January 4, 2013
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in his New Year message emphasized the importance of the JCP role in social movements, especially in the movement to protect Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, on January 4 at the New Year assembly at the JCP head office.
Following is the full text:
I'd like to send my heartfelt greetings to all party members on the occasion of our New Year gathering.
First, I'd like to send my heartfelt gratitude to those who voted for the JCP in the 2012 December 16 House of Representatives general election as well as all party members, supporters, and JCP supporters' association members who braved the severe cold weather to work hard to increase support for the JCP.
The JCP waged an election campaign by setting a target of "obtaining 6.5 million votes to double the party seats in the Lower House." The JCP, however, lost one seat from its pre-election strength of nine seats, receiving 3.69 million votes in the proportional representation election. This is regrettable because the party made considerable preparations for the election with determination to "achieve major advance in this election." As the JCP chair, I feel keen responsibility for falling short of reaching the target. The JCP will hold the 6th Central Committee Plenum on February 2 and 3. Seeking ways to realize an increase in party seats in future elections, we will reflect on the general election results while gathering opinions from inside and outside the party. We will utilize the outcome of this process in the elections of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and the House of Councilors in the near future.
Even though the JCP decreased its seats, through efforts during the election campaign made by all members of the JCP and the supporters' associations, we gained a foothold for increasing JCP seats in elections, though it is a small first step.
The number of votes that the party acquired in the proportional representation blocs in the 2012 general election was 3.69 million or 6.13% of all votes, slightly up from 3.56 million or 6.10% in the 2010 Upper House election which the JCP regards as the "base line" for its progress. In single-seat constituencies, the JCP put up candidates for all constituencies and received 4.7 million votes or 7.89% of all votes cast. This also has a positive significance. I convey my respect and appreciation from the bottom of my heart to all candidates who played a leading role in the election campaign.
In the proportional representation Tohoku bloc, the JCP retained its seat by gaining 1.2 times more votes than the votes in the 2010 Upper House proportional representation bloc. This victory was particularly important in consideration of the recovery of the 3.11 disaster-affected areas and brought pleasure to nationwide party organs which provided support for the disaster victims. This victory was achieved through efforts made by JCP organs in the disaster-stricken regions. They won residents' trust because they took account of disaster victims' difficulties, participated in movements together with the disaster victims, and moved central and local governments to take immediate action, even though they also personally received damage from the disaster. At the same time, this victory indicates that if the JCP unites with the people and works hard for people's interests based on the JCP's founding spirit to "reduce people's hardships", it will be able to obtain a victory in any election district across the country. From this point of view, I'd like to apply the lessons learned from the Tohoku bloc race to our nationwide struggles.
It has been 21 months since the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. Even now about 320,000 people are unable to return to their homes. The JCP will make efforts to realize disaster victims' demands one by one and wage struggles urging the national government to implement necessary public support for disaster victims to rebuild their homes and businesses in the nation's disaster prevention measures as a basic principle. The JCP will make the utmost effort until all disaster victims will "regain their hometowns where they can live without anxiety."
In the Lower House election, the LDP and Komei obtained 325 seats in total, launching the secondary Abe Cabinet. How can we stand up to the coalition government?
What I have to emphasize first is that the administration has failed to gain widespread support among the people though the two parties have obtained two-thirds of Lower House seats. The absolute proportion of votes the LDP received was only 24% in the single-seat constituencies and 15% in the proportional representation districts. The single-member constituency system granted the party a "made-up" majority. Such a wide gap between the public opinion and the distribution of the Diet seats has never been seen.
The LDP's landslide victory was brought by the popular anger at the DPJ's breaches of public promises, not by the public trust in the LDP policies or its past performance. The "wind" causing the change in government originated in public fury against the DPJ misgovernment, not in any expectation for the LDP.
Abe is already about to run wild to destroy peace and people's lives under cover of "tenseness" or "modesty". His party's victory in the election does not mean the public presented their credentials to the LDP and Komei party. I demand that Abe and his coalition administration keep that in mind at all times.
In addition, the Abe government has no solutions to the problems that people want to be resolved.
How to get through the deflationary recession is one of the very important issues. Abe intends to implement additional monetary easing steps through making the Bank of Japan set a target of 2% in price increases and to lavish pork-barrel public works projects amounting to as much as 200 trillion yen over the next 10 years under the pretext of the "toughening up of the Japanese land". These are all conventional and failed measures taken by past LDP governments. Abe and his administration have no intention of increasing household income which holds the key in breaking out of the severe economic recession.
On the contrary, Abe is trying to produce a fake "economic growth" through easy-money policies and public works projects, and to enforce a consumption tax hike as scheduled. This is the true aim of the so-called "Abenomics". We cannot allow the government to push into rock bottom the economy, finance, and people's lives.
How should we settle the nuclear power issue? Against the public opinion seeking a society without nuclear power, the administration has openly declared that it will promote the restart of offline nuclear reactors and the construction of new nuclear power plants. This is an extremely dangerous and irresponsible line that is incompatible with the fact that possible active faults have been found one after another under NPPs across the country.
JCP Lower House member Yoshii Hidekatsu in December 2006 submitted a written question to the government. In the question, he said, "What will become of nuclear reactors when a massive earthquake destroys a power transmission tower and both external and internal power supplies cut off?" Abe, the then prime minister, replied, "We have taken perfect preventive measures against such cases."
The first thing the Abe administration should do is to reflect on the LDP role in propagating the "safety myth" of nuclear power generation which led to the severe accident at the Fukushima plant and to apologize to the victims, especially to the people of Fukushima. It is absolutely unforgivable that such "class-A criminals" who caused the accident are aiming at reactivating nuclear reactors and building new NPPs without examining their past.
It is extremely grave that the Abe government is seeking to put its ambition for constitutional revision into action.
It plans to establish an interpretation of the Constitution that will allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, and relax a requirement to initiate constitutional amendment next as set in Article 96 of the Constitution before moving ahead on revising war-renouncing Article 9. This is the schedule Abe and his cohorts have in mind. If sticking to this plan, they will inevitably contradict Japanese people's desire for peace and also invite strong distrust and criticism among other Asian peoples.
The question of Article 9 goes beyond Japan's domestic politics. Article 9 is a commitment Japan makes to the world that Japan will never again be an aggressor and will play a pioneering role in the quest for world peace, based on deep remorse over the war of aggression that inflicted enormous damage to other Asian nations and the rest of the world. Abandoning this commitment will destroy international trust in Japan.
What is more, Prime Minister Abe proclaims that he will replace the "Murayama Statement", which admits to Japan's mistake in regard to its past acts of aggression and colonial rule, with an "Abe statement". He also resolves to review the "Kono Statement" which recognizes involvement of and coercion by the Japanese military in the so-called "comfort women" issue. We must warn his government that if it embodies Abe's ambition of beautifying the past war of aggression and colonialism, Japan will lose its political and moral position as a member of Asia and the international community.
On the occasion of my New Year speech, I'd like to call on you to make the year 2013 an year to oppose any attempts to adversely revise the Constitution while increasing nationwide movements to defend and make use of Article 9. Let us play a part in launching various grassroots activities such as the "Article 9 Association".
Under the "return" of the LDP-Komei government led by Prime Minister Abe and the new post-election situation, roles the JCP should play are very significant. I would like to point out the following three national roles the party should play and express determination to launch a new struggle in the New Year.
The first is to play a role of a breakwater to confront the adverse current attempting to destroy people's livelihoods, peace, and democracy.
Looking at the new arrangement of political parties in the Diet, it is apparent that the JCP has a special role to play.
In the issue of the consumption tax, the LDP, Komei, and DPJ try to jointly promote a massive tax hike based on their three-party agreement. Led by the three parties, a "tax hike coalition" secures the majority of the Diet seats. Meanwhile, regarding the Constitution, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and the Your Party have shown their position to support a constitutional revision, taking part in a "constitutional revision coalition" which makes up two-thirds of the Lower House seats.
Centered by the Abe's LDP-Komei Cabinet, a "tax hike coalition" was formed on one hand, and a "constitutional revision coalition" is being formed on the other hand. Under such arrangement of political parties, the JCP is the only party which can represent the voices of many people and fulfill a role as an opposition party to wage a head-on confrontation with the Abe cabinet and the two "coalitions."
