Yokohama citizens' severe judgment passed on corrupt LDP politics -- Akahata editorial, April 2 (gist)

In the Yokohama mayoral election on March 31, Takahide Hidenobu, incumbent mayor aiming to serve his fourth term, was defeated despite all-out support by the Liberal Democratic Party, the Komei Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the Conservative Party. The winner was Nakata Hiroshi, a non-party candidate and former House of Representatives member.

Matsukawa Yasuo, a candidate supported by the Japanese Communist Party and citizens organizations, was not elected.

Akahata's editorial on April 2 said as follows:

The election results show that the people have a strong distaste for the corrupt Liberal Democratic Party politics and the Koizumi Cabinet.

The approval rating of the Koizumi Cabinet is declining sharply. Many surveys show that cabinet support rates are under 50 percent and that the difference between approval rates and disapproval rates are narrowing.

Angered by the scandals caused by Kato Koichi and Suzuki Muneo, 80-90 percent of the people are demanding their resignations from the Diet, according to Mainichi Shimbun on April 1.

They are also disappointed by Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro, who has avoided his responsibility as the prime minister and LDP president by only saying that whether they resign or not depends on the Diet or themselves.

Acting against his own slogan calling for destruction of the LDP, Prime Minister Koizumi is only anxious to maintain his party and defend the Dietmembers under suspicion. The public feeling directed at the prime minister is shifting from expectation to anger.

The incumbent mayor's defeat in the election is the citizens' judgment on the long-term bureaucratic government, LDP politics tainted by patronage and corruption, and the irresponsible alignment of parties. (end)