Koike: joint opposition candidate’s fight in Hokkaido by-election raises hopes for victory in future elections

April 26, 2016
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira at a press conference held in the Diet building on April 25 commented on the result of the previous day’s House of Representatives by-election in the 5th Hokkaido District. He said that opposition parties’ joint candidate put up a strong fight, which is a significant achievement.

The JCP and three other opposition parties supported Ikeda Maki as a joint candidate in collaboration with citizens in order to repeal the war legislation. In the election, Ikeda crashed head-on with Liberal Democratic Party candidate, Wada Yoshiaki. Ikeda obtained 123,517 votes (48%) of the total and Wada gained 135,842 votes (52%). The voter turnout stood at 58%.

Koike said that although Ikeda lost in the election, she nipped closely at her rival’s heels and that this achievement will provide a legacy for the future.

The JCP secretariat head pointed out that an exit poll by the media showed that 70% of independent voters supported Ikeda. He also pointed out that the voter turnout for the by-election was at a high level, comparable to that in ordinary general elections. He noted, “These facts reflect the general public’s high expectation for opposition parties’ joint struggles in the election.”

Asked by the press about what kind of strategies the JCP will take in upcoming elections after the by-election result is taken into account, Koike stressed that opposition parties’ electoral cooperation took root among voters within a short period of time and helped Ikeda obtain a significant amount of support. He said that by further strengthening this kind of cooperation, the opposition forces will be able to make an advance in future elections. In order to drive the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties into a minority in the Diet, Koike said that it is important to present the opposition parties’ united stance to non-affiliated voters.

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