After the general election, some pay attention to this role of the JCP and express their hope for us beyond difference of political affiliation, saying that it is a time for the JCP to increase its strength.
An influential politician of a conservative party said, "I would like for the JCP to squarely confront the Abe cabinet which calls for a national army and has 'Hinomaru' flag supporters as his cheering squad. The JCP is the only party that can wage a direct fight. Such a fight by the JCP straightens up some politicians' attitude."
A politician who has played an influential role in another conservative party sent us the following message: "I do not support all of the JCP's policies, but I understand well that it describes today's politics as subordinate to the United States and centered by Japanese business circles. I am concerned about the current political situation trying to move more to the right. The very existence of the JCP puts a break on the drift to the right. I place much hope on the party."
During the prewar period, the JCP braved the harsh oppression to unyieldingly call for peace and the sovereignty of the people. Looking back on this role of our party, some said, "When all the other parties followed the power, only the JCP continued to protect the single solid point. Like the Big Dipper, this has been used by Japanese intellectuals as a yardstick to measure how much they were swept away by the current of the times." Of course, the current condition is very different from the prewar period. However, at a time when the adverse current is aggressively emerging, the role of the JCP as the "Big Dipper" is now shining even more. Let us have confidence and pride in this point in our struggle.
The second is the role as a "reformer" to respond to citizens who are looking for a new politics.
In preparation for the general election, the JCP published a series of policies on the economy, diplomacy, the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands, for immediate departure from nuclear power generation, for solution to bullying in schools, and for a change in government anti-disaster measures. We also developed these policies to compile a general election platform to carry out the election campaign. This effort was based on a bitter lesson we learned in the 2010 House of Councilors election. The 2nd Plenum of the Central Committee, summarizing the 2010 race, concluded that our policy promotion activity had a major point of weakness in finding a way to respond to citizens' pursuit and to show them an alternative prospect. I am convinced the effort we made in the general election has a positive significance.
It was my pleasure to see many party branches and candidates throughout the nation say in their feedback on the latest election campaign that they could talk about our policies with strong conviction and that they received support from voters who agreed with the policies.
Certain aspects of those policies can be improved in accordance with the development of the political situation in advance of the House of Councilors election, but their basic points can be maintained. A brochure of our major policies we created for the general election can be also utilized for our future struggles. Let us continue to make use of the policies we have developed by gathering the whole party's wisdom in our continuous activities.
At the same time, looking back on our latest election campaign, we strongly feel that there are many things to be improved upon in the central committee's policy and PR strategies in order to effectively convey our reform policies to voters who are looking for a future course for Japan.
For instance, when we propose "to correct the distortion of policies centered on business circles," it does not mean that we intend to destroy major corporations or have no concern about their businesses. In order to have major corporations fulfill their social responsibility in accordance with their ability, we call for the establishment of an "economic system governed by rules" in which politics will function to restrain the corporate tyranny. Only by doing so can we improve workers' living conditions, open a bright future for Japan's economy and industries, and contribute to a healthy development of corporate businesses. This is what we call for in our economic reform policy. In order to persuasively and correctly convey this to a wide range of workers who think that corporate prosperity is inevitable for better living conditions of workers, our policy and PR strategies need to be further improved and developed.
Regarding this policy, we made an effort to make a certain improvement during the election based on voters' reactions. The following is what we improved in our explanation of our stance to voters: If major corporations carry out competitive restructuring on the ground of their business downturn, this may be effective to make short-term profits of individual firms, but domestic demand in the whole society will further become sluggish, and major corporations' businesses will be caught in their own trap. That is why politics need to fulfill their role in order to create an economy governed by rules.
Such effort for improvement, however, should be made on a daily basis. The party's central committee should develop its ability to understand and respond to the feelings of voters who are looking for a new course for Japan and to convey and talk with them about our reform policies in our daily activities.
I would like to express my determination to gather the party's wisdom and ability to play the role of a "reformer" which can show a bright future course to citizens who pursue an alternative way under the turbulent political condition.
Thirdly, I will touch on a role as a political party "promoting public collaboration" which will further develop public movements in various fields.
We fought in the recent election under a situation in which people's movements in various fields have increased more than ever. Now what I want to emphasize is that in every field, people's struggles continue until they achieve favorable results.
