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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 April 13 - 19  > Antiwar opposition parties field joint candidate in PM’s hometown for Upper House election
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2016 April 13 - 19 [POLITICS]

Antiwar opposition parties field joint candidate in PM’s hometown for Upper House election

April 14, 2016
In Yamaguchi Prefecture, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s home constituency, civil movements opposing the unconstitutional war legislation have led to the support for a joint opposition candidate in this summer’s House of Councilors election.

Since the war laws were forcibly enacted, people’s movements opposing the laws have become widespread.

In October 2015, cross-party prefectural assembly members, including Japanese Communist Party lawmakers, formed a league to oppose the war laws. JCP prefectural committee head Sato Fumiaki said, “It has been unimaginable in the past for assemblypersons to decide to work together on a single issue. The formation of the cross-party league had a major influence in putting up the joint candidate.”

The Yamaguchi Bar Association published a statement opposing the war legislation under the president’s name and organized a rally. Among association members is Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Komura Masahiko.

In Nagato City, which is PM Abe’s constituency for the House of Representatives, a protest rally took place with 600 people participating. Some conservative city assemblypersons said in surprise, “This is unprecedented.”

In addition, religious leaders and religious communities are standing up against the unconstitutional laws.

Following a great surge of grass-roots movements against the war laws, Professor Emeritus at Yamaguchi University Koketsu Atsushi on April 7 announced his independent candidacy for a single-seat district in the coming Upper House election. The JCP, the Democratic Party, and the Social Democratic Party decided to together support Koketsu as their joint candidate and concluded with him an agreement on his election platform including the pledge to work for the abolition of the war laws.

At a press conference held on this day, Koketsu pointed out that collaboration between civil movements and the opposition parties represents Yamaguchi citizens’ strong concern regarding the excesses of the Abe administration. He expressed his determination to work hard to win a seat in the election.

Past related article:
> Electoral cooperation among opposition parties gains momentum [March 22, 2016]
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