On July 27, DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama unveiled the 2009 DPJ Manifesto with which the DPJ will fight the forthcoming general election at a press conference attended by around 500 members of the media.
At the start of the press conference, Hatoyama expressed his condolences for those who had lost their lives following the torrential rain in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and his best wishes for a speedy recovery to those who had been affected by the disaster.
Following this, Hatoyama said that the purpose of a change of government was to achieve a great shift from the bureaucrat-controlled administration that has been in place in Japan since the Meiji Restoration to a government in which the Japanese people play a leading role, a government which will move from a centralized administration to one that gives sovereignty to the regions. He announced the party’s plan for achieving this should the DPJ come into power, which is based on the following five pledges: “the eradication of wasteful spending, the expansion of support for childrearing and education, strengthening the pension and medical case systems, the realisation of regional sovereignty, and employment and economic policies.”
Hatoyama went on to emphasise, “More than a hundred people take their own lives each day. We must change this kind of absurd Japan, and create a politics that will not neglect the life of even one person. We must create politics that values people, not buildings or concrete. We will allocate budgetary funds to childrearing and education, pensions and medical care, and employment.”
Hatoyama went on to explain that the DPJ intended for 100 Diet members to take significant posts, such as Ministers, in the administration, to establish Cabinet committees, and abolish administrative vice ministers meetings, and to establish a “National Strategy Bureau”.
Following this, Chair of the DPJ Policy Research Committee Masayuki Naoshima explained how resources would be allocated with reference to a process chart that indicated which policies would be implemented in which year.
In response to a reporter’s question regarding the issue of deficit-financing government bonds, Naoshima replied, “We will avoid this if at all possible. If the economy needs reinforcement then it may be necessary.” He explained that the new administration would be able to secure sufficient funds by eliminating waste and changing the way in which the budget itself is compiled.
In response to a question regarding consumption tax, Hatoyama responded, “We will not raise it during the next four years,” and added that there was no difference of opinion between Secretary General Okada and Tax Research Commission Chair Hirohisa Fujii regarding the financial resources to be used to fund future pensions.
Furthermore, when asked whether he would take responsibility in the event that the pledges in the Manifesto were not realised, and whether he intended to take responsibility should the DPJ fail to engineer a change of government, Hatoyama responded, “I have issued [this Manifesto] with the intention of taking responsibility should we be unable to realise [our pledges.] If we are unable to bring about a change of government due to a lack of ability on my part as President, then I am prepared to take responsibility for that.”
A full English translation of the Manifesto text can be downloaded by clicking on the link below: