JCP seats increased from 6 to 7 in Okinawa’s Naha City Assembly election
July 11, 2017
In the Naha City Assembly election on July 9, all seven candidates of the Japanese Communist Party won seats, contributing to increasing the number of JCP seats to seven from its pre-election strength of six.
The JCP obtained seven seats for the first time in 20 years since 1997, and its share of seats hit a record high of 17.5%.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democratic Party fielded 14 candidates in the election which is seen as the preliminary skirmish for the Okinawa gubernatorial election to be held next year in which the LDP is aiming at winning back the governor’s post. However, seven out of the 14, including incumbents, did not win. Following the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, the Naha City Assembly election handed down a severe verdict of no-confidence on the Abe administration and the LDP.
The JCP worked hard with the aim of increasing one seat to strengthen the movement of the “All Okinawa” cooperation bloc. During the election campaign, the JCP called on Okinawan voters, “Let us block the Abe government for ignoring Okinawan public opinion and stop the Abe administration from pressing on with the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko!”, and said, “Let us represent the will of the Okinawans following the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election!” These appeals aroused a broad range of Okinawan citizens’ sympathy.
On the day following the election, all seven newly-elected JCP members of the Naha City Assembly and JCP Okinawa Prefectural Committee Chair Akamine Seiken, who is also a JCP Dietmember, took to the streets near the prefectural government office building to express their determination to fulfill their promise of supporting Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi and blocking the construction of a new U.S. military base in the Henoko coastal area.