Happiness Realization Party: The Only Party in Japan That Aims for Small Government

 
The Happiness Realization Party has the third greatest number of candidates running for the upcoming House of Councilors election in Japan, after the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan. Happiness Realization Party is a religious political party founded in 2009 by Mr. Ryuho Okawa, founder of Happy Science. Some suggest that it is a conservative party just like the Liberal Democratic Party, but this is a mistake.

 

National Defense

Master Okawa had two aims in founding the Happiness Realization Party. The first was to solidify Japan’s national defense. If the current situation continues, there is a high possibility that North Korea will launch a missile into Japan. This is why the Happiness Realization Party has been promoting the amendment of Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan.

 

Japan’s Election Methods That Ignore the National Defense Issue

Since the founding of the Happiness Realization Party in 2009, the party’s demands to revise Article 9 have stirred the public, and amendment of the Constitution is now being retroactively debated. Some, however, are of the opinion that Article 9 debates should be avoided since there was uproar within the Liberal Democratic Party in opposition to the security bills when they were legislated last year.

This is why in the upcoming election, the Liberal Democratic Party will begin by establishing an Emergency Provisions Act to prevent the Article 9 debate from arising; but as Happiness Realization Party founder Master Okawa says in his book “The Laws of Justice”, Article 9 contradicts the idea of a sovereign state, since it forbids the sovereign body, the citizens, from protecting their own country. Indeed the U.S. imposed Article 9 on Japan after WWII, but the fact that Japan did not amend it despite opportunities to do so is Japan’s own responsibility.

Countries have been entrusted with significant public rights to protect the lives, safety and property of its citizens; and gives countries the right to collect taxes from its people. Japan, however, is unable to go beyond the exclusively defensive national security policy as it previously signed the ‘renouncement of military forces’ and ‘denial of the right of belligerence’. Thus, they will be unable to protect their own country in confronting the increasing threats from China and North Korea.

It is not hard to imagine what serious consequences a country deprived of the right of belligerence will face in an emergency. For instance, no matter how urgent the situation and no matter how effective a military strategy Japan comes up with, the ‘‘exclusively defense-oriented policy’ does not allow Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force to preemptively attack an enemy military base in a country threatening Japan. It is the same with the Navy: they cannot attack until enemy submarine fleets invade Japanese territory. This gives the enemy a greater chance of invading the mainland.

In other words, Japan does not have self-independence, and so Article 9 is in fact a ‘Abandonment of Sovereignty Act’.

Donald Trump, candidate for the U.S. Presidency, is questioning the unilateral nature of the U.S.-Japan alliance. He demands that Japan shoulder a burden suitable for their part in the agreement. This calls for a revision to the unilateral U.S.-Japan Security treaty. The alliance became unilateral because it was built on the precondition that Japan must throw down their arms and let the U.S. protect them. A revision of the Treaty will inevitably mean a revision of Article 9.
The international situation has changed dramatically in the last 70 years, as can be seen by the fact that offshore balancing was proposed in the U.S. long before Trump raised the unilateral problem. Offshore balancing states that the U.S. army should retreat to Hawaii and only intervene if a problem occurs in East Asia.
Looking at this change in U.S. public opinion since the end of WWII, Japan should unquestionably seek their public opinion on the amendment of Article 9. Citizens entrust politicians with their lives, safety and property through voting in elections. If those chosen politicians truly love their people, they must act as a representative of God and never betray the peoples’ trust.

The Happiness Realization Party aims for a fair U.S.-Japan alliance as a foundation, to strengthen cooperation with other countries, to construct an international defense partnership, and for this it is working to join the TPP. As President of the Economic Strategy Institute, Clyde Prestowitz says, “If Japan aims to become a respected leading country, it must stop relying on the U.S. for defense, and establish alliances with other countries in Asia.”

This shows how outdated Article 9 is, with its ‘one country pacifism’ stance of non-commitment to world conflicts.

Amending Article 9 also brings to Japan the responsibility of protecting peace in the close economic region where trade takes place. They need to be prepared to protect the Pacific Rim and Middle East sea-lanes.

Of the 12 countries in the TPP, 80% of the collective GDP is made up of those of the U.S. and Japan. As Roger Cohen said in the New York Times on June 3rd, “If the U.S. does not ratify the TPP, China will win.” That is, if the U.S. and Japan fail in creating their economic order, the Chinese modus operandi will spread, in other words, China will create regional agreements contributing to the enrichment of China. The TPP has almost been taken hostage in the U.S. Presidential campaign, but it is actually pivotal to Asia’s diplomatic relations. The next U.S. President must remember that America’s prosperity was built on a free market policy, and work to ratify the TPP, which will also act as a coalition against China.

