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Politics

Japan party calls for Andrew Yang-style universal basic income

Opposition Ishin pledges streamlined social safety net as election nears

The conservative Ishin party advocates consolidating social security programs into a single basic income plan.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's conservative opposition Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) unveiled a new economic policy plan Monday that would consolidate much of the country's social welfare system into a universal basic income program.

The party envisions paying between 60,000 yen and 100,000 yen ($550 to $910) per month to everyone regardless of age. This would replace other types of aid such as public assistance programs, basic pensions and child allowances, which the party argues would make the social safety net more streamlined and efficient.

The proposal -- which resembles the $1,000-per-month universal basic income proposal put forward by former U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang -- is part of a broader economic reform plan being rolled out by the Ishin party ahead of a general election coming up later this year. 

Ishin also advocates reducing consumption, income and corporate taxes and eliminating the estate tax. The party claims the tax breaks will stimulate consumption and economic growth, which will in turn generate revenue together with administrative reforms. It aims to reduce and simplify deductions as well.

The party also calls for easing rules on layoffs to make the labor market more fluid and raise productivity of society as a whole.

The economic policy plan will be included in Ishin's party platform for the lower-house election that will take place in or before October. It will be included in the party platform, along with such measures as cutting lawmaker pay and granting more powers to regional governments.

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