Japan Restoration Party Aims to Reconstruct Japan From Osaka
On September 12, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) re-elected Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as its president for another term. Noda reshuffled his Cabinet for the third time on October 1. On September 25, two weeks after his re-election, the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) elected former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as its president. Ironically enough, Abe “threw out” his prime minister’s job exactly on the same day five years earlier in 2007.
In a nutshell, today’s politics in Japan boils down to a “centralized system that cannot make any swift decisions.” It is against this backdrop that a new political party has just come into being with the aim of injecting vitality into stagnant politics. The Japan Restoration Party (JRP) emanated from the Osaka Restoration Association, a regional political party headed by former Osaka Governor and now Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto. JRP has unveiled what it calls “Ishin Hassaku” (Eight Policies for Restoration). Hashimoto himself said it is a party plank rather than a platform. It in fact lists more than 200 policy items that come under eight categories ranging from a system of governance and economic policy to social security, diplomacy and education. Supporting the plank are three ideas; swift decision-making, decidable democracy and promotion of devolution. These openly deny the present “indecisive” politics in Japan.
“Restoration” as defined by LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English means repairing something such as an old building or a piece of furniture so that it looks the same as when it was first built or made.
Today, Japan is faced with a host of difficult issues such as territorial disputes, national security, radioactive contamination, low birthrate and longevity, etc, etc. About 150 years ago, Japanese people accomplished the “Meiji Restoration” paving the way for their country’s modernization and development. Can they now realize what might be called “Heisei Restoration”?
Written by: Daisuke Aoki