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Gist of policy stances of candidates in LDP leadership election

From left, Fumio Kishida, Taro Kono, Sanae Takaichi, Seiko Noda. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The following is the gist of the policy stances of candidates in the Liberal Democratic Party's Sept. 29 leadership election to choose a successor to outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

    Taro Kono:

    -- will continue to push forward COVID-19 vaccinations and set a road map for bringing social and economic activities to pre-pandemic levels.

    -- will conduct a review of Japan's security policy and bolster defense capabilities to deal with new threats.

    -- supports same-sex marriage and giving married couples the option to have separate surnames.

    -- has walked back his previous opposition to nuclear energy, saying it is "realistic" to restart reactors that have been confirmed safe, while promoting renewable energy in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

    -- has reversed his previous stance of allowing matrilineal emperors amid a dearth in eligible imperials, saying he will respect the conclusions reached by an expert panel advising the government on the issue.

    Fumio Kishida:

    -- will break from the "neoliberal policies" the government has taken since the early 2000s and reduce wealth disparity by boosting middle-class incomes.

    -- will put together an economic package worth "tens of trillions of yen" to support businesses and people hit hard by the pandemic.

    -- will bolster the coast guard's capabilities and boost cooperation with the Self-Defense Forces to counter intrusions by Chinese ships near the Senkaku Islands.

    -- will create a new Cabinet post in charge of economic security including the prevention of a technology drain.

    -- aims to implement the LDP's proposal for amending the Constitution including adding a reference to the SDF to the war-renouncing Article 9.

    Sanae Takaichi:

    -- will consider legislation enabling citywide lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

    -- will continue to visit the war-linked Yasukuni shrine, seen by China, South Korea and other nations as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

    -- plans to implement "Sanaenomics," centering on monetary easing, "agile" fiscal spending during emergencies, and boosting investment in crisis management and growth industries.

    -- will suspend the government's goal of bringing its primary balance into the black until the Bank of Japan achieves its 2 percent inflation target.

    -- seeks to give the SDF the capability to strike enemy bases with electromagnetic pulses.

    Seiko Noda:

    -- seeks to promote diversity in society welcoming to women, sexual minorities, the elderly and the disabled. She also supports giving married couples the option to have separate surnames.

    -- will appoint women to half of Cabinet posts.

    -- will create a government agency dedicated to children and lifting Japan's falling birth rate.

    -- sees regions as key to dealing with natural disasters and pandemics and will seek to decentralize functions from Tokyo.

    -- sees allowing matrilineal emperors as "an option."

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