It's a busy day for hundreds of candidates vying for seats in Japan's Lower House. Tuesday marks the official start of the election campaign. Voters will choose their government at the end of this month.
The ruling coalition wants to maintain its majority in the chamber and stay in power. But in an attempt to block it opposition parties are fielding a unified candidate in many constituencies.
Liberal Democratic Party of Japan President and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said, "Each and every one of you will choose your own future, and the future of Japan. This is a very important election. Our top priority is coronavirus measures. We'll establish a comprehensive system from prevention to testing to treatment.
That will greatly contribute to returning our social and economic activities close to normal.
We will expand the scale of Japan's economy and distribute the fruits of growth to every one of you in the form of income and wages. That will make it easier for you to spend more money and lead to further economic growth. We believe we can carve out the future of our country by achieving a virtuous cycle between growth and distribution in Japan."
The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan Leader Edano Yukio said, "One of the focal points of this election is over how to deal with the pandemic. Owners of shops and restaurants are short of cash and have to borrow money even if they can restart their businesses. It's now important to fully compensate them. The LDP's economic policy known as ''Abenomics" has given great benefit to some large companies as well as businesses in some urban areas like Tokyo. But that policy has not helped to grow the country's entire economy.
Redistributing income will help expand the middle class across Japan.
It will lower anxieties about life after retirement, raising children, paying for education, and unemployment. It's the economic policies that people want more than anything. Let's bring back decent politics."
Komeito Chief Representative Yamaguchi Natsuo said, "We will fight with a new challenge of reviving Japan. Komeito is proposing a "future support benefit," which will go to the children and young people who bear Japan's future. We will provide a one-time payment worth 100,000 yen to every child, up to the age of 18. Our Diet members will work closely with local assembly members to consult the people, carefully hammer out policies and implement them. It's important that Komeito is part of the coalition government."
Japanese Communist Party Chairperson Shii Kazuo said, "We can't leave this country's politics to the Kishida administration, which succeeded the Abe and Suga governments.
They widened the gap between the rich and poor. They're mired in a series of scandals that involve taking advantage of their position in power. Their failures with coronavirus policies cost this country a lot. Now is the time for everyone to join forces and create a new administration where the voices of the people can be heard."
Nippon Ishin Leader Matsui Ichiro said, "We must first carry out reforms if we want to distribute wealth. How can we secure funds for distribution? First of all, we will push to correct any improper spending or waste of our tax money. We must stop spending in ways that are totally unacceptable to taxpayers and secure sources of funding. That's the only way to bring about distribution."
Democratic Party for the People President Tamaki Yuichiro said, "I think this election is about regaining two important things.
First, we need to rebuild our economy, our lives and our society, which have been damaged by the coronavirus pandemic. Secondly, we need to recover the people's trust in politics. Let's bring back honest politics, where there are no lies or falsehoods."
Reiwa Shinsengumi Leader Yamamoto Taro said, "Since before the coronavirus started to spread, many people have been struggling because of this country's declining economy. We want to promote aggressive fiscal measures. One would be to abolish the consumption tax."
Social Democratic Party Leader Fukushima Mizuho said, "The LDP's coronavirus measures have always been too late and too little. They're always off the mark, aren't they? The Social Democratic Party is appealing for a change of government to ensure our survival."
The party fighting against NHK in the trial for violating Article 72 of the Attorney Act Leader Tachibana Takashi said, "NHK's receiving fees are not taxes, but public utility charges. The only way to achieve a fairer fee system is to make NHK scramble its broadcast unless you pay. Only politics can change the system."
All 465 seats in the Lower House are up for grabs.
289 will be decided in single-seat districts and 176 through a system of proportional representation.
A majority is 233 seats. Prime Minister Kishida says if the governing coalition can secure a majority, he would consider it a victory. The coalition held 305 seats when he dissolved the chamber last week. The campaign runs for 12 days until October 30th, the day before the vote.