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7 août 2012 2 07 /08 /août /2012 06:53

 

 

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8/07/2012 @ 12:14AM |11 views

Osaka Mayor Hashimoto's "Eight Measures for Restoration"

I begin with a caveat.  Word is out that the manifesto below is soon to be revised again.  As the Osaka Ishin no Kai (大阪維新の会) movement headed by Osaka mayor Hashimoto Toru (pictured)  gets  closer to launching a campaign to become a major new national party and to capture a significant number of Diet seats in the next general election, it seems to be moderating some of the more radical ideas presented below.  We don’t know yet, but abolishing the Diet Upper House and directly electing the Prime Minister will probably be changed.  Nevertheless, we can expect the main themes and goals of movement—admittedly often vague and bromidic–to remain.

Eight Measures for Restoration (維新八策) of the Osaka Ishin no Kai (大阪維新の会) published as revised on July 5, 2010.  Manifesto for the Next General Election.

Preamble

Toward a “Great Reset” of Japan’s existing social system—reconstructing the framework from a pay-out model social contract to a reform model social contract.

that Recognizing differences in personal values, to achieve a society of:

  • Self-reliant and independent individuals;
  • Self-reliant and independent regions;
  • A self-reliant and independent nation;

And,

  • Democracy that can make decisions and take responsibility; with
  • Governing institutions that can make decisions and take responsibility

1.  Governing Institutions Reform

Concepts:

  • Change from a centralized power state model to a regionalized power state model
  • Let the localities manage domestic government affairs
  • The national state should finance its exclusive functions through its own mechanisms; the localities should have exclusive financing resources and mechanisms for their exclusive functions.

Measures:

  • Direct, popular election of the Prime Minister
  • Strengthening the Diet Lower House (House of Representatives) with a view to abolishing the Diet Upper House (House of Councillors)
  • Study constituting a new Upper House with prefectural governors serving concurrently
  • Make the national consumption tax a local tax collected and to be used local

2.  Financial and Administrative Reforms

Concepts:

  • Simplify and raise effectiveness of the parliamentary system and governmental institutions
  • Run the Diet session such that the Prime Minister can spend 100 days a year abroad
  • Create a sustainable, small government

Measures:

  • Fundamentally reform the current Osaka prefecture/city fiscal system
  • Set targets for  bringing the (national) primary fiscal balance into surplus
  • Reduce the number of Diet members and cut expenditures

3.  Civil Service System Reform

  • Extend nationwide the civil service reforms implemented in Osaka prefecture and Osaka city (bonuses for performance; salary based on ability, actual performance, and position)
  • Abolish the National Personnel Authority system
  • Abolish guaranteed, lifetime employment in civil service
  • Thoroughly revise the civil service exam
  • Comprehensive investigation of civil service labor union elections

4.  Education System Reform

Concepts:

  • Nurture self-reliant individuals who can support a self-reliant nation and self-reliant localities
  • Change from the “pyramidal” model of education with the Ministry of Science and Education at the top, to a locally administered education model

Measures:

  • Allow localities to choose their education system
  • Reform of the university entrance exam system
  • Institute a voucher system at all levels, including universities, to promote competition among institutions
  • Remove the “civil servant” status of teachers at public schools
  • Provide financial assistance for foreign study

5.  Reform of the Social Security System

Concepts:

  • Fully support the truly weak and needy
  • Introduce a negative income tax and basic income concept
  •  “Voucherize” the system to change from funding providers, to directly funding beneficiaries
  • Deregulate to increase competition among service providers

Measures:

  • Introduce a system of building trust funds to support a high dependency-ratio society
  • Calculate both assets and income in providing minimum living support:  restrict payments to persons with both income and assets
  • For pension funding, convert over time from the current “pay as you go” lax levy system, to a system of trust fund accumulation (including serving and repayment of debt liabilities)
  • Establish a reverse mortgage market and a system of settling transfer profit taxes at death

6.  Economic Policy, Employment Policy, Tax Policy

Concepts:

  • Economic policies that will strengthen competitiveness
  • Competition between the national state, prefectures, and cities
  • Expand free trade areas
  • Thoroughly reform regulations to promote innovation
  • Join the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact; expand free trade agreements

Measures:

  • Don’t use tax money to create unnecessary employment
  • Expand domestic service employment
  • Rectify the compensation gap between regular and contract employment
  • Tax not just income, but assets to adjust to low birth rate, aging society
  • Implement a “flat tax” reform

7.  Foreign Policy and Defense

Concepts:

  • Prepare to self-reliantly defend Japan’s sovereignty and territory
  • With the Japan-U.S. alliance a foundation, strengthen relations with countries that protect freedom and democracy
  • Secure the resources needed for Japan’s survival through international cooperation

Measures:

  • Increase participation in international peace activities like U.N. peace keeping operations
  • Strengthen relations with Australia and the Republic of Korea
  • Strengthen mutually beneficial strategic relations with China and Russia premised on equality, mutual benefit, and the rule of law
  • Advance negotiations with Russia on the Northern Territories
  • Arrest the decline in official development assistance; shift to an active foreign aid policy

8.  Amending the Japanese Constitution

  • Popular election of the Prime Minister
  • Strengthen the Diet Lower House (House of Representatives) and allow for the abolition of the Upper House
  • Putting the question of revising Article 9 (renouncing the right to wage war) to a popular vote
  • Enable localities to overwrite national laws

Author:

Stephen Harner, Contributor

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