Statement by Kengo Sakurada, Chairman of Keizai Doyukai
on Result of Today's Upper House Election
July 21, 2019
Chairman, Keizai Doyukai
- The ruling coalition is set to win more than half contested seats at the 25th Upper House regular election voted and counted today. We understand that it is the result of Prime Minister Abe's stable management of the government, which has gained some mandate from the public, against the backdrop of the international situations complexed in terms of diplomatic basis such as trade and national security. The domestic stability is clear when looking at the situations overseas; the United States and China struggling for supremacy, the European Union suffering from a worsening political imbroglio, and Asia heightening a geopolitical risk.
- We regret that the candidates could not well promote nationwide debate during the campaign period on Japan's fiscal challenges and social security. Although issues of funds for later stages of life and the level of the pension benefit had attracted attention toward the end of the last ordinary Diet session, they did not really materialize for discussions. We have hope that Prime Minister Abe--the incumbent leader of the stable administration--will, on top of the consumption tax rate hike to 10% scheduled in next October, actively pursue establishment of base for management of the country as legacy for the next generation, such as fiscal consolidation and construction of sustainable social security system. In the autumn extraordinary Diet session, we expect further constructive deliberations for painful reforms that will mitigate future concerns.
- The constitutional amendment, one of the agendas during the election campaign, could trigger each of us to have one's own vision of the nation, and in this regard, it is meaningful. We request each political party to present its view on the Constitution in the new era, which will lead to open and responsible discussions.
- The trend of the declining voter turnout has not stopped in this election and is discouraging. First of all, we request the government to further improve advance and absentee voting systems, and to make efforts to develop environment that promotes the public to vote. Above all, younger generations must be focused by introducing a new system such as e-voting.