Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi on March 13 said, "The Iwakuni City referendum was a landmark in that such a large number of residents expressed their opposition to the strengthening of the U.S. base functions in defiance of interferences. The government should heed their voice and retract the plan."
Officials of the government and the Liberal Democratic Party have said that "the government has an exclusive right to deal with national defense" and that "the referendum is regional egoism."
Referring to these remarks, Ichida said, "It is legitimate for local residents to express their opinions on issues affecting their safety and living." He emphasized, "The thinking that citizens must obey national policies is the same as that of prewar days. The principle of local autonomy was established based on reflection on such prewar policies and is guaranteed by the Constitution. "
- Akahata, March 14, 2006