The Executive Committee of the Japanese Communist Party Central Committee on July 16 issued a statement explaining the JCP position toward the upcoming House of Representatives general election.
The following is the translation of the statement, “Use the upcoming general election as an opportunity to put an end to LDP-Komei government policies and choose a new direction for Japanese politics ? JCP’s stance on the upcoming dissolution of the House of Representatives and the general election”:
When the LDP-Komei government suffered a historic defeat in the July 2007 House of Councilors election, the JCP stated, “The voters have judged that the political framework of the LDP-Komei coalition can never provide the public a promising future.” It also emphasized that the election result marked the “advent of a new era in which a new political process is starting with voters seeking a political change as an alternative to the existing one.”
Two years have passed since then. In the recent Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, voters again delivered a severe verdict on the LDP-Komei government.
The total number of votes cast for the LDP and Komei was 2.2 million, down 60,000 from what they garnered in the 2007 House of Councilors election. The Democratic Party of Japan received 2.3 million, almost unchanged from the 2007 election. The JCP increased its voting strength to 710,000 from 550,000. While it is regrettable that the JCP suffered a setback in the number of its seats in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, we should note the fact that it had a positive result in terms of the number of votes obtained while the number of votes cast for the LDP-Komei block decreased.
Clearly, voters want the LDP-Komei government out of power, and Japan has entered a new era in which voters are looking for a new direction of politics.
In campaigning for the upcoming House of Representatives general election, the JCP will focus on giving its verdict of the status quo and offering a new direction for politics as follows:
Giving a verdict means forcing the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties to relinquish power. An overwhelming majority of the public is opposing the LDP-Komei government led by Prime Minister Aso Taro not just because of Aso’s personal problems, scandals, or mismanagement of government. The public is increasingly angered and discontented by the Aso government’s politics that have reached an impasse and by its inability to show a new direction for the country.
The government has encouraged employers to create more unstable and disposable jobs. It has carried out cutbacks on spending for social services causing a crisis in health care services, nursing care services, and the pension systems. While forcing ordinary people to pay more in taxes, it has given millionaires and large corporations excessive tax breaks. These extraordinarily pro-big business policies have spread the law of the jungle throughout Japanese society, increased the poverty rate, and widened economic inequalities. As a result, the government is left stranded.
The government is strengthening the functions of the U.S. military bases in Japan. It is also paving the way for increasing overseas dispatches of the Self-Defense Forces and even for revising the Constitution to enable the SDF to use military force abroad. These polices are based on the view that the Japan-U.S. military alliance is the absolute foundation of the nation’s polity. Thus, Japan is unable to respond to the changing world situation and finds itself at an impasse.
Allowing the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties to stay in power does no good but much harm to the public at large. It is clear that the people, who supposedly have the sovereign power, should put an end to the LDP-Komei government so that this will be a major turning point in changing politics in a progressive direction.
The JCP is severely criticizing the LDP-Komei government for its basic policies. It has been struggling hard against misgovernment in order to defend the interest of the general public on all issues.
In its campaign, the JCP will strive to increase its seats in the Diet by reminding the public that voting for the JCP is the most effective verdict that will force the LDP and Komei parties out of power and not allow them to use any “grand coalition” or other form of coalition to ensure than they can continue to stay in power.
We will ask the public to choose a direction for Japanese politics that will replace LDP-Komei politics.
In light of the present of correlation of forces among political parties, a DPJ-led government is likely to assume power after the next House of Representatives general election. Given this prospect, the question now is what is the direction of new politics envisaged by the DPJ to replace LDP-Komei politics? The DPJ emphasizes the need to “break down the barrier of bureaucracy” but when it comes to reforms in the Japanese economy and stance on diplomacy, the DPJ has not put forward any clear plan. Worse still, the DPJ is inclined to carry out a consumption tax increase, revision of the Constitution’s Article 9, and a cut in the number of House of Representatives seats allotted to the proportional representation blocks.
The JCP believes that if Japan is to break away from the present political debacle, it is indispensable to break with the outdated framework that has defended the interests of the financial circles and large corporations while maintaining the military alliance with the United States as the absolute prerequisite. From this position, the JCP will wage a general election campaign by putting forward the following two main “objectives” for Japan in the 21st century, which are inseparable from meeting the demands of the majority of the Japanese people.
The first objective is to establish an “economy governed by rules” to defend people’s livelihoods and basic rights. This means putting an end to the excessive pro-business government policies.
The second objective is to establish an “independent diplomacy rejecting subservience to any foreign country” so that Japan can contribute to peace in Asia and the rest of the world with Article 9 of the Constitution as a guide. It is essential to break away from the aberrant policy that regards the military alliance with the United States as absolute.
Only when the JCP with these progressive policies increases its seats in the Diet, can it become the driving force for setting in motion the “new political process in a new era enabling the nation as a whole to explore a political direction that replaces the LDP-Komei government.
If a DPJ-led government is established as a result of the upcoming election, the JCP, as the party that has clearly indicated the direction that Japan should take in the 21st century, will work on the following three tasks.
Firstly, in order to realize the earnest demands of the public, the JCP will present policy proposals, cooperate with the government on agreed tasks, and play its role as a “propeller” to push ahead with such policies.
The JCP will aggressively make proposals from people’s viewpoints in all fields, such as pushing for a drastic revision of the Worker Dispatch Law, the abolition of the discriminative health insurance system for the elderly aged 75 and over, the removal of the beneficiary-pays principle stipulated in the self-support assistant law for the disabled, price support for agricultural producers and income compensation for family farmers, reduction or removal of U.S. military bases, initiatives for the abolition of nuclear weapons on a global scale, and a ban on corporate political donations from companies and organizations. The JCP will do its best to attempt to cooperate with other political parties on common ground as well as work with popular movements in order to carry forward policies step by step in line with people’s wishes.
Secondly, the JCP will work hard as a “bulwark” against regressive moves if the DPJ actually proposes such dangerous policies as a consumption tax increase, promotion of constitutional revision, or cutbacks in the House of Representatives proportional representation seats.
While pursuing cooperation with other parties on these political tasks based on mutual agreement, the JCP will make efforts to increase public awareness and cooperate with the public in various struggles to prevent political forces from turning the country into a repressive society.
Thirdly, the JCP will do all it can to advance the national effort to establish a democratic coalition government in which the people are the key players.
The JCP will always strengthen its efforts to form a national consensus on drastic change in politics by putting forward genuine counterproposals to replace the existing policies that serve the interests of the business community and large corporations and that view the Japan-U.S. military alliance as being absolute.
Japanese politics is at an historic turning point. The upcoming House of Representatives general election will be the first political battle at this stage.
It will be an historic election because the main issue is in what direction Japanese politics should move after putting an end to the era of LDP-Komei government. In this regard, the main focus of the election will be whether the JCP can advance. The JCP has been the main opponent of LDP-Komei policies. It has shown an alternative to LDP-Komei politics. It can play the role as a constructive opposition party in defense of the public interests. Its advance can be a motive force for paving the way for a new Japan that responds to the needs of the public.
We will do our utmost to increase the number of JCP seats in the Diet, give a verdict on the LDP-Komei government and offer a new political direction for Japan.
Akahata, July 17, 2009