 

Small Government and Low Taxes, Not Big Government and High Taxes

Master Okawa’s second aim in founding the Happiness Realization Party was to establish true freedom and realize a constantly prospering society through small government with low taxes.

The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan postponed the consumption tax rise until October 2019. This means that they have not given up on the raise. Looking back to when the consumption tax was introduced in 1989, Japan faced a 10-year economic slump, and poor conditions have plagued the country ever since the tax was raised from 3% to 5%.

This is why the Happiness Realization Party plans to lower the consumption tax to 5%, and the corporation tax to 20% so more businesses can survive. Regarding the long-term, the Happiness Realization Party aims for a flat tax rate of 10% for corporate and income taxes, and a thorough deregulation to increase freedom. This includes the areas of medicine and agriculture.

Happiness Realization Party is the only political party in Japan that clearly proposes small government. By contrast, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party advocate increased taxation, such as consumption and progressive income tax, through which they will create a society wherein distribution or redistribution would be conducted. The Liberal Democratic Party is also introducing policies that allow governmental intervention into civilian businesses. For instance, on June 2nd, the Abe Cabinet decided to demand equal security for equal work to companies through their ‘large-boned policy’ and ‘One Hundred Million Total Active Society’.

In addition, the Liberal Democratic Party introduced the “My Number” system, which began in January 2016. The My Number system assigns each citizen a number for life under which all of the person’s private information is managed. The Ministry of Finance and tax authorities are aiming to link all citizens’ bank accounts to My Number, which will allow the government to keep watch over every citizen’s private property. In 2021 they plan to make compulsory the linking of My Number with accounts in financial institutions, and following that, will then link real estate registration information. The result would be a society where the Ministry of Finance calculates each citizen’s inheritance and gift taxes, and demands the payment directly.

 

Right to Pursue Happiness Means Guaranteed Property Rights

The Constitution of Japan guarantees every citizen’s life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This ‘pursuit of happiness’ means the ‘guarantee of property rights’. This right to the pursuit of happiness in Article 13 of the Constitution goes back to the United States Declaration of Independence, which goes back even further to the philosopher John Locke. Locke said that each individual is free and equal, and is naturally entitled to the rights of life, liberty and property. We must not forget that this philosophy of individual property rights stimulated the birth of capitalism.

Lawmakers that cannot protect the property of the people cannot be called true politicians. To quote Locke from Second Treatise of Civil Government, “The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom”. In Japan taxes are being raised under the banner of ‘fiscal reconstruction’, but this is depriving each citizen of his or her individual property. Politicians must never forget that they are “servants” to the sovereign body, that is, the people (Article 15 of the Constitution of Japan).

 

Social Security Policy Impossible to Continue

Social security expenses are increasing in Japan. It is estimated that in this aging country, expenses will increase from the current ¥115 trillion by 3 to 4 trillion yen every year, and by 2025 it will reach ¥150 trillion. As the situation now stands, working people are paying around ¥5 million yen (around US$47 thousand) for each retired couple in social security through taxes. In Japan, with working age people decreasing, it means that as the society ages, each worker’s contribution to social security expenses would need to increase. So eventually the consumption tax would have to rise approximately 70%.

This signifies the coming of a society in which citizens are overburdened with taxes because of social security expenses.

 

 
The government has been advertising that people are ensured ’100 years of safety’ with the age pension plan, but if nothing is done about the current situation, it will undoubtedly collapse. The Happiness Realization Party is considering the construction of an ‘active for life’ society and support companies so they can employ older workers. In addition, the Happiness Realization Party aims to gradually raise the allowance receiving age for age pensions, and reject the social levy system where active workers support retired people to create a new accumulative public age pension.

At the same time, the Happiness Realization Party policy presses for the abolition of the inheritance tax, gift tax, and forced share of estate, instead seeking to strengthen family ties by supporting multi-generation cohabitation. This is because a welfare state can destroy even the smallest community, the family. In an interview with The Liberty, economist Ken Schoolland said that if the country begins to take responsibility for each person’s life, irresponsible people will increase, and this will cause gratitude and reverence for grandparents to disappear: the social ties in the family will collapse.

 

Economic Growth to Support the World

It is important to admit that as Peter F. Drucker predicted in the 1960s, the welfare state is a failure. Drucker proposed that non-governmental organizations assume government work: the work that families transferred to the government in the 19th century. Politicians must realize that we are living in the sort of society that Drucker foresaw.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe changed the third of his original ‘three arrows’ plan from ‘growth strategy to attract investment’ to ‘social security for peace of mind’; but it is the former strategy that needs to be sustained.

The Happiness Realization Party proposes a policy of thorough deregulation to create an active civilian community, and to invest in infrastructure and future industries such as transportation, especially the aircraft and space industries and maglev technology. Without cultivating these high-level growth industries, Japan cannot overcome its financial deficit.

