Okinawan progressive forces decide to run joint candidate for Upper House election

In Okinawa, the Japanese Communist Party Committee and the Okinawa Social Mass Party have agreed to put up Itokazu Keiko, Social Mass Party vice chair and prefectural assembly member, as their joint candidate (progressive independent) in the prefectural constituency in the House of Councilors election to be held in July.

The two parties and candidate Itokazu on May 1 signed a memorandum and basic policy papers, calling for "opposition to the adverse revision of the pacifist Constitution" and "opposition to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty".

They also emphasized their anti-U.S. base position, in particular their opposition to the relocation of U.S. bases within Okinawa, the construction of a new U.S. on-sea base near the Henoko district of Nago City, and to the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq. Opposition to a consumption tax rate increase is also included in their policy papers.

The Okinawa prefectural constituency seat will be contested by Itokazu and Onaga Masatoshi, prefectural assembly member from the Liberal Democratic Party.

The JCP and the Social Mass Party reached the agreement after the latter apologized for breaking trust with the JCP, stating that the party continues to maintain its opposition to the Security Treaty and demand for the withdrawal of U.S. bases.

While talks were underway with the JCP about the July election, the Social Mass Party on March 13 concluded an agreement with Okinawa's Social Democratic and Democratic parties that dropped calls for the "abrogation of the Security Treaty", the "withdrawal of U.S. bases from Okinawa", and the "defense of the Constitution".

Criticizing the Social Mass Party for reneging on the progressive spirit maintained in Okinawa and betraying the trust in the JCP, the JCP decided to run its own candidate for the Upper House election in Okinawa. (end)

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