DPJ manifesto pledges 'cool-headed' diplomacy, end to nuclear power

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  • 6

    Thomas Anderson

    The LDP, led by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, tops opinion polls with 22-25% of voters saying they will cast their ballots for the once-dominant party. That is about 10-15 points ahead of the Democrats, who have struggled to close the gap since Noda called earlier this month for a snap election on Dec 16.

    Going back to LDP means going back to pro-nuclear Japan.

  • 5

    globalwatcher

    Too much pro-nuke power behind LDP. They want to stay on Gov. payrolls. Voting for LDP means pro-nuke.

  • 2

    herefornow

    “In doing so, we will make sure to protect Japan’s agriculture, food safety and universal health-care system based on a premise to protect national interests.”

    Then you ain't getting into the TPP so your manifesto is just the usual Japanese hot-air.

  • 0

    alliswellinjapan

    Unfortunate that Noda was unable to set forth their pro-TPP position in clear format. Was hoping for a meaningful debate on this prior to voting but now it appears that the discussions on this are likely to become all blurry. Good at least that foreign diplomacy and economic policies are clearly different.

  • 5

    Sensato

    Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda vowed Tuesday that the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) would defend the nation’s interests with “cool-headed and practical” diplomacy in an election manifesto that sought to portray a contrast with the hawkish rhetoric of its main opposition rivals.

    This very much indeed comes in extreme stark contrast to the war-mongering, reckless and xenophobic stance of Abe and his LDP cronies (not to mention the stance of Ishihara/Hashimoto and their "third political force" JRP).

    I truly hope that the DPJ pledge resonates with Japanese voters, and that cooler heads win out in the end. The outcome of this next election will have a significant bearing on the future well-being of Japan, and likewise on those of us whose lives, families and careers are vested in this country.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    I can't believe how bleak the future of this nation is.... you can choose between a gawd-awful party and one that's worse (you decide which is which).

    “Looking back at the past three years, there are promises that we were able to keep, and unfortunately there are things we could not deliver,”

    I was unaware they delivered on any single promise. What was it they promised to do and did?

  • 6

    zichi

    In the past few months, the gov't gave many confusing statements about nuclear energy. First, stating a zero option by 2030, then 2040, and again by 2050 or 2060. They gave permission for restarting the construction of three new sites which would have a life cycle into the 2060's. The cabinet were not united about ending nuclear energy. Even if it decided to end nuclear energy by 2030, that's many gov't's before then. It will only end if all the parties can agree on it.

  • -2

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    I agree with smithinjapan. Still, Noda's pledges of "cool-headed" diplomacy have as little substance as most of LDP's financial proposals. So I'm forced to go with the party that says SOMETHING solid about national security.

    As for pro-nuclear, I agree with them. You can always point to studies that say different, but it is hard to believe the power plant companies don't at least have the economic side down. So I buy the variant that going non-nuclear means substantially higher electric costs. That's something Japan as a nation cannot afford right now.

  • 2

    globalwatcher

    pamelotNov. 28, 2012 - 10:31AM JST

    Reality is funny like that, it's the same shit, different day.

    Noda's approach is very economically reasonable to keep Japan floating until the alternativre energy project is completed. . His ultimate goal is a non-nuke.

  • 4

    SushiSake3

    Let's be honest - any party or individual pledging to create a 'nuclear-free Japan' is either being dishonest or plain ignorant. 

    Almost all the NPPs are offline now and the country is importing record amounts of natural gas to fill the power supply gap. This is jacking up the nation's trade deficit to shoot through the roof. 

    At present, nuclear energy has to be part of the mix - the alternatives - the relatively 'clean' one's at least - are simply not ready to take up the slack. Make no mistake - I'm all for renewables. But they're not ready at present. 

    "Noda also reiterated his party’s goal of phasing out nuclear power by the 2030s."

    That's actually probably a fairly realistic goal if the climate and most life on earth hasn't already been destroyed by climate change before then.

  • 1

    saidani

    Noda's approach is very economically reasonable...

    Really? Adding to Y1 quadrillion in debt while subsidizing off-shoring is reasonable? Joining the US-led TPP which boasts a total of 2 trade related provisions out of the over 2 dozen total provisions while excluding China, Japan's largest trading partner, is reasonable? And that doesn't consider the fact that the public has no idea what the TPP is since the negotiations are so secret not even the US Congress can see them or that the provisions are being written by major US corporations and provides for the establishment of a supranational investor-state dispute mechanism staffed by corporate lawyers as judges. That's reasonable?

