Pro-governor political parties gain majority in Okinawa prefectural assembly election

June 7, 2016

In the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly election held on June 5, the Japanese Communist Party and other political parties supporting Governor Onaga Takeshi increased the total number of their seats by four to 27 from their pre-election strength, securing a majority in the assembly. Okinawans have again indicated their opposition to the plan to construct a new U.S. base in the Henoko district in the prefecture.

The JCP obtained 15.8% more votes than in the previous election. Its share of the vote went up by 0.8 percentage points. The number of JCP seats rose to six, up one from before the election.

The Liberal Democratic Party, which is promoting the Henoko base project, had fielded 19 candidates, but only 14 of them were elected. The Komei Party’s vote share decreased by 20% from the previous election.

JCP Secretariat Head Koike Akira on June 6 at a press conference in the Diet building stressed that the election results indicated Okinawans’ strong demand for the cancellation of the planned Henoko base construction, the closure and removal of the Futenma base, and a peaceful Okinawa without military bases. He said, “The Abe government and the LDP should take these results seriously.”

The JCP spokesman took up a recent opinion poll jointly conducted by the Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Television. Koike pointed out that 43% of the respondents called for the removal of all U.S. bases from Okinawa and that the percentage of those who are opposed to the Henoko base plan hit a record high of 84% since Prime Minister Abe Shinzo took office. He also mentioned that regarding the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, over 60% of the respondents said that the treaty should be replaced by a peace and friendship treaty or should just be abolished, while only 12% said that the current treaty should be maintained.

Koike went on to say that the JCP will work even harder to strengthen public movements calling for the closing down of the U.S. Futenma base and for the revocation of the plan to “relocate” the base to Henoko. He added that the party will do its utmost to achieve the victory of joint candidate Iha Yoichi in the Okinawa constituency and a JCP advance in this summer’s Upper House election.

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
4-26-7 Sendagaya,Shibuya-ku,Tokyo 151-8586