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2014年9月23日 (火)

公明党大会 政権の合意形成へ役割果たせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Komeito should continue to work for consensus in coalition govt
公明党大会 政権の合意形成へ役割果たせ

We expect New Komeito to fulfill its role for the political stability and implementation of important policies by continuously working for a consensus within the coalition government.

Komeito held its 10th national convention on Sunday, where Natsuo Yamaguchi was elected as its chief representative for the fourth time and appointments of new executives were approved.

The party’s Secretary General Yoshihisa Inoue and Policy Research Council Chairman Keiichi Ishii retained their posts, while Yoshinori Oguchi, its deputy Diet affairs chief, was promoted to head the party’s Diet affairs council.

“We are going to support [the reshuffled Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe] firmly as a ruling coalition party and work hard with unwavering resolve to realize policy measures for the good of the people,” Yamaguchi said in a speech at the convention.

“I would like to work together with the ruling coalition parties to achieve results,” said Abe, who was invited to the convention as a guest, in calling for Komeito to band together with his Liberal Democratic Party.

Yamaguchi and Inoue have maintained a partnership and cooperative relations with the LDP since they took their posts in September 2009, including the three years when both parties were in opposition.

Next month will mark the 15th anniversary since the LDP and Komeito formed a coalition government under then Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. The two parties deserve praise for contributing to political stability by making mutual concessions through talks to form agreements on a range of policy issues, including those the two parties differed on.

Greater constructive effort

The Abe Cabinet is now facing many policy issues including the recovery of the Japanese economy, revitalization of local economies, restoration of areas damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and social security system reforms. To help resolve these issues steadily, Komeito should make a greater constructive effort.

In national security affairs, the Abe Cabinet approved three new principles on the transfer of defense equipment and technology in April, which replaced the three principles banning arms exports, and in July decided on the new government view that allows Japan to exercise its collective self-defense right in a limited manner. Both changes have historical significance.

However, many members of Komeito were particularly cautious about or had objections to changing the government’s constitutional interpretation on the nation’s collective self-defense right because it has called itself a party for peace since its inauguration 50 years ago.

However, Yamaguchi and other Komeito leaders held meetings with party members, including representatives of its local chapters, many times and patiently kept explaining to and convincing them until a consensus was finally reached. Komeito acted in a responsible manner as a ruling coalition party.

Meanwhile, Inoue said in a report at the convention as Komeito’s secretary general that the party’s middle-of-the-road stance was of such significance today that it is able to adjust the nation’s political sector whenever it swings or slants to the right or left, and making new policy proposals that are suitable with the changing times. Inoue also pointed out the party’s action on the nation’s collective self-defense right as one such example.

Based on the government’s new view on the collective self-defense right, the Abe administration will need to develop the legislative framework for national security. We expect Komeito to respond more positively to the issue, so as to create legislation that enhances the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. alliance and allow Self-Defense Forces to engage in viable activities.

Yamaguchi also stressed once again that the party aims to introduce reduced consumption tax rates on some items when the rate is raised to 10 percent.

Komeito should play a leadership role in the coalition in working out a detailed plan for reduced consumption tax rates on these items.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 22, 2014)Speech


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