Power of public movements worked as huge pressure against political parties driving anti-people policies during the election campaign.
For example, the Liberal Democratic, Democratic, and Komei parties, which have pushed forward with the consumption tax hike, tried to exclude the tax hike from election issues. In a commercial TV network's debate of party leaders during the campaign, when a program host asked LDP President Abe for a yes-no answer about the need to increase the consumption tax rate, Abe refused to provide a clear answer. This raised a giggle among the other leaders. The LDP really wanted to put the issue on the back burner during the election campaign.
Regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade framework, the LDP during the election campaign promised to "oppose the framework if it requires a 'no-holds-barred abolition of tariffs' as a precondition for joining the TPP." Abe also assumed a non-committal stance on the TPP issue in an NHK interview. More than 160 LDP candidates, however, won their seats in the election by pledging to "object to the TPP".
As for the U.S. Futenma base issue, the LDP in its election promise hid its intention to "relocate the base within Okinawa". LDP candidates in the Okinawa district vowed to "move the base outside Okinawa" and thus won their seats.
The LDP's "landslide" victory does not mean that it gained trust from voters because the party escaped discussing any key issues throughout the election campaign. Making a 180-degree turn, the Abe administration now plans to push forward with its adverse policies which the LDP evaded presenting to the public during the election campaign. Such plans, however, will soon cause further conflicts with people's demands, trigger public anger, and lead to a further development of public movements.
Regarding collaboration with social movements, we have learned many lessons from our recent activities. I'd like to cite two important lessons.
One is the importance of promoting contacts and cooperation with movements in various fields on a daily basis utilizing a long-term perspective. Relations with agricultural cooperative associations are an example. As we increased efforts to wage a joint struggle against the TPP with these associations, we received from some local cooperatives favorable reactions, including declaring their support for the JCP in this election, putting up of JCP candidates' posters in their offices, and distributing JCP flyers to cooperative members. Meanwhile, many still support the LDP. Reaction of farmers' cooperatives to the JCP varies by region. These organizations have been in the conservative position for a long time. In order to work together with them, we need to adopt a different approach and take our time. I'd like to emphasize the importance that both central and local JCP organs should carry on daily and long-term contacts and collaboration with such organizations from this point of view.
The other is to firmly maintain a stance to support the urgent demands of each public movement and work hard to realize their demands. Take for example, relations with anti-nuclear power movements, the JCP has joined the movements and followed their rules to "not publicize a specific group" and to "spread cooperation with respect for agreed upon points." Our effort to stick to this rule, as a result, has contributed to gaining many people's trust for the party. This is also an important lesson.
Under the new situation, in order to create a united front to change Japanese politics through developing a style of "joint struggle on a single point issue" in various fields, I call on all party members to struggle with enthusiasm by activating our function as a political party "promoting public collaboration".
The statement issued by the JCP Standing Executive Committee remarked on the general election results as follows:
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. 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.
The point raised by the statement that "a source of our power is supposed to come from ties between the JCP members and a wide spectrum of people" is gaining attention. I am very happy that many party members are positively making proposals about ways to improve JCP activities from around the nation.
The 6th Plenum of the JCP Central Committee will analyze our situation and propose certain policies in this regard. What is important in the effort to build and develop ties with the public? Taking into account some lessons from the election, doing self-analysis from several angles, I call on all members to search for ways to establish ties with people involved in various struggles.
The first point is how JCP members can further personal ties with people to gain trust in the party.
The 2nd Central Committee Plenum decision, which applied lessons learned from the Upper House election in 2010, noted that each party member has various connections through families, relatives, acquaintances, various activities, mass organizations, circles, civil movements, residents' associations, groups for the elderly, and alumni associations. It also stressed the importance of recognizing all those relations as well as making the best use of them. In this regard, how were our activities expanded?
A local branch in Yamanashi's Kofu City reported as follows: A man who joined the party during last year's campaign to increase the membership has a close bond with his fishing companions. He goes fishing every week with them for crucian carp. In branch meetings, he sometimes expressed his concern that asking his fishing pals to support the JCP may affect his personal relations. JCP Kofu City Assemblyman Ishihara Tsuyoshi advised the man to tell his friends that "a JCP assemblyperson I know is asking for support for the JCP in the general election". When the new member talked to his fishing buddies using this advice, they all promised to vote for the JCP. Encouraged by this experience, the man began to approach other friends and acquaintances. In the end, he got 33 voters to support the party.
