Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and opposition Liberal-Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe took to the streets in Tokyo and Kanagawa on Saturday to outline their policies for the Dec 16 election, even though official campaigning doesn’t begin until Dec 4.
Speaking to big crowds outside four train stations in Tokyo and Kanagawa, Noda said the most important thing in the election will be whether people want to go with reforms from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) or revert to old-style politics with the LDP, Sankei Shimbun reported. Noda told a gathering outside Tama Station that he intends to deliver this message at 100 campaign stops in December.
Meanwhile, Abe addressed a big crowd outside JR Kichijoji Station. He criticized the Noda government’s handling of territorial disputes with China and South Korea. Abe said Chinese ships come and go at will in the waters around the Senkaku islands. He said the DPJ has made Japan a loser in foreign policy and promised to restore trust with the U.S., Sankei reported.
Noda also said on Saturday that he would like to have a one-on-one debate with Abe so that voters can see the differences between the two parties. However, LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba said the smaller opposition parties are likely to object unless they can take part.