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Japan's main ruling, opposition parties unveil election pledges

06-18-2010 12:04 BJT

TOKYO, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Japan's ruling Democratic party of Japan (DPJ) and main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Thursday revealed their campaign platforms for July's upper house election, with both party's emphasizing fiscal discipline and reform.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, also president of Japan's ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), stands beside a campaign poster of the DPJ during a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, June 17, 2010. Japan's ruling Democratic Party of Japan on Thursday revealed its campaign pledges for July's upper house election.(Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, also president of Japan's ruling Democratic Party of 
Japan (DPJ), stands beside a campaign poster of the DPJ during a press conference in Tokyo, 
Japan, June 17, 2010. Japan's ruling Democratic Party of Japan on Thursday revealed its 
campaign pledges for July's upper house election.(Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

The ruling DPJ in its manifesto pledged to achieve annual economic growth of more than 2 percent in real terms and launch a bipartisan overhaul of the tax system, hinting at the ruling party 's plans to raise the nation's five percent sales tax rate in the near future.

Koichiro Gemba, the party's policy chief, suggested the tax hike would not come before the fall of 2012 and Prime Minister Naoto Kan, also president of the DPJ, said Thursday consumption tax could be raised to as much as 10 percent.

The DPJ said the tax issue was something that needed to be "put right now" and the cross-party talks will be "aimed at reaching a conclusion at an early date" after the House of Councillors election on July 11.

Similarly, the LDP unveiled on Thursday their intention to raise the consumption tax to 10 percent to boost a current lack of funding for social welfare programs and both parties have pledged to halve the primary balance deficit by fiscal 2015 and achieve a surplus in the balance by fiscal 2020, without issuing new debt.

The DPJ laid out its target of achieving economic expansion of more than 2 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis and nominal gross-domestic-product expansion of an average of 3 percent annually by the fiscal year ending March 2021.

The government will "cooperate" with the central bank to reverse the country's lingering deflation issues according to the DPJ's platform.

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