Japan’s main oppn seeks discrimination-free society

Yukio Edano, leader of the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), said it seeks to realise a discrimination-free society that respects diversity.

On Monday, he announced at a press conference the polices that the party would implement if it wins the general election, including offering married couples the option of keeping their surnames separate, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the Justice Ministry, Japan is the only country in the world that has a law forcing married couples to share a surname, though the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has recommended the country should change the system.

The CDPJ also aimed to introduce a law to protect the rights of sexual minorities, help women subjected to domestic violence, and issue a ban on discrimination based on gender, nationality, and disability.

In addition, it planned to review Japan’s immigration system.

The announcement of the policies comes as the leadership race of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on September 29 for picking Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s successor takes centre stage.

“The LDP is dominated by adamant opposition (to such changes). Whoever becomes its president can not realise them. We must accomplish the change of power,” Edano said.

The CDPJ released last week its first set of pledges including working on a supplementary budget for assisting people hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, lowering the consumption tax rate, achieving a zero-carbon society without nuclear energy, raising the minimum wage, and opposing an amendment of the Constitution.

Since the House of Representatives members’ terms expire on October 21, the general election in Japan will be held in the coming months.