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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 May 29 - June 4  > Opposition parties affirm common pledges for Upper House election
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2019 May 29 - June 4 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Opposition parties affirm common pledges for Upper House election

May 30, 2019

Aiming to defeat the Prime Minister Abe Shinzo-led ruling coalition in the House of Councilors election in July, the Japanese Communist Party and four other opposition parties on May 29 announced their list of unified opposition candidates for 19 of 32 single-seat constituencies in the election. They also agreed on a 13-point common election pledge which includes the revocation of the war laws.

The leaders of the five opposition parties - Shii Kazuo (JCP), Edano Yukio (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan), Tamaki Yuichiro (Democratic Party for the People), Fukushima Mizuho (Social Democratic Party), and Noda Yoshihiko (the parliamentary group Reviewing Group on Social Security Policy) - met on the day in the Diet building and decided on the list of the candidates in the 19 single-member electoral districts. Combined with the eleven other constituencies in which unified support for candidates have already been established, the five parties so far succeeded in choosing unified candidates in 30 of the 32 single-seat districts for the July election. The party leaders are working to field joint candidates in the remaining two constituencies in Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures.

The 19 candidates include two JCP members: Nakabayashi Yoshiko (single-seat district in Tottori/Shimane prefectures) and Matsumoto Kenji (single-seat district in Tokushima/Kochi prefectures). With this nomination, a total of three JCP candidates have been chosen as a joint opposition candidate. The opposition parties already chose JCP member Yamada Kazuo as a unified candidate for the Fukui constituency.

Also on the day, the party leaders held a meeting in the Diet building with representatives of the Civil Alliance working to abolish the war laws and restore constitutionalism. The five party leaders signed a 13-item common election agenda, which was jointly drawn up in cooperation with the Civil Alliance.

Common agenda agreed upon by Civil Alliance and opposition parties for the coming Upper House election

The following is the 13-point common pledge for the Upper House election agreed upon by the Civil Alliance and the five opposition parties.

- Oppose the Abe government’s move to revise the Constitution, especially the war-renouncing Article 9, and make the utmost efforts to block the Diet initiation of constitutional revision;

- Abolish the Abe government-enacted national security legislation, the anti-conspiracy law, and other laws which violate constitutionalism;

- Scrutinize and reevaluate the ballooning budget for military buildup and defense equipment in light of the constitutional principle of pacifism enshrined in Article 9 and shift budget priorities to other areas based on the viewpoint of ensuring the people a life without anxieties;

- Immediately suspend the construction of a U.S. new base in Henoko in Okinawa’s Nago City and implement measures to restore if possible the damaged environments there; realize an early return of the USMC Futenma base and then move toward its removal; revise the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement to protect Okinawans’ human rights; and put an end to the use of state subsidies for the purpose of controlling municipalities in Okinawa;

- Work for the creation of peace and the promotion of denuclearization in northeast Asia; resume dialogue with North Korea with the aim of achieving the normalization of diplomatic relations, solving the issue of abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea, and stopping North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs based on the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration;

- Disallow applications for the reactivation of off-line nuclear power plants without verifying the extent of damage from the Fukushima nuclear accident, without setting up a workable evacuation plan, and without gaining local consent; aim to realize “zero” nuclear power by establishing a new energy policy centering on renewable energy and by revitalizing local communities;

- Reveal the whole picture of information manipulation and fabrication in administrative organs, including the labor ministry's falsification of monthly labor survey data; and abolish laws, including a "highly professional" work system scheme, which were made based on false data;

- Cancel the planned increase in the consumption tax rate in October 2019; and make taxes fair comprehensively in categories such as income, assets, and corporate tax rates;

- Increase the budget allocated for childcare, education, and employment programs so that all children and young people in this country can grow up, learn, and work in a healthy and productive manner;

- Eliminate poverty and inequalities through the implementation of a minimum wage of 1,500 yen while reducing large disparities between regional minimum wages, through realization of labor rules so that everyone can live decently with an 8-hour work day, and through establishment of economic and social security measures to raise people's living standards; and improve public housing services so that young people can feel secure about having a family in their future;

- Take measures to eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ people, eliminate discrimination against women in employment and wages, implement a selective dual-surname system, and balance the numbers of female and male lawmakers;

- Investigate thoroughly into scandals over Moritomo Gakuen/Kake Gakuen favoritism and cover-up of SDF daily reports on South Sudan mission, and establish fair and transparent administration; and re-examine the way the Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs operates by inspecting the involvement of the Cabinet Office in the personnel affairs of senior government employees; and

- Separate the supervisor of broadcasters from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and introduce new broadcast legislation under which an independent administrative committee will supervise broadcasters so as to fully assure freedom of the press from the viewpoint of securing the people's right to know.
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