    Japan has been slowly falling off its own cliff for 2 decades. Increased taxes will not save Japan. The TPP will not save Japan. And no one expects that a sudden economic boom will manifest to save Japan. These politicians are lying to the public in an effort to be elected to lead Japan into its ultimate economic demise. It can't come soon enough. Maybe then the public will demand real fundamental change to its failed political, bureaucratic, economic, and wasteful welfare systems.

  • 2

    Rhino

    Does anyone know how the universal healthcare system of Japan would be affected by joining TPP?

    One thing is for sure, I dont want the kind of system the US had for so long, or even what they have now. Japans healthcare system is indeed something to be proud of and worth protecting. If this means we have to pay a few cents more, I am happy to do that.

    Proper healthcare is humanity pure.

  • 1

    Weasel

    “cool-headed and practical” diplomacy

    Code for ignoring serious problems.

  • -1

    saidani

    Japans healthcare system is indeed something to be proud of and worth protecting.

    Japan's healthcare system is broke like the rest of the welfare system. And its only going to get worse as cost cutting policies drive out competent workers and doctors.

    Nothing is free in this world and the government has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is incompetent to run such a large, expensive, and complex industry. Would you hire these people to run your business?

  • 1

    Rhino

    @smithinjapan: I hate to say it but I am afraid you are right.

    This really hurts me because their ideas are the better ones and if the opposition was acting more in the interest of the people of Japan, they wouldn`t say no to everything.

    It also has to be said in the DPJ`s defense that they had to deal with a disaster (brought about by the LDP) which, sort of, had to distract them a little from what they initially set out to do.

  • -3

    saidani

    Code for ignoring serious problems.

    Code for hiding under America's skirt.

  • 1

    saidani

    It also has to be said in the DPJ`s defense that they had to deal with a disaster...

    Their handling of the disaster has been abysmal. Instead of heroically leading the nation out of it, the DPJ began early on to deceive the public. Reconstruction funds have been diverted to other, politically-favored areas, people are still living in temporary shelters, decontamination is a joke, toxic and possibly radioactive waste is being redistributed all over Japan for incineration, food safety is questionable, and the situation at Dai-ichi (now under government control) remains highly dangerous despite Noda's "cold shutdown" status.

    The DPJ was given an opportunity to prove it was different and better than the LDP and failed miserably. They get no leeway for the disaster.

  • 5

    SamuraiBlue

    First of lets clear something up concerning electricity. The regional power companies has a monopoly within their region. That in itself isn't a big problem, the main problem is how electricity bills are estimated they add all the cost and places some profit based on asset they own. Here is where it gets dicey, according to accountant law the NPP, fission fuel and even the nuclear waste is accounted as asset there for all of those un-used products are added up into our electric bill. Furthermore they accept any and all cost at face value with no bargaining with their suppliers since the law doe not require the electric companies to do so. So the biggest benefactors are the big corporates doing big business with the electric companies. On top big corporates buys electricity at fraction of the price we individual pay since they are the first to get power cuts when there is a shortage BUT to insure that they will be no shortage, the Electric companies pay a 30~50% premium on top of market price to purchase fuel.

    If the electric generating division and the transmission division were to be divided to a seperate entity this kind of BS can be eradicated with principle of free market coming into play.

    This idea is supported by the new party headed by the governor of Shiga and Your party headed by Watanabe. Neither the DPJ nor LDP will support this kind of idea since they are supported by either the electric labor union or the Keidanren, think about it.

  • 7

    zichi

    SamuraiBlue, Exactly, its just another racket, and the power companies are just protecting their own profit margins and those of big business who are in the racket with them. They can also add expenses like advertising onto the cost of power.

    The DPJ promised to end the monopoly of power generation and power sales?

  • 0

    noriyosan73

    "If you are going to take a bath, you have to get wet." Japan needs to completely end its need for nuclear power. When that happens, people will learn that the bath isn't hot, the train is not on schedule, the illumination is not seen, and the unlit streets are unsafe.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    pamelotNov. 28, 2012 - 11:00AM JST

    Doubling the consumption tax will kill a lot of small businesses and consumer spending will plummet

    so what is your solution to Japanese GDP/DEBT problem? As of last month, it has increased to 229% and it continues to go up. Keep it mind Japanese 2% payroll tax is the lowest among developed countries. You are all in this together.

    What Japan needs the most is a STRUCTURAL CHANGE in macro economics from old model export driven economy to new domestic consumer consumption model. It will take time to achieve this macro objectives, but it needs to be done sooner or later.

