Sanae Takaichi outlines the campaign to become Japan’s first female prime minister

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Japanese politics and policy updates

Sanae Koichi, a hard-line nationalist who is outspoken about national security, has participated in the competition Yoshihide Suga Her goal is to become Japan’s first female prime minister.

The 60-year-old former Minister of Communications, supported by Yoshihide Suga’s predecessor, Shinzo Abe, is one of the few outstanding female politicians in Japan. But she is a divisive figure who frequently visits the controversial Yasukuni Shrine and promotes constitutional reforms to strengthen Japan’s military capabilities.

When she launched her campaign on Tuesday, she said that if she is elected to succeed Suga as the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), she will stick to her predecessor’s Abenomics plan, which relies on aggressive monetary and fiscal stimulus.

Takaichi calls her plan “Sanaenomics” and she proposes to increase investment in crisis management so that Japan can better respond to risks such as pandemics, food security, and cyber attacks.

She will also shelve Japan’s goal of restoring a basically balanced surplus by 2025 to prioritize the 2% inflation target and avoid raising consumption taxes to fund stimulus measures.

She said at a press conference in Tokyo: “Through this plan to make the Japanese economy resilient, I will rebuild the economy and put it on the path of growth.”

In order to solve the coronavirus crisis, Gao Yi said that she will consider a new legal framework to achieve the lockdown. Although Europe and other countries have imposed compulsory blockades, Japan’s social distancing has always been voluntary, partly because of the free movement rights granted by the constitution.

Last week, Yoshihide Suga became infamous for his handling of the epidemic, and he suddenly resigned. However, his withdrawal after only one year in power has also raised concerns that Japan will return to a period of political instability that preceded Abe’s nearly eight-year term.

Takaichi does not belong to a certain faction and ranks low in public opinion polls. Few analysts believe that she can win enough support to defeat other major candidates such as Vaccine Minister Taro Kono and former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

“We still don’t know how the game will be played, but so far, most views think it will be a battle between Kishida and Kono,” said a Liberal Democratic Party member of a faction associated with Abe.

Nevertheless, since many powerful factions of the Liberal Democratic Party have yet to decide which candidate to support, the addition of the first grade may split the key votes.

She is the only runner who has been declared a female so far, but her conservative views on gender are unlikely to accelerate the progress of Japanese women.

For a long time, she has always believed that married couples should continue to use the same surname. Feminist activists say this practice violates their constitutional equal rights. She also opposes allowing women to succeed to the throne.

The Liberal Democratic Party will elect its next leader through the Electoral College on September 29. Its 383 members of Congress hold half of the votes, and the rest will be composed of regional party officials.

The winner will almost certainly become the next prime minister, because the ruling coalition controls the majority of seats in parliament. Then a general election must be held before November 30.

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