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All 5 JCP candidates win in a Tokyo city election

Voters' rejection of any further burdens bore fruit on February 19 when all five Japanese Communist Party candidates were elected in Tokyo's Hino City Assembly election (26 seats). Previously, the JCP held four seats.

The JCP received 10,746 votes (16.28%), an increase of 1,593 votes (6.46 percentage points) from the 2005 House of Representatives proportional representation election.

The Liberal Democratic Party got five, the Komei five, the Democratic Party of Japan one, the Social Democratic Party two, and the Seikatsusha Network (a local party) failed to secure a seat from its pre-election two seats.

The current municipal administration plans to increase child-care service fees and sewage charges as well as the nursing-care insurance premiums by 40 percent. It also seeks to introduce a bicycle ownership tax on citizens. These are like a Hino-version of Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro's "structural reform" policy.

Calling for opposition to these plans, the JCP called for the nursing-care insurance premiums to be reduced and free medical services to be provided children up to 15 years old.

Amid a growing anger toward the municipal government that plans to force citizens to bear more "pains," these JCP calls received favorable responses from citizens. A citizens' volunteer circle even emerged to support the JCP.

One voter said, "Although my pension benefits have been reduced, medical care expenditures and nursing-care insurance premiums have increased. Is the city government going to kill off its senior citizens? And now, it says it wants to levy a tax on bicycles. I voted for a JCP candidate for the first time in my life."
- Akahata, February 21, 2006

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