Local suffrage must reach all permanent foreign residents: JCP

A Japanese Communist Party representative in the Diet demanded that local suffrage be recognized for all permanent foreign residents in Japan.

Yoshii Hidekatsu used his question time at the House of Representatives political ethics and public offices election special committee meeting on November 16 to state that the Constitution's Article 14 guaranteeing equality under the law does not allow administrative discrimination against anyone.

The special committee was discussing a bill to give suffrage to permanent foreign residents who have registered with a municipality as foreigners with a country name. The bill was proposed by the Komei Party. This restrictive condition will cause discrimination against Korean residents in Japan, Yoshii said.

Yoshii pointed out that no law has such a discriminative clause based on alien registration. He also stressed that the Supreme Court in February 1995 ruled any law that interferes with voting rights as unconstitutional.

Yoshii stated, "Giving voting rights to foreign residents paying local taxes is in compliance with the constitutional principle of local self-government. It is also in accord with the world trend." (end)

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