Statement on the General Election Results
Standing Executive Committee,
Japanese Communist Party
October 23, 2017
In the House of Representatives election on October 22, Japanese Communist Party candidate Seiken Akamine won in the No.1 single-seat district in Okinawa. This victory was achieved by concerted efforts by the JCP and the All Okinawa Council, the prefecture-wide group fighting against the US base construction in Okinawa.
As for the proportional representation blocs, the total number of JCP seats decreased from the 20 it had obtained three years ago (with 6.06 million votes or 11.37% of the total vote) to 11 (4.4 million, 7.91%). This is a disappointing result for us. However, JCP members and supporters across the country worked hard to achieve gains in the election. During the campaign, many people also called for voters to cast ballots for the JCP in the proportional representation districts. We feel that the JCP has not been powerful enough to lead these active moves to its progress.
The JCP will review the general election outcome and draw lessons from it at the next central committee plenum, listening to opinions from inside and outside the party. We deeply appreciate all the people supporting the JCP and are determined to recoup our strength in the next national election.
In the general election campaign, the JCP struggled in accordance with its overriding policy of working for the success of the alliance between opposition parties and concerned citizens. The three opposition parties – the JCP, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and the Social Democratic Party – worked together based on the seven-point policy agreement with the Civil Alliance for Peace and Constitutionalism. It is our delight that the CDPJ made a remarkable advance and that the joint opposition forces have increased seats as a whole.
In the face of the serious situation in which the largest opposition Democratic Party merged into the Party of Hope launched by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike shortly before the snap election, the JCP decisively and consistently pursued the continuation of the opposition alliance. For the sake of unification of the opposition forces, the JCP made a quick decision to withdraw its candidates in 67 single-seat constituencies and voluntarily backed other opposition candidates. The election outcome clearly shows that this JCP move contributed to the overall advance of joint opposition forces. We are confident that our decision put on display our commitment to the cause of putting an end to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s runaway government and reviving democracy in Japan’s politics.
As we fought together with citizens and the other two opposition parties, a bond of alliance and solidarity has been created across the nation and we made many friends. This is the greatest treasure we have obtained through this election. Making good use of this treasure, we will continue to work to further develop the opposition parties/citizens alliance.
As a result of the election, the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties gained a two-thirds majority in the Lower House. This is because the Party of Hope, an upstart force supporting the LDP, divided the opposition alliance. The LDP now accounts for 61% of all the seats in the lower chamber although its share of the votes in the proportional representation blocs was only 33%, or 17.3% of all eligible voters. It is nothing but a “fictitious majority” which was brought about by the single-seat constituency system which solely serves the interests of major political parties.
During the election campaign, the JCP called for a severe verdict on the runaway Abe government and presented its vision for creating a new Japan with a focus on five issues; diplomacy, economy, nuclear power generation, the Constitution, and nuclear weapons. We are sure that our proposal is a pioneering, unique one which tackles urgent issues facing Japan and shows a convincing alternative to PM Abe’s anti-people policies.
We promise to do our best in the Diet to fulfill our campaign pledges. We are also determined to continue our all-out efforts to further the opposition parties/citizens alliance and promote various public movements, including the one to defend the pacifist Constitution.
How can the JCP make a leap forward while advancing the alliance between concerned citizens and opposition parties? This has become a new challenge that requires our further efforts. Based on lessons learnt from the latest general election, we are resolved to undertake the following two challenges.
The first is to strengthen our activities to increase people who understand the JCP Program and its history and philosophy, and entirely support the JCP. To promote such activities on a daily basis will become a driving force for gaining support for the JCP even in the current complicated political circumstances. The JCP 27th Congress Resolution calls for organizing “meetings to discuss the JCP Program and Japan’s future” in every corner of the country. We sincerely call on all party members to put into practice this Resolution using your own words and putting your own thoughts and ideas into this activity.
The second is to enhance the JCP’s own strength by focusing on increasing party membership. Based on the Congress Resolution, we have worked to increase party membership and Akahata readership, aiming for a JCP victory in the general election. However, despite the great efforts made by many party members, we unfortunately had to fight for this general election campaign with fewer party members and fewer Akahata readers compared to that in the previous general election three years ago.
We sincerely call on all party members to organize meetings and events at the grassroots level, talk about Japan’s future perspective with a wide range of citizens, and work to build a stronger JCP with the aim of achieving a major advance in the next national election and in the nationwide local elections slated for April 2019.