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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 June 23 - 29  > Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election campaign officially starts amid COVID-19 pandemic
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2021 June 23 - 29 [POLITICS]

Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election campaign officially starts amid COVID-19 pandemic

June 26, 2021
With countermeasures against COVID-19 and the holding of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as major campaign issues, the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election campaign officially started on June 25. The election will take place on July 4, and 271 candidates will contest for 127 assembly seats. The Japanese Communist Party is fielding 31 candidates, striving to secure its pre-election strength of 19 seats and also win additional seats.

JCP Chair Shii Kazuo in his kick-off speech delivered in Shinjuku Ward and Hino City appealed to voters, "Please cast your vote for a JCP candidate and for measures giving priority to 'lives over Olympics'."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide, who is committed to holding the Tokyo Summer Games, spoke briefly in the Liberal Democratic Party head office courtyard. Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko also did not appear in public.

Shii in his speech said that the JCP increased its Metropolitan Assembly seats to 19 in the previous race in 2017 from 17 in 2013, becoming the largest opposition party in the assembly. Over the past seven years, he went on to say, that the JCP has worked hard with many Tokyoites to increase the number of authorized childcare centers by 1.7 times.

He criticized the Suga national government and the Koike metropolitan government for neglecting to do what they should do in efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections during the state of emergency and quasi-state of emergency measures in Tokyo which have been ongoing for five months.

Shii stated that the most effective way now to protect the lives and livelihoods of people, including Tokyoites, is to cancel the Tokyo Summer Games. He called on voters to support JCP candidates by saying, "We should never accept an increase in deaths due to the Olympics."
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