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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 December 4 - 10  > Opposition parties’ collaboration makes epoch-making progress in extraordinary Diet session: Shii
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2019 December 4 - 10 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Opposition parties’ collaboration makes epoch-making progress in extraordinary Diet session: Shii

December 10, 2019

Pro-constitutional opposition forces, including the Japanese Communist Party, on December 9 made a request to extend the 200th extraordinary session of the Diet, which was scheduled to end on this day, by 40 days with the aim of further questioning the government in regard to the “cherry blossom-viewing party” scandal. The opposition block’s request was dismissed by the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties, but the ruling and opposition blocks agreed to continue investigating the scandal in the Diet during the Diet recess.

At a JCP Dietmembers’ general meeting held after the end of the 67-day extraordinary Diet session, Chair Shii Kazuo delivered a speech and said that as shown in a probe into the “cherry blossom-viewing party” scandal, opposition parties’ joint struggles in the Diet has made substantial progress.

Shii referred to the successful outcomes produced through opposition parties’ unified efforts, including two Abe Cabinet ministers’ resignations and the cancellation of introducing private English tests in university entrance exams. Shii said that what is more important is that opposition parties’ cooperation foiled PM Abe’s attempt to table the LDP draft constitution at both Houses’ Commissions on the Constitution even in the latest Diet session.

Regarding the “cherry blossom-viewing party” scandal, Shii pointed out that along with JCP parliamentarians’ Diet questioning based on information provided in Akahata, anti-Abe opposition parties formed a united front which has driven PM Abe into a corner. “Let us work hard to reveal all the facts behind the scandal and force the Abe Cabinet to step down,” Shii said.

After recalling how opposition parties’ collaboration advanced in and out of the Diet, Shii talked about the prospect of forming a coalition government of opposition parties. Shii said, “In preparation for the next general election, we need to utilize our wisdom and power in order to promote negotiations towards achieving electoral cooperation and creating a coalition government in parallel." He also said, "Let us present to the general public a new government which, unlike the Abe-led LDP government, will raise hopes among the populace!”

Shii then brought up the subject of the JCP’s independent efforts in the extraordinary Diet session regarding the issues of cutting the consumption tax rate to 5% and influencing Japan’s endorsement of diplomacy.

Concerning Japan’s diplomacy, Shii criticized the Abe government for taking a strictly subservient stance toward the U.S. by citing the forcible Diet approval of the bilateral trade pact and the planned SDF dispatch to the Middle East as examples. Shii also pointed out that the Abe government in its relations with Russia and China fails to confront these countries head on regarding the issues of territorial disputes and human rights violations. He said that in line with the view stated in the draft revision to the JCP Program, the party should make utmost efforts to change Japan’s stance on diplomacy to one that is independent and self-reliant.

Shii concluded his speech by saying, “With certainty about achievements in our Diet discussions and the development of opposition parties’ joint efforts, let us work for the success of the ongoing special party-building campaign and the 28th party Congress scheduled for next January.”

Past related articles:
> Without examining necessary information, Diet approves Japan-US trade pact [November 20, 2019]
> JCP repeatedly demands immediate end to Hong Kong crackdown on demonstrators [November 24, 2019]
> Opposition parties set up team to probe into cherry blossom-viewing party scandal involving Abe [November 12, 2019]
> Shii in Diet interpellation demands cuts in sales tax rate to 5% [October 9, 2019]
> Abe in annual convention says nothing about return of ‘four northern islands’ [February 8, 2019]
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