JCP leaders make first call for major JCP advance in Upper House election

The campaign for the July 29 House of Councilors election officially started on July 12. Half of the 252 Upper House seats (including 100 from the proportional representation constituency) are up for election, to be contested by about 500 candidates.

The Japanese Communist Party has put up 25 candidates for the proportional representation election (50 seats) and 47 candidates for the 47 prefectural constituencies (76 seats).

Calling for a major JCP advance in the election, Shii Kazuo, JCP chair, gave his first campaign speech in front of Tokyo's Shinjuku Station before a crowd of about 12,000 people.

Describing the election as "an election for remaking Japan," Shii called on "all those who want to change Liberal Democratic Party politics to vote for the JCP!"

Together with Fudesaka Hideyo, a JCP candidate in the proportional representation election, and Ogata Yasuo, the JCP candidate for the Tokyo Metropolitan constituency, Shii said:

"The JCP-LDP confrontation is the core of the Upper House election over the alternatives; one for a 'Reform under Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro by which people must bear pains,' or the JCP's 'Remaking Japan plan by which the people will be key players'.

Let's win a major JCP advance in national proportional representation election, and in Tokyo, let's assure the re-election of Ogata Yasuo.

There are three major points at issue; one is the way to overcome Japan's economic depression; second, how to change the use of taxpayers money to overcome financial failure; and third, issues on Japan's foreign policy, peace, and the Constitution."

Referring to controversies by party leaders in TV debates on the previous day, Shii also said:

"Only the people have to bear 'pains,' while major banks are enjoying profitable and favorable treatment by the LDP-government. Only the JCP is opposed to Koizumi's 'structural reform' policy so that people's living conditions be defended." Shii received warm applause from the audience.

"Actually, Koizumi does not intend to cut any major public construction projects, but is trying to increase the consumption tax rate and cut state payments for medical insurance," he said and stated that he shared citizen's anger against bad LDP politics.

Shii also criticized Koizumi for taking a subservient attitude in the recent Japan-U.S. Summit Talks, and called for defending Article 9 of the Constitution.

Shii later visited Nagoya City in Aichi Pref. and Kyoto City as his next campaign sites. JCP Central Committee Chair Fuwa Tetsuzo made his first speech in Osaka on that evening before about 15,000 people, and Ichida Tadayoshi, JCP Secretariat head, in Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures.

JCP branch members and supporters carried out putting up millions of posters, delivered handbills to all houses and in front of stations, and exchanged opinions with citizens by telephone. (end)