- New Komeito Party
New Komeito Party
President Natsuo Yamaguchi Secretary general Yoshihisa Inoue Founded 1998 Headquarters 17 Minamimoto-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0012 Ideology Buddhist-influenced centrism,
International affiliation None Councillors Representatives Website www.komei.or.jp Politics of Japan
The New Kōmeitō (公明党), New Kōmei Party, or NKP is a centre-right political party in Japan founded by members of the Nichiren Buddhist organization Sōka Gakkai. The leadership and financing of the two groups are currently independent. However, many Sōka Gakkai members support NKP powerfully.
The three kanji characters 公明党 have the approximate meanings of "public/government" (公 kō), "light/brightness" (明 mei), and "political party" (党 tō). The combination "kōmei" (公明) is usually taken to mean "justice or fairness". The word "New" is not a part of the Japanese name, but is used in English to distinguish the party from its predecessor. The NKP was formed as a result of a merger between the Kōmeitō and the New Peace Party on November 7, 1998.
NKP's declared mission is to pioneer "people-centered politics, a politics based on a humanitarianism that treats human life with the utmost respect and care". Domestically, the party proposals include reduction of the central government and bureaucracy, increased transparency in public affairs, and increased local (prefectural) autonomy with the private sector playing an increased role. With regard to foreign policy, the NKP wishes to eliminate nuclear arms and armed conflict in general. In so doing, it hopes to bring about the "dawn of a new civilization of mankind". Although most of the NKP politicians and core supporters are Sōka Gakkai members, NKP platform scarcely remarks on religious issues.
The NKP had a predecessor with a similar (though more to the left) ideology, but the current conservative, more moderate, party was formed in 1998, in a merger of the Kōmeitō and the New Peace Party. It supported the ruling LDP (Liberal Democratic Party), and did well in the 2000 and 2001 parliamentary elections.
In the 2003 and 2004 Diet elections, the NKP did well, thanks to an extremely committed and well organized voter base coming from Sōka Gakkai. The party shares its support base with the LDP, made up of white collar bureaucrats and rural populations, but also gains support from religious leaders. However, on July 27, 2005, NKP's Secretary General said that his party would consider forming a coalition government with the DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) if, in a snap election, the DPJ gained a majority in the House of Representatives. On August 8, 2005, then-Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi dissolved the Lower House and called for a general election, due to the rejection of efforts to privatize Japan Post. The opportunity for a NKP–DPJ coalition did not arise, as the LDP won a large majority in the 2005 general election. The NKP lost about a third of its seats in the 2009 upper house parliamentary election, and is no longer part of a governing coalition.
- Sōka Gakkai
- Clean Government Political Assembly
- Politics of Japan
- Liberal Democratic Party (Japan)
- Japanese general election, 2003
- List of political parties in Japan
- Japanese general election, 2005
- Japanese general election, 2009
Political parties in Japan Major parties Third parties Other parties with Diet seats Major parties with local council seats
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