Shii calls on new DP leader to hold talks on ways to advance opposition-citizens alliance

September 2, 2017

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on September 1 expressed his hope for holding talks with the newly-elected Democratic Party head in order to advance the opposition-citizens alliance.

The largest opposition DP on this day elected Maehara Seiji as its new leader. At a press conference after his election, Maehara, who served as Foreign Minister under the DP-led government, said that the new leadership will discuss electoral cooperation among opposition parties, including the JCP, in the coming general election. He also added that relations and agreements that his predecessors created with other opposition parties should be respected.

Later on the same day, at a press conference in the Diet building, commenting on the results of the DP presidential race, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo said to the press, “I will send Maehara my congratulations. Seeking further progress in the opposition-citizens collaboration, I will ask him to hold talks.”

Asked about electoral cooperation among opposition parties, Shii said, “At this moment, what is necessary is to field joint candidates in three by-elections for the House of Representatives scheduled to be held on October 22 and win the elections. In order to achieve this, I want to call on Maehara and two other opposition leaders to have discussions.”

In response to reporters’ questions about the JCP policy in regard to the opposition parties’ cooperation in the coming general election, Shii said, “The JCP has been reiterating that the need is to work hard to develop policies in common and work out a detailed election platform. Regarding joint struggles in single-seat constituencies, the JCP will make efforts to run unified candidates and is ready to negotiate with the other three parties based on mutual cooperation and support. The JCP will work even harder for success with this viewpoint in mind.”

Shii noted that the four opposition parties (the JCP, the DP, the Social Democratic Party, and the Liberal Party) have agreed to repeal the war laws and restore constitutionalism; put an end to widening social inequality and poverty and the destruction of people’s livelihoods under Abenomics; stop the Abe government’s high-handed way of politics such as the promotion of TPP and the base construction in Okinawa; and oppose PM Abe’s attempt to revise the Constitution.

Shii stressed, “Future discussions among the four opposition parties should focus on how to strengthen the consensus that the four made on political issues.”

Shii also said, “Japan’s need to support the UN convention banning nuclear weapons has become a major issue in the current political arena. I believe, the four opposition parties can reach an agreement to work on this issue. Such an agreement will add international significance to the opposition alliance. This will also be an important subject of discussions among opposition parties.”

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