December 18, 2012
The Standing Executive Committee of the Japanese Communist Party on December 17 published the following statement on the results of the House of Representatives election:
In the House of Representatives election on December 16, the Japanese Communist Party strived to double its Lower House seats. We set this goal based on the recognition that it is our responsibility to Japanese citizens to achieve JCP progress at a time when the prolonged old-style politics is on the verge of collapse. It is with regret that the JCP lost one of its 9 seats.
The Standing Executive Committee feels keen responsibility for failing to achieve the progress needed in order to meet public demands based on the current situation. We are determined to listen to the various opinions of people inside and outside the party, conduct a self-analysis, and make use of them in our future struggles.
We sincerely thank all voters who voted for us as well as supporters, supporters' association members, and JCP members for giving support to us and working hard campaigning in the cold weather.
In the general election results, the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties obtained more than 320 seats together and returned to government. The results, however, were brought about by citizens' anger at the Democratic Party of Japan's misgovernment for the last 3 years and 4 months. As LDP senior officials themselves admit, the results do not mean that citizens' expectations for the LDP has spread nationwide.
The LDP and Komei have not been able to present clear ways to solve major issues despite public demand for their immediate solution. They have failed to show any answer or prospect to meet the demands of citizens, such as regarding what a major tax hike will bring about amid a major economic recession, or how to solve issues regarding nuclear power generation, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, U.S. military bases in Japan, territorial disputes, and other diplomatic questions.
They presented some policy proposals in their election platforms. However, if they try to carry out what they promised as ways to deal with the deflation and depression, which was the top election issue, they will inevitably deepen the contradictions and crisis. It is very dangerous to have a government led by the LDP, which openly calls for constitutional revision. However, if it tries to forcibly proceed along this path, it could create a serious confrontation with the public sentiment in other Asian countries.
In every major issue, what determines their outcome is the strength of citizens' struggles. We are firmly convinced that the policy proposals we presented in each field will lend significance to the struggles of citizens. In order to realize our election platform, we are determined to make the utmost effort in the Diet as well as in joining forces with citizens' movements.
It is regrettable that we lost a seat, but it is important for us to recognize that the efforts made by all the JCP members and supporters gained a foothold for a future advance.
We fought in this election, setting 3.56 million votes (6.1%) we had received in the 2010 Upper House proportional representation blocs as the starting point as written in the JCP 4th CC Plenum. In the latest general election, we received 3.69 million votes (6.13%) in the proportional representation blocs. Given the 3.56 million, we increased both the number of votes and the percentage of the vote obtained, though only slightly. We tried to put up our candidates in all the single-seat constituencies and obtained 4.7 million votes (7.89%). This also has a positive meaning. The JCP in the Tohoku bloc, in particular, increased the number of votes obtained by 20% compared to the vote polled for the JCP in the 2010 Upper House race and succeeded in securing a valuable seat to work for the recovery of that region from the 3.11 disaster.
Although all the JCP members and supporters worked hard in the election campaign as the old-style LDP policies are on the verge of collapse, we failed to have their efforts result in an increase in our Diet seats. A lack in our own strength is our weakest point. We strongly felt so throughout the campaign. A source of our power is supposed to come from ties between the JCP members and a wide spectrum of people who are looking for solutions to various difficulties. The JCP has an outstanding grassroots power unlike other political parties. However, the potential we should have remains much smaller than what the current political climate requires. In some areas, our influence has grown weaker.
What we should do to build up a stronger party which takes root in the general public is to act hand-in-hand with many people who suffer from the old-style policies, work to lessen their hardships, and talk to each other about the JCP vision to find a way out of the current situation. In that sense, our efforts are still far from sufficient.
Regarding how and which parts we need to work on to create a stronger party, the JCP Central Committee will explore options based on the experiences and opinions of those who are struggling in various areas. The JCP CC is determined to develop approaches to achieving our full potential and make efforts to reach this end.
Viewing the current situation from a wider perspective, it is apparent that Japan is entering a new era in which the 60-year-old LDP-style politics has clearly reached an impasse and more and more people are looking for a new political direction.
People are developing their awareness of exploring a new politics through building on various political experiences. We heard that many voters were unable to make decision regarding their choice among political parties until the very last moment of the general election campaign. Reflecting on this situation, the average voting rate hit a record low in post-war history and 10 million more voters than the previous election chose to abstain from voting. This also shows that people are in the process of searching for a new direction in politics.
Even if the old-style politics comes to a deadlock, it will hardly be expected that such politics breaks down automatically and a new style of politics starts. In order to change political direction, it is essential to build a stronger JCP which is closely linked with people and capable of providing a perspective for the future of Japan. We have to make a start on this job by gathering the party's wisdom and might with the aim to obtain a major advance in the coming elections for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and the House of Councilors.