In introducing a tax-lowering policy, private businesses will become more economically active, and the GDP will rise. This will allow an easy revenue increase and a restructuring of financial affairs. The Happiness Realization Party aims for economic growth of 5%, a GDP of ¥1.5 quadrillion (around US$1.47 trillion), and to clear the financial deficit within 30 years.

This policy is not a fantasy. In an interview with The Liberty, Prestowitz said that if Japan adopts a policy of deregulation and investment in growth industries, it will attain an economic growth of 4.5% and the GDP will triple to ¥1.5 quadrillion by 2050, closing in on the U.S. GDP.

After the bubble burst in Japan, an anti-growth trend arose that regarded growth as evil; in other words, it became a one-country pacifist economy. There is a likelihood that the free market will be in danger depending on what happens with England’s potential opt-out of the EU, and who becomes the next U.S. President.

In addition, the world population will be approaching approximately 10 billion in around 2050. In this situation, Japan’s investment in growth industries will not only do away with the poor economic conditions, but will help evade war over resources, and will contribute to a world where 10 billion people can live in peace and prosperity.

 

Japan Has a Duty to Accept Immigrants

This topic goes hand-in-hand with the population policy issue. Another characteristic of the Happiness Realization Party is that it advocates establishing a policy that takes into account ‘accepting immigrants’. Drucker predicted that accepting immigrants would be unavoidable for Japan and suggested an annual intake of 500,000. Until birth rate problems began, the number of births in Japan was around 1.5 million people annually; but that has dropped to 1 million. There is a need to fill the gap and this can be accomplished by accepting immigrants.

Many Japanese people feel uneasy about immigrants, but accepting immigrants is a duty that Japan must fulfill. What is needed is to prepare accurate steps to allow immigrants to adapt to Japanese society. Looking back over history, progressing countries always have a growing population. At the current stage, population continues to grow in a developed country such as the U.S. Japan must learn about immigration policies from a developed country built upon immigrants, like the U.S.
Thomas Jefferson said that, “It behooves every man who values liberty . . . to resist invasion of it” so those who value liberty need a political party that can resist invasion of their liberty. Small government can leave behind a prospering society for the next generation without becoming a heavily taxed nation. We must advocate small government in order to regain and protect our freedom.

 

Happiness Realization Party (HRP) and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Comparison Chart

Type of Government

HRP: ‘Small government’ for freedom

LDP: ‘Big government’ with governmental intervention in civilian affairs

 

Constitution Amendment

HRP: Article 9 is dangerous

LDP: gradual amendment via Emergency Provisions Act

 

Type of Government

HRP: ‘Small government’ for freedom

LDP: ‘Big government’ with governmental intervention in civilian affairs

 

U.S. Futenma Base to Henoko Tranfer

HRP: Advocates move unwaveringly

LDP: Says it is the only option, yet compromises with Okinawa and halts construction

 

National Defense

HRP: Double defense expenses, prepares nuclear equipment and law improvements of the collective right of self-defense

LDP: slight increase in defense expenses, uses collective right of self-defense exclusively

 

Tax Policy

HRP: stop second raise of consumption tax and enforce drop to 5%, and in the end abolition of consumption, gift and inheritance taxes

LDP: enforced consumption tax raise to 8%, rise to 10% settled, and raise of maximum rate in income and inheritance taxes

 

Economic Policy

HRP: Deregulation and lowering of tax rates, aims for 5% growth and ¥1.5 quadrillion GDP through careful realistic strategies

LDP: Distributed benefit funds of ¥30 thousand, experienced negative growth with Abenomics, stagnation for over 20 years, aims for ¥6 billion GDP

 

Financial Deficit

HRP: expenditure cuts through ‘active for life’ society along with the economic growth, which will clear deficits in 30 years

LDP: accumulated over ¥1 quadrillion of deficits, announces aim to clear deficit but continues money distribution, which adds to deficit

 

Public Investment

HRP: upholds a long-term vision for the future through cultivation in future industries with high added value (aircraft and space, defense, robots, energy research, etc.) and investment in the transportation revolution such as maglevs

LDP: ad hoc public projects such as maintenance of old infrastructure and earthquake restoration projects

 

Recommencement of Nuclear Plants

HRP: unwaveringly supports recommencement as quickly as possible once plant safety is confirmed

LDP: promoted anti-nuclear dependence in 2012 House of Representatives election, and promoted gradual recommencement after administration returned to power

 

The Liberty Magazine:

Chief Editor: Jiro Ayaori

Senior Editor: Hanako Cho

 

Contact:

Email: liberty@irhpress.co.jp
Telephone: +81-3-5793-1728

 
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