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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 13 - 19  > JCP-recommended candidate fought well in Kyoto mayoral election
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2008 February 13 - 19 [JCP]

JCP-recommended candidate fought well in Kyoto mayoral election

February 18 & 19, 2008
A progressive candidate recommended by the Japanese Communist Party in the Kyoto mayoral election narrowly lost the election to a candidate supported jointly by the Liberal Democratic, Komei, Democratic, and Social Democratic parties.

In the Kyoto City mayoral election on February 17, lawyer Nakamura Kazuo, backed by the “Association for Justice Now to Change Kyoto City Administration” that included the JCP, received 157,521 votes but was defeated by a margin of 951 votes. The opponent Kadokawa Daisaku got 158,472 votes.

Nakamura garnered 1.5 times the vote the JCP received in Kyoto City in the 2007 House of Councilors election. In contrast, Kadokawa received just one third of the total votes cast for the four parties in the same election.

During the campaign, Nakamura led the debate by stressing the need to stop squandering tax money on programs that have been implemented by the “all-are-ruling parties” block under the pretext of the need to fight ‘discrimination’ that no longer exists in Kyoto. He also called for the cancellation of the wasteful expenditure on constructing three expressways that will lead to environmental degradation in Kyoto.

His call for a 10,000 yen cut in the National Health Insurance premium (per month for each household) and for an ordinance to raise the regional minimum wage to 1,000 yen an hour drew great attention by revealing that the city has slashed 35.8 billion yen from expenditures on education and welfare in the last 12 years.

The “Association for Justice Now to Change Kyoto City Administration” attracted people from a broad political spectrum. During the campaign, former city officials and former school principals who used to be solid supporters of the mayor voiced criticism of the city administration. It was also noteworthy that former leaders of the local LDP supporters’ association threw their support behind Nakamura. .

In Yomiuri Shimbun’s exit-poll, 68 percent (53 percent among LDP-voters and 80 percent among DPJ-voters) of the respondents said Kadokawa’s candidacy was the “wrong choice.”

JCP Ichida comment

Commenting on the election result on February 18, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi stated: “The Kyoto mayoral election result has delivered a clear message that the ‘all-are-ruling-parties’ block cannot lead the city to a bright future. At a time when the government ‘structural reform’ policy is increasing the poverty rate and widening social disparities, Mr. Nakamura’s appeal really meshed with the pressing needs of Kyoto citizens.”

Ichida stated, “In this election, Kyoto citizens were infuriated by the LDP and the DPJ moving toward a ‘grand coalition’ at the national level and by the ‘all-are-ruling parties’ block in Kyoto joining forces to favor a candidate. The JCP and broad sections of independent supporters of Mr. Nakamura put up a good fight thanks to the Kyoto citizens’ energy. This pushed forward the new political current that has taken shape since the 2007 House of Councilors election.”
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