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Kishida unveils policy pledges in race to replace Japan's outgoing PM Abe as head of LDP

Fumio Kishida, chairman of the Policy Research Council of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, announces his policy pledges ahead of the election to replace Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as head of the party, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, on Sept. 3, 2020. (Mainichi/Hiroshi Maruyama)

TOKYO -- Fumio Kishida, chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)'s Policy Research Council, announced his policy pledges on Sept. 3, ahead of the party's upcoming leadership election to replace outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    Kishida, 63, unveiled his pledges, entitled the "Kishida vision," during a news conference in Tokyo, underscoring "fair and kind politics with principle" to correct economic disparity and divisions in international society, under the theme, "From division to collaboration."

    "We must think of a growth strategy for a new age," Kishida said in explaining his aim to correct economic disparity.

    While acknowledging the accomplishments of the Abe administration, Kishida's platform states that economic and social divisions within the country, as well as Japanese and international society are deepening. It calls for collaboration using digital technology and data under a "digital garden city state concept." Specifically, it calls for raising the minimum wage and providing support for middle-income earners by lowering the burden of housing and education expenses.

    Another contender in the LDP presidential election, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, 71, meanwhile, joined a preparatory gathering of the party's Election Strategy Headquarters held by the chief executives of the LDP's Hosoda, Aso, Takeshita, Nikai and Ishihara factions and unaffiliated Diet members. He stated that he would uphold the stance of the Abe administration, and devote all his strength and heart to the country.

    The third contender in the race, 63-year-old former LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba, focused on preparing himself physically, with a weekly visit to a dental clinic at the Diet.

    (Japanese original by Yusuke Kaite, Political News Department)

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