Questions and Answers
- Q. The Constitution stipulates the separation of state and religion.
Can’t religion play a role in politics?
- Q. Isn’t raising consumption taxes the only way to get rid of the budget deficit?
- Q. Aren’t the countries surrounding Japan a group of peaceful nations that, like Japan,
will not initiate war?
- Q. How does protecting the country lead to the creation of abundance in people’s lives?
- Q. Isn’t big government more amenable to safety and security?
- The Constitution stipulates the separation of state and religion. Can’t religion play a role in politics?
The separation of state and religion is stipulated to prevent religious oppression by the government.
The separation of state and religion is stipulated to prevent religious oppression by the government, and does not mean that religion cannot play a part in politics.
The reason that the separation of state and religion has been adopted in Japan is that prior to the war there was a history of state-sanctioned Shinto oppressing other religions.
If people who hold religious beliefs could not participate in politics, this would be in violation of the freedom of expression, speech, and assembly set forth in the Constitution.
- Isn’t raising consumption taxes the only way to get rid of the budget deficit?
If consumption taxes are raised, tax revenues will decrease.
There are two mistakes in “the common perception” that the budget deficit requires the raising of consumption taxes. One is the idea that if taxes are raised, tax revenues will increase.
Since the introduction of consumption taxes in 1989, Japan’s tax revenues have not increased. In fact, these taxes triggered the recession that started around 1990, which is referred to as the “lost decade (and a half).” Raising the consumption tax by 2% in 1997 brought about a major recession whereby the Hokkaido Takushoku Bank and Yamaichi Securities Company went bankrupt. Raising consumption taxes led to recession, and overall tax revenues declined. If the aim is to boost tax revenues, the only way forward is to revive the economy and increase the corporate and income taxes paid by companies and individuals.
Another mistake is the simplistic idea that the government raises taxes because there is a budget deficit. The concept of filling the gap in the case of a budget deficit by seizing the property of citizens is wrong in a world where sovereignty resides with the people. Citizens thus have the right to do away the current government and create a new government.
The government seems to be attempting to shift the responsibility for the budget deficit onto the people.
- Aren’t the countries surrounding Japan a group of peaceful nations that, like Japan, will not initiate war?
Whether war is initiated depends on if China and North Korea halt their military expansion.
Although people may think “Japan does not start wars,” Japan’s neighbors such as China and North Korea are rapidly expanding their military budgets, and once countries have become developed militarily, it is not possible to say with absolute certainty that there will be peace.
It would be wonderful if China and North Korea peacefully developed into liberal and democratic nations, but as of present, there is no guarantee that this will happen.
If Japan were to be attacked by China or North Korea and hurriedly attempted to put together a defense system at that point in time, it would be too late. Japan must build a thorough national defense system in times of peace and aim to be a nation that maintains a resolute attitude of neither invading other countries nor allowing other countries to invade it.
- How does protecting the country lead to the creation of abundance in people’s lives?
1. The country’s economic strength is secured by its defensive strength.
Even if the citizens of a country work hard, create new value and technologies, provide these to the world, and obtain significant wealth, people will not invest in that country if they believe there to be a risk of that wealth being taken by other countries with malicious intentions.
From the perspective of investors, a country is seen as a risk if it is politically unstable, likely to undergo a revolution, and if the administration is constantly being replaced.
From the perspective of other countries, the change of government to the Democratic Party of Japan in 2009 was something of a “revolution,” and is viewed as a political risk. The Democratic Party of Japan administration is moving in a direction that compromises Japan-US security arrangements, as can be seen in the problem of the relocation of the Futenma airbase, and Japan is recognized to be facing significant risks in terms of national defense. It therefore seems only natural that stock prices have failed to rise since the Democratic Party of Japan administration took power.
2. We will strengthen Japan’s defensive power, not for the purpose of war, but to realize happiness and abundance for all.
Abundance in our lives is affected by the economy, and vitalizing the economic activities of Japan as a whole will directly lead to abundance for individual citizens. Thus, there is a need for money to circulate within Japan, and to Japan from foreign countries in the form of investment, and the most important issue is how to decrease country risks, as explained above.
The Happiness Realization Party will take power back from the hegemonic administration of the Democratic Party of Japan, and strengthen Japan's national defense by reinforcing the Japan-US alliance. This will ensure the protection of the lives, security and assets of the citizenry, and spur renewed investment in Japan, leading to economic vitalization.
The HRP will also develop an environment where people can feel secure about investing in Japan, revitalize the economy, bring about an economic turnaround, and make your life more abundant.
- Isn’t big government more amenable to safety and security?
Big government is amenable to nothing but widespread poverty.
In the recent elections to the House of Representatives, both the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan presented generous welfare policies. Looking at the campaign pledges of the government, people may believe that big government is more amenable to safety and security, but there is a blind spot in this way of thinking.
A big government will inevitably lead to a society with heavy taxes. We currently pay income taxes and residential taxes at an effective rate of 30%, and on top of that, a 5% consumption tax is imposed when we shop. Going forward, these tax rates will be raised even higher. The higher the tax rates, the more the wealthy population declines. In that case, the demands of social security payments will be set to rise indefinitely. A citizenry that wants big government is treading the path to an equality of poverty.