INTERVIEW: Beating COVID-19, Inflation Key Election Issues for Komeito


Tokyo, June 18 (Jiji Press)--The upcoming House of Councillors election is about choosing parties and candidates capable of overcoming the novel coronavirus crisis and beating inflation, and moving Japan forward, Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of Komeito, the country's junior ruling party, has said.

For the July 10 election for the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, Komeito will campaign on the three pillars of rebuilding the economy, creating a social security system that protects all generations and strengthening national security, Yamaguchi said in an interview. "It is a race of who has concrete, achievable policies and who can implement them," he said.

The leader stressed the importance of preventing the opposition bloc from gaining a majority in the Upper House so as not to create a divided parliament, saying that the ruling coalition aims to secure more than half of the 248 seats in the chamber including the 123 not up for grabs in the upcoming poll.

Of the 125 seats to be contested in the triennial election, 74 are in prefectural constituencies and 50 for the nationwide proportional representation system while the remaining seat is a vacancy in Kanagawa Prefecture, eastern Japan.

During this year's regular Diet session, opposition parties "failed to act in concert" in voting on government budgets and a no-confidence motion against the cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, also leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Yamaguchi said. But he sounded cautious, saying that the opposition's election cooperation could take various forms.

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Jiji Press