The 198th ordinary Diet session convened on January 28, 2019. Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) Leader Yukio Edano stood at the interpellation on behalf of the CDP/Independents Coalition at a House of Representatives plenary session held on January 30, following the four administrative policy speeches by Cabinet members. Edano asked the Prime Minister and related members about their views on: (1) The issue of improper data collection for the Monthly Labour Survey; (2) Issues with the Henoko base construction; (3) Energy and nuclear power policies; (4) The rise in the consumption tax rate; (5) Free early childhood education; (6) The National Defense Program Outline and defense budget; and (7) Diplomatic relations.

Edano clarified the CDP’s vision for Japanese society, stating that it would strengthen the system for providing mutual support to people in vulnerable positions. This includes issues relating to education and childrearing, life after retirement, as well as unemployment and support for people living with disabilities. Edano advocated the new alternative of “a society of mutual support, that will replace the competitive society that has existed hitherto, revitalizing Japan’s society and economy for the next generation.”

In conclusion, Edano expressed his determination as follows: “The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan is committed to taking on the new challenge of grass-roots democracy, a different approach from that of existing parties, while keeping in mind the starting point of our party established in October 2017. We will continue to make concrete policy recommendations and monitor the administration, heeding the grass-roots voices of our many citizens.”

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During a House of Councillors plenary session held on February 1, Tetsuro Fukuyama, Secretary-General of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, questioned the government’s views on behalf of the CDP/Minyukai/Hope Coalition on the following issues: (1) Prime Minister Abe’s leadership of the administration; (2) The Monthly Labour Survey issue; (3) the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals); (4) Easing of monetary policy and exit strategies; (5) The rise in the consumption tax rate; (6) Free early childhood education and childcare; (7) Issues of climate change, as well as energy and nuclear power policies; (8) Issues of foreigners working in Japan; (9) The Northern Territories dispute; (10) Issues of the US base relocation to Henoko; (11) The National Defense Program Outline; and (12) Gender equality. 

In conclusion, Fukuyama showed his determination, stating that the CDP will work together with all citizens to build a society that recognizes diversity and supports one another, and as in past years will move not to the right or the left, but forward.