Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary-General Hiroyuki Hosoda says they won’t ditch reforms

Japan’s ruling party has not abandoned its drive for vital economic reforms, the party’s No. 2 official said on Friday, despite rifts in the group ahead of an election over how to fix the country’s tattered public finances.

Views within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) over the fate of pro-market reforms spearheaded by former leader Junichiro Koizumi are split as the party faces the possibility of losing the August 30 election.

LDP Secretary-General Hiroyuki Hosoda said the party was still committed to Koizumi’s drive to fix Japan’s tattered public finances, although the economic downturn was making the process difficult.

“The path for reforms hasn’t stopped,” he said in an interview with a group of reporters.

“It’s just that in the three years after the Koizumi administration, we reformed regional economies too drastically and squeezed funding too much … so we’ve been increasing funds for them a little.”

The party has been split over how to address the need to raise a 5 percent consumption tax, Koizumi’s pet project of privatizing the postal system, and other issues as it tries to finalize its campaign platform. The opposition Democratic Party presented a 49-page policy document on Thursday.



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