate and expanding economic inequalities.

After two successive prime ministers, Abe Shinzo and Fukuda Yasuo, gave up power, the question is whether the LDP can move away from these undemocratic policies that have led to an impasse.

Keeping on with the failed course

Take a look at the five candidates’ policies and remarks, and you will find that they have no qualms over the Koizumi “reform” policy, as clear from their statements: “I appreciate Koizumi’s structural reform policy as a successful one” (Yosano Kaoru); “Painkillers necessary for rapid pain” (Aso Taro); “It will tackle the poverty problem” (Yosano Kaoru).

They never talk about the need to change away from the present “structural reform” policy. They are rather defiant in saying, “If we fail to work on reform, we will be left behind the rest of the world” (Koike Yuriko). They even try to dodge public criticism by stating, “I will work to achieve a heart-warming reform” (Yosano Kaoru) and “I will continue the effort to achieve heartfelt reform” (Ishihara Nobuteru).

The Fukuda Cabinet reached an impasse because it persisted with the “structural reform policy” even after it was rejected in the last year’s House of Councilors election which dealt a crushing blow to the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties.

It is obvious that successors without any intention or capability to change the failed “structural reform” policy will soon reach an impasse just as the Fukuda Cabinet did.

Aso is selling his “proactive finance” policy by insisting that the surplus of the special account can be a source of revenue for the time being. But without moving away from the current policy that gives corporate profit priority, the government will have to increase the consumption tax rate. Aso, together with Yosano, who advocates fiscal reconstruction, used to call for the consumption tax rate to be increased to 10 percent from the present five percent. As all the five candidates agree on the need to increase the consumption tax rate, they would all try to cover the failure of “structural reform” policies by increasing the burdens on ordinary people.

In foreign policy, all candidates call for the extension of the law to enable the Maritime Self-Defense Force to continue refueling operations for U.S. warships in the Indian Ocean. The U.S. policy of using military force to “retaliate” against terrorism has reached a deadlock. Japan’s refueling operation is only to support the U.S. lawless war. Fukuda faced strong public criticism over a law to extend the MSDF’s refueling mission, which made it difficult for him to get it enacted. A future prime minister will likely face the same difficulty if he or she is only concerned about how to meet U.S. demands.

Chang the content

Even after the giving up of governing power by two successive prime ministers, five candidates of the LDP presidential election are unable to present a way to overcome the deadlock. It illustrates that the LDP has lost the ability to govern.
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