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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 October 18 - 24  > Bond between opposition parties and citizens becomes robust in general election
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2017 October 18 - 24 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Bond between opposition parties and citizens becomes robust in general election

October 24, 2017
Akahata editorial

The results of the October 22 general election were finalized. Japanese Communist Party candidate Akamine Seiken won a seat from the Okinawa No.1 electoral district. The JCP obtained a total of 12 seats in the House of Representatives, regrettably down from the pre-election strength of 21 seats. With the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan making an advance, the number of seats held by the opposition parties/concerned citizens force grew to 69 from 38. We express our appreciation to all of you, including JCP supporters and concerned citizens, who worked hard to increase voters’ support for the JCP, at times braving rains caused by a typhoon. Although the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties maintained a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, the general public remain critical of the Abe government. Opposition parties and concerned citizens built bonds of solidarity through joint struggles, which are a great asset. We resolve to help strengthen and enlarge public movements opposing the Abe government by fully utilizing this asset.

Opposition parties/citizens collaboration shows effectiveness in battles against LDP-Komei block

The snap general election was called by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo at the beginning of the extraordinary session of the Diet. Evidently, Abe intended to distract attention from the scandals involving Abe and the school corporations of “Moritomo” and “Kake”. After Abe announced his intent to dissolve the Lower House, a new supplementary force to the LDP, the Hope Party, emerged and the Democratic Party leader decided on the party’s merger into the Hope Party. These moves were aimed at splitting the opposition parties/citizens collaboration. Such political turbulence turned up the heat on the election race.

With the axis of confrontation between the LDP/Komei plus their supplementary forces and the opposition parties/citizens alliance becoming more and more visible, the outcome of the election showed that it is the collaboration among the JCP, the Constitutional Democratic and Social Democratic parties, and the Civil Alliance that is capable of responding to people’s needs and putting a halt to the reckless policies of the Abe government.

Of four “All-Okinawa” candidates who support Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi, Akamine and two others in the Nos. 1, 2, and 3 constituencies retained their seats by beating LDP/Komei rivals and the remaining one was nearly successful. In Hokkaido, joint opposition candidates were elected in five of the twelve single-seat constituencies. In Niigata, LDP candidates suffered defeats in four out of six districts. These results clearly indicate that opposition parties/citizens collaboration is powerful enough to move politics for the better.

The joint struggle met with great difficulty. However, the JCP never hauled down the banner of unity. In fact, it unwaveringly announced that it will advance electoral cooperation with forces that take the position of maintaining the citizens/opposition parties alliance, and worked very hard to make this cooperation happen. The JCP decided to withdraw its own candidacy in 67 single-seat constituencies throughout the country in order to field united opposition candidates. Such a bold decision obviously contributed to a certain extent to achieving the victorious outcome of the united opposition force as a whole. Thus, "joint-struggle bonds" were forged. To utilize the strength of these bonds and to further develop ties with each other will undoubtedly stop the runaway Abe government and clear the way for Japan's bright future.

The Abe government has secured a majority of seats in the House of Representatives. However, according to a Kyodo News exit poll on the election day, 51% of voters answered that they “do not trust” the government led by Prime Minister Abe. This shows that many voters still view Abe with critical eyes. It is serious that the "pro-revisionist forces" now account for more than two-thirds of Diet seats, but among them exist conflicting positions. What they actually have in mind for constitutional amendments is still unclear. Therefore, it is urgently necessary to increase the national movement to protect the war-renouncing Article 9.

Toward further development

A wide range of people took part in the JCP campaign: some boldly called for support to the JCP in proportional representation elections and some even made a campaign speech in single-seat constituencies for JCP candidates. The circle of cooperation and solidarity grew unprecedentedly. Despite such warm support, we could not produce the results needed to meet their expectations. We are painfully aware of our lack of strength. We express our firm determination to make the best use of this asset of solidarity which was born and grew up in this election in future elections. Let us keep working hand in hand for our day in the sun!
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