Shii calls for major JCP advance in simultaneous local elections

On April 4, at the start of the prefectural assembly election campaign, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo called on the public to help the JCP make a major advance in the nationwide local elections in two cities, Osaka and Saitama.

Shii attracted about 1,600 people in Saitama City and 5,000 in Osaka.

He stressed that the election takes place amidst tumultuous changes in the world and in Japan, and it is a good chance for voters to judge which party is really worth choosing.

Shii referred to three points of controversies in the election, the first being a choice of a party working for peace or war.

Immediately after the U.S. war on Iraq, Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro and Liberal Democratic and Komei members of parliament expressed their support for the war acting as "yes men" to the U.S., and even expressed hostility to Japan's peace movement.

The JCP carried out "opposition party diplomacy" and reached agreements with several national governments on "opposition to the war on Iraq." The JCP is the only party in Japan that can squarely raise any objection, if needed, to the U.S., Shii said.

The next was to opt for either a party in support of people's lives and living conditions, or parties destroying them. He criticized the Koizumi Cabinet-government parties for placing as much as 4.4 trillion yen more burdens in medical charges, nursing care premium/fees, and pension premiums on the public in two years.

If the "upside-down" use of tax revenues is changed to help increase payments for social services, the taxpayers will enjoy such services without tax increases, Shii said.

The last was either a party safeguarding local autonomy in services for welfare and living, or parties damaging them.

Of the total 47 prefectures, 34 assemblies are working in effect as "development corporations" for major public construction works.

However, in Saitama, JCP assembly members have contributed to enacting bills to give small- and medium-sized companies a boost and reduce school class sizes beyond the state standard.

Let's vote for the JCP, to make it larger and more powerful in order to help restore local politics in service for residents, Shii appealed to voters. (end)

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