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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 18 - 24  > Amid drastic reduction in local assembly seats, JCP made progress: JCP statement
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2007 April 18 - 24 TOP3 [ELECTION]

Amid drastic reduction in local assembly seats, JCP made progress: JCP statement

April 24, 2007
In the second half of the nationwide simultaneous local elections on April 22, the Japanese Communist Party won 1,284 seats in local assemblies -- 773 seats in ordinary cities, 134 in Tokyo’s wards, and 377 in towns and villages.

Concerning the results of the second half of the nationwide simultaneous local elections held on April 22, the Japanese Communist Party Standing Executive Committee on April 23 issued a statement entitled, “Amid drastic reduction in local assembly seats, the JCP has made progress.” The text of the statement follows:

(1) In the second half of the nationwide simultaneous local elections held on April 22, the Japanese Communist Party won 1,284 seats in local assemblies -- 773 seats in ordinary cities, 134 in Tokyo’s wards, and 377 in towns and villages.

Due to the mergers of many municipalities that have taken place across the nation, the number of municipalities where elections were held and the number of local assembly seats decreased by almost half from the previous simultaneous local elections four years ago. Because of this situation, the JCP’s share of seats in local assemblies has become the most reliable barometer of the JCP’s advance. Compared with the results of the previous simultaneous local elections, the percentage of seats changed as follows:

- It increased from 9.17 percent to 9.68 percent in city assemblies.
- In Tokyo’s wards, it remained almost unchanged -- from 15.94 to 15.93 percent.
- In towns and villages, it increased from 5.38 to 6.71 percent.
- Overall, it rose from 7.05 to 8.89 percent.

In addition to the increase in the percentage of its seats, in more than 60 percent of municipalities that have not undergone mergers the JCP obtained more votes than in elections four years ago or increased the percentage of its votes in relation to the total vote.

JCP candidates were elected in three single-seat constituencies: the Koyagi and Iojima districts in Nagasaki City and the Shiga district in Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture. In the three municipalities where JCP members are serving as mayors -- Komae City in Tokyo, Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture, and Kunimi Town in Fukushima Prefecture -- the JCP as the ruling party maintained its seats despite fierce anti-JCP attacks. It is very important that in Okinawa’s Ginowan City mayoral election in which the realignment of U.S. forces became the crucial issue, Iha Yoichi, the progressive independent mayor, was reelected in a landslide.

Overall, the JCP achieved significant progress in this second half of the simultaneous local elections. This result is important particularly in light of the complex adverse factors, including other parties’ attempts to block JCP advances, fierce anti-JCP attacks, and campaigns to press voters to choose between “the Liberal Democratic Party or the Democratic Party of Japan” amid the fierce competition among political parties in view of the upcoming House of Councilors election, as well as the mergers of municipalities and sharp reduction in local assembly members.

Although the JCP made overall progress, there are notable advances and regrettable mistakes. Carefully hearing the voices of people in and out of the party, the JCP will summarize and draw lessons from the entire results of the nationwide simultaneous local elections in the next central committee plenum.

(2) Throughout the nationwide simultaneous local elections, the JCP put up policies responding to voters’ interests and demands and took a lead in the campaign.

The JCP called for putting an end to policies of prioritizing wasteful large-scale development projects and giving subsidies to large corporations while cutting back welfare services and measures to defend the living conditions of residents in defiance of the original tasks of local governments. The JCP’s policy of establishing local governments that center on welfare services for residents gained voter support everywhere. The JCP’s call in defense of Article 9 and peace also attracted voters under the circumstances in which the Abe Cabinet is pushing ahead with its plan for constitutional revision.

The JCP consistently made efforts to reveal the real political structure of local governments in which the JCP is confronting the so-called “all-are-ruling-parties” block consisting of the LDP, Komei, DPJ, and other parties. Such JCP efforts shed light on its true value.

In the latter half of the nationwide simultaneous local elections in particular, the JCP attached importance to local demands concerning residents’ living conditions by demonstrating the role that the JCP should play in each municipality. This also matched up policies to local elections and responded to local residents’ demands.

The JCP campaign rooted in the cause of defense of residents’ safety and living conditions and of peace stood out in comparison with the “all-are-ruling-parties” force that has nothing to talk concerning local governments.

With confidence in the campaign outcome, the JCP is immediately starting activities to fulfill its election promises.

(3) Since its 24th Congress held in January 2006, the JCP has stood firm to a “branches as the key players” policy in its party building efforts. The third Central Committee Plenum in January this year proposed to get this policy developed into “branches as the key players” election campaigns, in which aiming at gaining their target votes, branches take on tasks to win the elections and to increase party strength along with activities strengthening their ties with residents and coping with residents’ demands.

The JCP achieved advances in the elections not only because of its policies but also because the whole party has undertaken activities based on “branches as the key players” policy, thereby strengthening ties with the public at the grassroots level and making use of the great deal of energy that branches and party members can expend. This is an important lesson to be learned.

The “branches as the key players” activities, however, have reached only the halfway point as shown by the activities to increase party strength and by the rate of party members who took part in campaigns. The JCP will make further efforts to increase party strength both in quality and quantity and to fully develop the “branches as the key players” election campaigns.

The House of Councilors election will be held in less than three months. We will strive to secure JCP advances in future national elections by overcoming the weak points revealed in this recent election campaign, with confidence in the outcome of the nationwide simultaneous local elections.
- Akahata, April 24, 2007
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