On the Results of the Simultaneous Local Elections
The Japanese Communist Party Standing Executive Committee on April 28 published a statement on the results of the simultaneous local elections. The following is a translation of the statement:
(1) The second half of the nationwide local elections was held on April 27, and the Japanese Communist Party got 2,013 seats in local assemblies, including 940 in cities, 130 in Tokyo's wards, and 943 in towns and villages.
However, the JCP fell short of defending the number of assembly seats it previously held. The number of seats decreased by 90 in cities, 16 in Tokyo wards, and 3 in towns and villages. Unfortunately, we were unable to meet voters' expectations although we tried to draw lessons from our setbacks in the first half of the local elections and did all we could to turn the tide toward an advance.
The JCP expresses its deep thanks to all those who voted for the JCP, members of the JCP and its supporters' associations, and all other supporters who did their best to achieve a JCP advance.
Despite the setbacks it suffered, the JCP won 2,227 seats in the first and second half of the elections, bringing the total number of JCP local assembly members to 4,209, the largest of all political parties. The JCP also has the largest number of women local assembly members. We renew our resolve to do our utmost at the grassroots level throughout the country to realize the pressing demands of residents.
(2) Throughout the nationwide local elections, the JCP campaigned by putting forward and discussing its policies that represent the interests of the people.
In the first half of the elections which were held on April 13 amidst the lawless U.S.-British war on Iraq, the JCP called for opposition to the Iraq war and the defense of rules for world peace, while emphasizing the need to improve residents' living conditions, welfare services, and education and change away from upside-down politics by all-party coalitions which do not include the JCP. This was a campaign of great significance in that only the JCP has stood firmly for the principle that sovereign power rests in the people.
The second half of the elections, in which issues were closely related to residents needs, was held amid a new political development. We raised issues closely concerned with living conditions, including national health insurance, nursing case, child care, and the protection of environment because these issues are important to local assembly elections. In this context, we denounced the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties for ignoring the well-being of the people and tried to let voters know the valuable role the JCP plays as well as its achievements and policies.
These JCP calls and policies have been embraced and supported by an increasing number of voters wherever we reached out to residents. Seeing that many political parties were unable to present voters with their visions and policies in both local and national politics, the JCP's campaign showed how valuable its role is. The JCP will do its best to implement the policies and public promises it put up in the simultaneous local elections.
(3) In setting forward a strategy for this year's simultaneous local elections, the decision of the 5th Plenum of the JCP Central Committee (December 3, 2003) stated: "The task is to take the offensive to turn the tide toward a new major JCP advance. Such a rollback offensive is the only way to ensure our victory." This was precisely the position the JCP sought to carry out in the nationwide local elections.
Unfortunately, the JCP was unable to maintain the number of seats it previously held. But it is important to note that the JCP has obtained a foothold for a future rollback offensive.
Nationally, the number of votes the JCP received in this year's local election was larger than what it did in the House of Councilors proportional representation election in 2001, although it was less than in the 1999 local elections. Compare the votes our candidates received with what the JCP received in the 2001 House of Councilors election in the corresponding constituencies, and you will see that the number increased by 32 percent in the prefectural assembly elections in the first half of this year's elections. In 88 percent of these constituencies, the JCP vote increased. In the latter half of the election, the JCP vote increased by 12 percent in city assembly elections. The JCP got extra votes in 74 percent of the constituencies. In the town and village assembly elections, the JCP vote increased by 11 percent. The JCP got extra votes in 81 percent of constituencies.
The JCP achieved new advances in localities where the JCP is beginning to cooperate with non-affiliated individuals. Following the advances in Tokushima and Nagano prefectures in the first half of elections, all incumbent JCP members were reelected in the local assemblies of four municipalities with JCP members as mayors: Komae City in Tokyo, Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture, Yuzawa City in Akita prefecture, and Sakakita Village in Nagano Prefecture. These results are important. Konko Town in Okayama Prefecture became the 11th municipality to elect a JCP candidate as mayor. The election of the anti-new-base mayor for Ginowan City in Okinawa is also important as the construction of the new U.S. military base there was a major election issue.
Being confident in these achievements which can be a foothold for a future JCP advance, we are determined to make efforts to create a real high tide in national and local politics.
(4) An immediate cause of our recent setback is that the amount of our total activities to inform voters about the JCP, including publicity and organization activities, fell short of what we needed and were less than that in the Upper House members election four years ago.
We need to face up to the lack of our basic strength, the root cause of the problem. In reviewing our failure in the 2001 House of Councilors election, we learned that it is more important than anything else to build a stronger party both in quality and quantity in order to make progress in any difficult circumstances. Since then, the JCP has run a major campaign to increase party members and Akahata subscribers and put its efforts to increase its capacity. Those efforts have just begun to produce results but we need to do more to get these efforts moving fully.
We had to point out declines in the Akahata readership which is a barometer for the JCP's connection with the public. The readership of the daily Akahata during this year's election was 85 percent of what we had at the time of the 1999 elections. For the Sunday Akahata it was 84 percent. The task is for us to study and tackle new challenges, such as the training of successors among young people and organizing stronger JCP branches in workplaces. We express our determination to devote our wisdom and enthusiasm to the building of a JCP strong both in number and quality.
We also came under fierce anti-communist attacks. However, the JCP completely refuted every vicious propaganda attempt and JCP members throughout the country plucked up their courage to fight against the anti-communist campaign. This is a big result we can use in our future struggle. It is true, however, that the JCP could not overcome lies about the JCP from all voters, who were showered with anti-communist propaganda circulated in fliers or by word of mouth. The JCP's great task is to cultivate the capacity to eliminate these anti-communist lies at the grassroots level.
(5) We would like to hear the opinions of party members as well as people outside of the party on the election results before discussing it in the next JCP Central Committee Plenum.
Our next battleground will be the next House of Representatives general election and the House of Councilors election. The JCP will learn lessons from the latest local elections so that we can create a full-scale rising tide of the JCP, necessary to respond to public expectations. (end)
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