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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 August 7 - 13  > Shii in 97th anniv. speech calls on pro-constitution forces to hold discussions on coalition government
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2019 August 7 - 13 TOP3 [JCP]

Shii in 97th anniv. speech calls on pro-constitution forces to hold discussions on coalition government

August 9, 2019

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on August 8 proposed holding discussions among the pro-constitution forces on establishing a coalition government consisting of the current opposition parties.

Shii made this proposal in his speech titled, “Four-year citizens-opposition parties joint struggle and path toward a coalition government of opposition parties”, at an assembly held in Tokyo to celebrate the 97th anniversary of the JCP founding.

After talking about the results of the July Upper House election, Shii moved on to the next topic, the history of collaboration between opposition parties and concerned citizens. Shii said that the door to an “era of citizens-opposition parties joint struggle” was opened with the JCP’s call for establishing a “national coalition government to repeal the national security legislation (war laws)” which was issued after the forcible enactment of the legislation on September 19, 2015.

Shii said that in national elections held since 2015, the JCP has carried out electoral cooperation with other opposition parties. Explaining what enables the party to do so, Shii cited two phenomena as the origin of the ongoing joint struggles. They are the anti-base struggle involving all Okinawa residents and a rise of new civil movements in which individuals are actively engaged as sovereign members of society.

Shii explained the party’s efforts in elections for the House of Councilors in 2016 and for the House of Representatives in 2017. He said that the JCP effort to field joint opposition candidates in 32 single-seat constituencies in the 2016 Upper House election later contributed to delivering a heavy blow to the Abe government in this year’s Upper House election. Regarding the 2017 general election, Shii said that the party together with grassroots movements worked hard to enhance the unity of opposition parties which were facing a difficult situation. With this experience, opposition parties’ joint struggle has developed in the Diet and succeeded in blocking the move to revise the Constitution.

Shii pointed out that the results of the July Upper House election showed that collaboration between opposition parties and concerned citizens gained in maturity through four years of experience working together. As the best example, Shii cited electoral cooperation in 32 single-seat constituencies based on mutual support. Shii said that in negotiations on joint opposition candidates in preparation for the election, the JCP maintained the need for mutual endorsement and mutual support and the number of JCP members selected as joint candidates increased to three from one in the previous Upper House election three years ago.

In addition, Shii said that in the July election campaign, the pro-constitution opposition forces, including the JCP, called on voters to support the 13-point common election agenda which was agreed upon by the Civil Alliance. The common agenda included the cancellation of the planned consumption tax hike to 10%, a reform of the existing tax system favoring the rich, and an end to the Henoko base project.

Shii also referred to the establishment of the Reiwa Shinsengumi party and said that the Reiwa party’s platform is similar to the JCP’s in many respects. He said that he thinks that this party’s foundation was a great event in the forward movement of the opposition parties and citizens alliance and that the JCP may join hands with the Reiwa party to change politics.

Shii then said that a major task for the joint struggle of opposition parties and concerned citizens is to propose a viable replacement for the anti-people Abe government, and called for holding discussions between the opposition block and concerned citizens on establishing a new government. Shii pointed out that discussions should focus on forming a consensus about the creation of a coalition government, drafting coalition government policies based on the 13-point common agenda which should be attractive to voters, and respecting the principle of seeking common ground and consensus.

Past related articles:
> Opposition parties affirm common pledges for Upper House election [May 30, 2019]
> JCP member chosen as joint opposition candidate in Fukui in Upper House election [May 22, 2019]
> Bond between opposition parties and citizens becomes robust in general election [October 24, 2017]
> JCP proposes establishing a national coalition gov’t to repeal war legislation [September 20, 2015]
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