LDP’s draft campaign pledges call for strengthening national authority over infection control

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Liberal Democratic Party headquarters

The Liberal Democratic Party will aim to revise the law to give the government stronger authority to deal with the novel coronavirus, it has been learned. In its draft campaign pledges for the House of Representatives election, which The Yomiuri Shimbun has obtained, the party clearly states that it will enhance the government’s authority to take such measures as curbing the flow of people and securing a system to provide medical care.

The draft also includes a policy of “aiming to realize constitutional reform as soon as possible.”

The campaign pledges will be announced next week.

Learning from the spread of the coronavirus, the LDP pledges to facilitate “crisis management that always assumes the worst case scenario” in principle and to “make efforts to provide convincing explanations [to the public] based on scientific findings.”

It also states a policy of completing inoculations of those who wish to be vaccinated in November and to spread the use of oral drugs to treat COVID-19 by the end of the year.

In terms of economic policy, the party will pledge to expand the middle class through a “new capitalism,” to make bold investments for growth, and to support small and midsize businesses. It also calls for the formulation of a new law to strengthen economic security and prevent the outflow of technology.

On foreign policy, it states, “We welcome Taiwan’s application to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.” In light of the repeated incursions by Chinese government vessels into Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, it sets forth a policy of expanding the Japan Coast Guard and improving cooperation between the JCG and the Self-Defense Forces.

To strengthen defense capability, the LDP will “pursue new initiatives to improve deterrence, including the possession of the capability to intercept ballistic missiles and other missiles within the territory of the opponents.” It also will “aim to increase defense spending with an eye to increasing it to 2% or more of GDP.” Past governments have upheld a policy of limiting defense spending to 1% of GDP in principle. The draft includes plans to revise the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Program Guidelines and the Medium Term Defense Program.