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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 27 - July 3  > JCP candidate opposing casino development wins in Tomakomai City assembly by-election
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2018 June 27 - July 3 TOP3 [JCP]

JCP candidate opposing casino development wins in Tomakomai City assembly by-election

July 3, 2018

Calling for using taxpayers’ money to improve citizens’ livelihoods rather than to promote casino development, Japanese Communist Party candidate Hara Keiji won in the city assembly by-election held on July 1 in Hokkaido’s Tomakomai City. With his victory, the JCP increased its number of seats to five from the pre-election strength of four.

In the election, Hara obtained 8,904 votes (24.5% of the total vote), 723 more votes than in the proportional representation block of the 2017 general election.

Tomakomai City Mayor Iwakura Hirofumi has been expressing his ambition to promote the development of casino-centric integrated resorts (IR) in the city.

During the election campaign, Hara referred to official statistics showing that over the past five years, while Hokkaido showed a 300% growth in the number of foreign visitors, the number of inbound tourists to Singapore which hosts casinos increased only 70%. Hara said, “There is no need to go forward with the casino development. The city government should use tax money not for casino promotion but for the improvement of medical and nursing-care services as well as for child-rearing support.”

Furthermore, JCP member of the House of Councilors Kami Tomoko, who joined Hara in his street speeches during the campaign, criticized the Abe government for forcibly extending the current Diet session with the aim of enacting the casino bill. Kami said, “70% of the general public are opposed to casino development. A victory of the JCP candidate will deliver a severe blow to the Abe government,” calling on voters to support Hara.

On the day after the election, the JCP Tomakomai local office received a phone call from a male resident who introduced himself as an executive of a Liberal Democratic Party local organization in the city. The man said, “I’m absolutely furious about PM Abe’s words and deeds. In opposition to casinos, I voted for Hara.”

Past related articles:
> Extension of Diet session to force through controversial bills on labor reform and casino development is unacceptable [June 21, 2018]
> Casino bill steamrollered through Lower House committee [June 16, 2018]
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