JCP puts up good fight in by-elections for both houses

In the House of Representatives/Councilors by-elections held on October 27, all the seven candidates of the Japanese Communist Party made a good fight, and dramatically increased its vote ratio in most constituencies.

The by-elections took place as the first national election following the Koizumi Cabinet's reshuffle to fill five vacant seats in the House of Representatives and two in the House of Councilors.

The government parties won five out of seven seats, the Democratic Party one, and an independent one. The voter turnout dropped over 10 percentage points in each constituency, compared to the previous Upper House elections.

JCP Chair Shii Kazuo in the press conference held on election day spoke about the election results:

It was regrettable for the JCP to fail in winning seats at each of the single-member constituencies, but the JCP has succeeded in dramatically increasing its vote ratio in most of the constituencies over the 2001 House of Councilors election, Shii commented.

Offering urgent alternative policies, the JCP insists that the Koizumi Cabinet must stop its massive tax increase plan and its "restructuring policy." The JCP also calls for comprehensive measures to be taken to encourage smaller corporations and support the people's livelihood under the current recession.

The JCP has stressed that it has actively engaged in international activities for peace, demanding that the U.S. stop attacking Iraq and observe the international peace order under the United Nations Charter, and called for a reasonable way to deal with the Japan-North Korea problem, Shii stated.

The following table shows the vote ratio the JCP candidates received in the proportional representation election in the 2001 House of Councilors election and this election and those of the three governing coalition parties: Liberal Democratic, Komei, and Conservative.

Governing parties
Lower House
Yamagata 4th 6.9 19.7 57.4 31.9
Kanagawa 8th 6.6 9.7 48.2 23.4
Niigata 5th 5.3 10.6 59.2 47.9
Osaka 10th 10.9 18.8 50.9 34.2
Fukuoka 6th 4.5 4.4 62.0 47.7
Upper House
Chiba 7.5 17.5 54.2 45.1
Tottori 6.3 8.1 61.2 33.1
(figures: percent)