Shii comments on Tokyo Assembly election results

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a news conference on July 3 commented on the results of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election held that day, as follows:

The JCP has said that this is an election to choose either the JCP or the other parties that support the undemocratic Tokyo administration. The JCP presented the voters with policies for better living conditions and social services, eliminating wasteful use of tax money, and defending peace and democracy.

We are convinced that these JCP policies are in accord with the wishes of Tokyo citizens. However, the balance of power between parties has greatly changed in the last four years.

Although the JCP has failed to defend all the 15 seats it previously held, it is important that it won 13 seats, including two in the two-seat constituencies of Bunkyo Ward and Hino City.

The percentage of JCP votes against the total poll rose to 15.6 percent from 9.4 percent for the House of Councilors proportional representation election in 2004.

I think that these aspects, though only at an initial stage of analysis, have given the JCP a clue as to how to advance the struggle to overcome the moves to establish a "two-party" system.

It has become increasingly clear that the Democratic Party of Japan, in national as well as regional politics, is acting as a ruling party. The JCP will continue to criticize the DPJ for acting in concert with the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties advocating a major tax increase.

Voter turnout was reportedly the second lowest ever. I think that behind this lies a lurking public criticism of current politics, particularly the"all-but the JCP are ruling parties" politics.

In an NHK exit poll, 20 percent of uncommitted voters voted for the JCP, which was next only to the DPJ. I feel that many people who are describing themselves to be non-partisan are turning toward the JCP, though very gradually.

Akahata July 5, 2005

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