Koike unveils party platform, vowing to freeze sales tax hike, end nuclear power

The party, which is challenging Abe’s ruling coalition, also sought to set itself apart from Abe’s policies by vowing to freeze a scheduled sales tax hike in 2019. It is also seeking to end nuclear power by 2030 amid public safety worries after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The party wants to enshrine the nuclear power ban in an amendment to the Constitution.

“We’ll carry out ‘Yurinomics’ that brings out private sector vitality, without relying excessively on monetary easing and fiscal spending,” the party said on Friday at a policy launch ahead of a national election on Oct 22.

“While maintaining the Bank of Japan’s massive monetary easing for the time being, the government and the BOJ should work together to seek a smooth exit strategy,” it added.

The call to debate a strategy for ending ultra-easy monetary policy contrasts with the approach of Bank of Japan Gov Haruhiko Kuroda – appointed by Abe – to hold off discussing a withdrawal of his massive stimulus program any time soon.

Abe announced the snap election last week in the hope his Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition would keep its majority in parliament’s lower house, where it held a two-thirds “super majority” before the chamber was dissolved.

But Koike’s new party – launched last week as a “reformist, conservative” alternative to Abe’s equally conservative LDP – has clouded the outlook amid signs voters are disillusioned with Abe after nearly five years in power.

The party says “Yurinomics” – derived from Koike’s first name – will focus on deregulation to create jobs, increase capital expenditure and revitalise the stock market. It provided few details.

A new party led by Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike has unveiled policies it dubs “Yurinomics” that aim to revitalise the economy and cut reliance on fiscal spending and monetary easing, seeking to distance itself from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s more aggressive stimulus measures. (Japan Today)

Six people were found dead after a fire engulfed an apartment in Ibaraki Prefecture early Friday morning, and a 32-year-old man who claimed to have deliberately started the blaze turned himself in to police. (Japan Times)

Law enforcement her on Thursday revealed the arrest of the manager of a popular ramen shop in Taisho Ward for the possession of marijuana, reports Mainichi Broadcasting System (tokyoreporter.com)

Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, best known for his book “The Remains of the Day,” has been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature. (the-japan-news.com)

The sale of old manhole covers by a city north of Tokyo has attracted many buyers amid the growing popularity in the metal lids featuring designs inspired by local landmarks and specialties. (NHK)

Google and LINE have announced that they will each launch AI speakers that handle the Japanese language. (NHK)

Researchers at Kyoto University in Japan have started what they say is the world’s first clinical trial of medicine found through iPS cell studies. (NHK)

Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, revealed Wednesday that a female reporter in Tokyo died due to overwork in July 2013. (Jiji)

Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers said on Wednesday that tests showed levels of E. Coli up to 20 times above the accepted limit and fecal coliform bacteria seven times higher than agreed at the planned venue for marathon swimming and triathlon. (Japan Today)

Retailer Takashimaya has opened a specialty section in one of its Tokyo department stores that sells only robots. Most of them cost between 900 and 2,700 dollars. (NHK)

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