We can learn a lot from this story. The man had a close tie with his companions through crucian carp fishing. At first, he approached his friends to ask for support for the JCP with help from the JCP assemblyman's advice. Next, he came out as a JCP member and courageously made up his mind to develop his ties with his friends to gain trust in the party. In addition, the party branch and the local assembly member backed him and offered warm encouragement.
To take part in various activities including hobbies, party members will need "leisure" to do so. Holding branch meetings and reading party decisions will also be indispensable for each member to advance. For that, it is extremely important for all members to read the daily Akahata.
If we can use our personal connections to win trust in or sympathy for the JCP, we can convey the party message to millions of people and win their support. Let's shed light on the overall party potential and make the most of it in the upcoming national election.
The second point is how to establish and expand the ties in line with the changing trend of eligible voters.
According to the reports sent to the CC from around the nation, objective difficulties appear in establishing relations with the general public. Some of them pointed out: the number of people who have land lines is declining; apartment buildings forbidding putting handbills into mailboxes are increasing; and workers are unable to talk freely at their workplaces as they are kept divided from one another.
On the other hand, new movements seeking social solidarity are arising among people following the March 2011 disaster. Their demands are: creating communities based on a spirit of mutual support to eliminate solitary deaths; supporting the disaster-stricken areas and the children of Fukushima in particular; and building a nuclear-free society in which everyone can live without anxiety.
We know the power of the Internet in linking up people. We will pay attention to such new possibilities and making creative efforts for expanding our bonds with the people, while improving our activities in response to the difficulties facing us.
Reports from across the country give us a lot of valuable experiences. Some members are trying to form relationships in their communities through taking up local residents' requests for "zero nuclear power" or "to protect children from being exposed to radiation". Others are developing relations with a wider range of individuals through social networking media such as Twitter or Facebook. The party members are promoting movements by developing links with people who have had no previous connection with the JCP, and gaining their trust and support for the party.
In some workplaces where unions affiliated with the Japanese Trade Unions Confederation (Rengo) force their members to back the DPJ, many workers voluntarily received JCP handbills and papers reporting on major downsizing schemes being carried out by large corporations. The JCP flyers sometimes became a popular topic of conversation at their workplaces and some employees came to talk with JCP members about their anxieties and sufferings. Through such efforts, our comrades are winning workers' support for the party.
A JCP young members' branch in Shiga Prefecture reported about an experience in raising support for the party. The report stated that after learning JCP policies, how to spread JCP support among friends became a subject for a branch meeting. In the meeting, many said that it was unimaginable to make open their support for the JCP to their friends. Branch members then decided to send a text message calling on their friends to support the JCP. They e-mailed the message to 300 young people in total. Nearly a half of them returned responses which included many encouraging ones.
How to create more new relations with people, especially workers and young people, in accordance with a change in tendency of voters, is our recent challenge. Learning from many progressive lessons across the nation, I'd like to develop fresh and creative approaches to this challenge.
Thirdly, talking of our party's commitment with people to increase our membership will be the fundamental pillar. As a matter of course, the strengthening of our activities centering on Akahata and the activities of JCP supporters' associations are the groundwork for that pillar.
It will be important for us to learn how to integrate ourselves and bond with people from a broader perspective in parallel with efforts to build up the party strength.
It will also be important for each one of us to increase party membership and Akahata readership in order to develop new contacts and turn such an effort into our advantage.
The JCP in 17 municipalities was able to increase both the number and the share of the votes in proportional representation blocs in three consecutive national elections - the 2009 general election, the 2010 Upper House election, and the 2012 general election. The JCP in Shirahama Town in Nishi-Muro County (Wakayama Pref.) received 1,187 votes, accounting for 10.17% of the votes cast, the biggest increase among the 17 municipalities. JCP members and supporters in that town reported that they placed get-togethers as the axis of their campaign while systematically increasing JCP supporters and regularly circulating supporters' newsletters. They focus on activities to deepen their involvement with eligible voters on a routine basis. Dialogues with voters only before elections may invite unenthusiastic support, but the daily efforts to build a bond with them can bring about solid support for the JCP. Thanks to such an effort, the JCP in Shirahama Town welcomed 25 new JCP members last year. They fought in the election with an upward momentum: 106% in daily Akahata readers and 104% in Sunday edition compared to the level at the time of the previous election. Their activities teach us a good lesson. At the same time as maintaining a good relationship with people, they increased party strength and established new ties with more people, creating a positive growth cycle.