  • 1

    SamuraiBlue

    globalwatcher

    The problem with your arguement and basically most who only talks about debt is not balacing government held asset like the stupendious amount of foreign currency and foreign government bonds that Bank of Japan is holding right right now.

  • 0

    saidani

    so what is your solution to Japanese GDP/DEBT problem?

    Slash the welfare state to a real safety net. Cut government spending, including wasteful infrastructure and foreign aid. End corporate subsidies. Cut corporate taxes and lift restrictive regulations to make Japan more competitive. End monopolistic distribution and politically protected industry associations to allow greater competition. Kneecap the bureaucracy and its corrupt relationship with industry. And there's plenty of other reforms needed.

  • 5

    zichi

    noriyosan73

    "If you are going to take a bath, you have to get wet." Japan needs to completely end its need for nuclear power. When that happens, people will learn that the bath isn't hot, the train is not on schedule, the illumination is not seen, and the unlit streets are unsafe.

    There wasn't any power shortages during the hot summer months so its not about power supply but about the cost of power generation. The power companies for decades have had a monopoly over power generation and power supply. There has been no competition which would have seen lower power charges.

    When the cost of nuclear energy includes all the costs including fuel rod reprocessing, nuclear fuel shortage, the cost of the nuclear disaster, then the cost of power from nuclear energy will not be less than from LNG.

    Like most aspects of industry in this country, in order to move forward, the power companies need a major overhaul of working practices. This is one of the few countries were domestic users subsidise heavy business users.

    Because of their monopoly, the power companies are not required to be as competitive as they could, as pointed out on another comment, paying over the top for imported fuel prices and not putting major contracts out to tender.

    If the power companies want to increase their charges then they need to justify just how they are spending their money and running their business.

    All heavy power users should be generating 20% of their total power. Maximum use of renewable energies. More efficient use of power. More investment in cleaner power plants.

    Only 11% of total world power generation comes from nuclear energy.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    saidaniNov. 28, 2012 - 12:19PM JST

    so what is your solution to Japanese GDP/DEBT problem?

    Slash the welfare state to a real safety net. Cut government spending, including wasteful infrastructure and foreign aid. End corporate subsidies. Cut corporate taxes and lift restrictive regulations to make Japan more competitive. End monopolistic distribution and politically protected industry associations to allow greater competition. Kneecap the bureaucracy and its corrupt relationship with industry. And there's plenty of other reforms needed.

    Agree. Too many reforms are needed, and I do not know where to begin....just too many corruptions in public, private and individual sectors. The corruptions are growing non stop like fungus.

  • -2

    bajhista65

    DPJ manifesto pledges 'cool-headed' diplomacy, end to nuclear power

    Yeah! Hoping this promise to end nuke power is not another lie like the promise of Hatoyama to remove US military base in Okinawa.

  • 1

    SamuraiBlue

    @saidani

    One point, most all foreign aids provided from Japan has strings attached so that Japanese corporation will be included into building the infrastructure in those nations. So some of the money spent funnels back to Japan.

    It's basically a win-win situation since the nation accepting the aid usually does not have the technology to build it on their own so they need assistance from foreign companies anyway. The money provided has a low interest and the manual labor for construction is hired from the local population and Japanese corporation are rewarded a contract through the aid.

  • -2

    saidani

    It's basically a win-win situation since the nation accepting the aid usually does not have the technology to build it on their own so they need assistance from foreign companies anyway.

    It is little more than corporate welfare using money borrowed from future taxpayers. The government pays development costs, covers bonding and insurance costs, and greases the palms of corrupt leaders in developing countries among other expenses. Taxpayers receive little return on their investments. Japan, Inc needs to become self-sufficient and stop relying on Japanese workers to fund their profits.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    Noda called Abe’s thinking “dangerous” and said it would undermine central bank independence if the government lays out its policy goals

    Actually, he said it was reckless, but dangerous is close enough. So, on one side you have the apathetic Noda and on the other you have the reckless Abe and his coalition the right-wing Ishihara. Japan seems doomed either way!

  • 1

    taj

    From the DPJ manifesto's cost savings plans:

    " Reduce the number of parliamentary seats by cutting 75 of 480 lower house seats and 40 in the 242-member upper house during the next ordinary parliamentary session."

    I like that one a lot. It's concrete. Specific. Mearsurable. Time-bound.

