Shii: JCP victory in Tokyo Metro Assembly election has great significance in Japan’s politics
July 4, 2017
The Japanese Communist Party made advances in the July 2 Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election. JCP Chair Shii Kazuo on the following day issued a comment, explaining the significance of the party’s electoral success. His comment is as follows:
In the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, the JCP not only maintained its pre-election strength of 17 seats but gained two seats. We now have 19 seats in the assembly. The JCP supported Yamauchi Reiko, candidate of the Tokyo local party Seikatsusha Network, and she was elected as well.
In the election campaign, the JCP worked hard for the goal of securing its pre-election strength of 17 and winning additional seats. We succeeded in achieving this goal.
As the local political party “Tomin First no Kai” emerged as a new and powerful player in the election campaign, our electoral battle was not easy.
Despite this difficult situation, the JCP won 19 seats. I would say that this was a major victory.
In the previous election four years ago, the JCP increased its number of seats. This time, the party made a consecutive advance in the metropolitan assembly election for the first time in 32 years since 1985.
I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Tokyoites who voted for JCP candidates. I also express my gratitude to our supporters and JCP members for working hard in the election campaign.
In the July 2 election, the JCP obtained first-ever seats in four electoral districts. In the two-member Northern Tama No.4 district, three-member Meguro, and three-member Northern Tama No.3, JCP candidates won for the first time in 16 years. In the four-member Machida electoral district, the party achieved a victory for the first time ever.
Two JCP candidates failed to secure seats in the Bunkyo and Nakano constituencies where the party was successful in the previous election even though. JCP candidates in the two constituencies put up a good fight, receiving a much larger number of votes than in the election four years ago.
Regarding two-member and three-member election districts, in addition to the three constituencies that I just mentioned, our incumbent candidates were elected in the Kita, Northern Tama No.1, and Toshima electoral districts. A total of six JCP candidates won in constituencies with three members or less. This achievement is very significant and meaningful for the future of the party.
During the election campaign, the JCP made the point that there are three major issues.
First was that the election in the Japan’s capital city of Tokyo provides a good opportunity for voters to deliver a “No” verdict to the Abe government which uses its power for its own interests and tramples on the Constitution. The JCP appealed to the voters that a JCP advance in the election will play a role as a “red card” for the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties.
Second was to push the Tokyo Metropolitan government to cancel its plan to relocate the fish market from Tsukiji to Toyosu. The JCP proposed that the Tsukiji Market be passed down to future generations.
Third was that the Tokyo government should change the present way of using taxpayers’ money. The JCP urged the government to spend less on unneeded large-scale public works projects and instead more on welfare programs and measures to help people’s livelihoods.
Regarding these three issues, the JCP attracted support and empathy from a wide group of Tokyo voters.
In order to meet our commitments, the JCP will work even harder in the Tokyo metropolitan assembly as well as in national politics by further increasing cooperation with a broader range of people.
Overall, the crushing defeat of the LDP has stood out in the election outcome.
This is only natural because many people got angry with Abe’s personalization of power as seen in the “Moritomo Gakuen” and “Kake Gakuen” scandals and with his policy of disregarding the Constitution as seen in the forcible enactment of the anti-conspiracy law by using underhanded tactics. Many of the general public also became frustrated with the Abe government’s moves to high-handedly impose amendments to Article 9 of the Constitution. More and more people have become unable to tolerate such behavior and decided to hand down a verdict of no-confidence to the Abe regime in the election.
The Abe-led LDP-Komei government should evaluate this outcome seriously and fundamentally reevaluate its attitude.
The JCP, in preparation for the upcoming general election, will continue making efforts to greatly advance the joint struggle between the opposition parties and concerned citizens in order to achieve major progress. The party resolves to do its utmost in the next Lower House election to break the present power balance in the Diet where constitutional revisionists occupy two thirds of parliamentary seats and work to turn the LDP, the Komei Party, and their supplementary force into a minority in the Diet.
The JCP during the election campaign stressed the need to hold an extraordinary session of the Diet to deal with pressing immediate issues. The party again demands that the session be convened as requested by the four opposition parties. A thorough investigation into the series of allegations and severe criticism over Abe’s handling of politics are urgent tasks the Diet should tackle without delay.