In efforts to develop our activities centering on Akahata, we should proactively involve ourselves with the public and strive for further advances in Akahata readership. Listening closely to readers' concerns and demands and strengthening ties with them, we should, with fresh resolve, move forward to expand Akahata readers by taking advantage of Akahata's attractive points.
In terms of figures, we succeeded in attracting about 320,000 new readers last year for the daily and Sunday editions combined. We poured a lot of energy into the work to achieve this number. However, at the same time, we lost about 350,000 readers netting out at a reduction of 30,000. If we had been able to keep the reduction level down to 175,000 or half of the actual drop and kept up the same expansion level, 140,000 more people would have become Akahata readers.
The JCP organization in Shirahama Town said that the biggest reason why they were able to fight well in the latest election with more readers than in the previous election is that the daily effort to keep in touch with their readers had resulted in a minimal Akahata reduction. The entire party should also engage in such an activity.
In preparation for a JCP advance in the next House of Councilors election, all party branches should work to receive new members in addition to make efforts to increase their involvement with the public. I wholeheartedly expect that the JCP will mature into a party in which every party organ in every prefecture, every district committee, and every branch will steadily work to increase the number of Akahata readers every month.
Toward the JCP 6th Central Committee Plenum, both central and local JCP organizations should take steps to advance in their activities as I just mentioned. Let us work out fresh policies in order to construct an indomitable and strong JCP which takes roots in the general public. Please convey your active suggestions and experiences to the party head office.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election and the House of Councilors election will certainly take place in the near future. We should immediately begin to engage in full-fledged efforts to build up a stronger party with strong roots among the general public and achieve a JCP victory in these upcoming elections.
We give a warm New Year's greeting to our 3.6 million supporters, 1.3 million Akahata readers, and all the people whom we asked for support in the latest general election. We will also ask for their continued support in the coming elections. We will boldly call on them to subscribe to Akahata or join the JCP. Let us work together to achieve a victory in the elections this time around!
Incorporating a broader perspective of the present situation, there is no doubt that Japan has entered a new era looking for a new style of politics as the 60-year-long LDP style of politics submissive to the United States and favorable to business circles is reaching a dead end.
Japan is the only country among the other major advanced capitalist counties of the world that underwent a change of the Prime Minister six times in just six years between 2006 and 2012: three under the LDP government and another three under the DPJ. JCP former Chair Fuwa Tetsuzo confronted 18 prime ministers during his tenure as Dietmember, which carried a lot of weight, but it has now become so much lighter than it used to be. The old-style of politics has been at an impasse for so long that Japan can no longer handle itself without getting rid of a prime minister every year.
Not only that, Japan is experiencing the phenomenon of disposable political parties. For the purpose of creating a two-party system which marginalizes the JCP, the financial community was directly involved in the establishment of the DPJ. The party is on the verge of collapse. During the last election, we witnessed the birth of a party called the "Taiyo no To (Sunrise Party)" which disappeared after just five days of life and a party called the "Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan)" which lost sight of the future and got dumped after just one month of life. We can no longer entrust the steering of Japan to political groups which are attempting to prolong their lives by only replacing and discarding political parties in a makeshift manner without showing any strategies to get out of the impasse.
No matter how severely the present politics is damaged, it will not automatically collapse or change. It is the people's quest for a new style of politics that will open new doors for another form of politics. Only after they become mature through continued progress in various political experiences, the doors will open. In order to achieve this, the JCP must work hard with the high motivation to grow stronger and larger, rooted deep in the general public as their bulwark, as a true reformer, and as a party pursuing collaboration with them in their interest.
Let me conclude my New Year address by calling on you to work without further delay for a JCP advance in the scheduled Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and House of Councilors elections.