  • 3

    zichi

    Nuclear energy creates about 1,000 tons of nuclear waste per year from the spent nuclear fuel.The gov't's current thinking on how to deal with the waste is to just bury it in the ground which is being contested by the Council of Scientists.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    SamuraiBlueNov. 28, 2012 - 12:18PM JST

    globalwatcher

    The problem with your arguement and basically most who only talks about debt is not balacing government held asset like the stupendious amount of foreign currency and foreign government bonds that Bank of Japan is holding right right now.

    Then why don't you focus more on domestic consumer consumption spending in Japan to improve a quality of life?

  • 1

    saidani

    Then why don't you focus more on domestic consumer consumption spending in Japan to improve a quality of life?

    Because the macro-economists have never figured out how to create demand among the micro-economy (consumers) when the economy is in recession. That is one primary reason for the failure of Keynesian theory. Of course, the biggest flaw is in the implementation in that the government did not maintain a surplus in the good times to be spent in the bad times. (In fact, they spent it on a welfare system that needs constant economic and birthrate growth to remain viable, hence its current state.)

    Instead, the government is simply borrowing from a dwindling supply of future taxpayers and then monetizing government debt in an effort to escape the expected results (or kicking the can down the road). This further dampens consumer confidence which results in weakening demand. And, thus, we have the constant decline and increased debt overhang. Raising taxes, more spending on failed stimulus programs, forcing inflation, and promising even more welfare spending will only exacerbate the problems the government has already created for the lowly consumer who, as it happens, is much more critical to economic sustainability than modern economists have imagined.

    Printing money, as we have observed in Wiemar Germany, Zimbabwe, and Yugoslavia (I have several hundred trillion dollars in Zimbabwe and Yugoslav money on my desk), is the last desperate act of a failed government-controlled economy preceding collapse.

  • -2

    SamuraiBlue

    globalwatcher

    Then why don't you focus more on domestic consumer consumption spending in Japan to improve a quality of life?

    Does this have anything with the present election and/or politics? I hope not.

    Quality of life is something subjective in a developed nation like Japan and we simply do not follow the idea of wasteful spending to cludder our homes like some Americans do as an improvement..

  • 0

    Green Panda

    They shouldn't give up on thorium nuclear reactors though. Practical ideas are a very good start but it'll be innovation that eventually gets Japan out of it's long standing recession.

  • -1

    globalwatcher

    SamuraiBlueNov. 28, 2012 - 03:46PM JST

    globalwatcher

    Then why don't you focus more on domestic consumer consumption spending in Japan to improve a quality of life?

    Does this have anything with the present election and/or politics? I hope not.

    Maybe I am already 10 steps ahead. That's one of the reason I am not supporting Abe who will lead Japanese back to 30 years ago.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    The surplus belongs to Japanese people.GThe distribution of weath was not well delivered to the people of Japan. I would like to see Japan spending more on hospitals, senior homes, schools, child care facilities, QUALITY of education, nuke spill clean ups, restration of Tohoku...... list goes on.

  • 1

    SamuraiBlue

    globalwatcher

    Your logic really doesn't make much sense you say you disapprove Abe/LDP and yet you propose to build, build and build some more which exactly what LDP wants.

    If you read about the present situation it's not hospitals that is in need but a supply of good doctors in the rural area since doctors do not want to relocate since they believe they will be left behind from the latest advancements in medicine. Another is about senior homes, there are many senior homes but they are located in inconvenient places and the elders refuse to re-locate. Child care facilities same thing, there is a big red tap that divides pre-school and nurseries based on who regulates what and various unique requirements for either facilities. Both LDP and DPJ had tried removing those red tapes but failed because of sabotage within and risistance for the regulating ministries and labor union.

    What is needed now and had been for a long time is releiquish some of the power from the central beauracrats and cut the various red tapes that is chock holding the entire society.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    SamuraiBlueNov. 29, 2012 - 11:45AM JST

    What is needed now and had been for a long time is releiquish some of the power from the central beauracrats and cut the various red tapes that is chock holding the entire society.

    Good point and I like it.

    Your logic really doesn't make much sense you say you disapprove Abe/LDP and yet you propose to build, build and build some more which exactly what LDP wants.

    It still makes sense. You may want to read my posts in different topics.

    I disapprove Abe for the following reasons.

    1)He is pro-nuke.

    2)He is removing monetary power from BOJ.

    3)He is denouncing the Article 9th of the Constitution.

    4)His regressive position in fiscal policy.

  • 0

    2anrip

    hey will it be a biggest nuclear power plant(2030) in japan ????

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