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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 September 7 - 13  > JCP gains more than one seat for the first time in Iwate prefectural assembly
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2011 September 7 - 13 [ELECTION]

JCP gains more than one seat for the first time in Iwate prefectural assembly

September 13, 2011
The Japanese Communist Party for the first time gained another seat for a total of two in the election for the 48-member Iwate prefectural assembly held on September 11, six months after the Great East Japan Disaster.

During the election campaign, the JCP candidates called for reconstruction of prefectural hospitals damaged by the massive tsunami, early inspection and decontamination in schools and other places to protect children from radioactive contamination, and full compensation from the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) for the damage to agricultural and livestock products while expressing strong opposition to Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact.

One of the two elected JCP candidates is Takada Ichiro, who captured a first-ever seat for the party in the Ichinoseki constituency in the southern part of the prefecture, where seven candidates were contesting five seats. Takada received 11,951 votes, about 30 % more than in the previous election four years ago, when he lost by only 200 votes.

Together with local farmers, Takada went to TEPCO’s head office in Tokyo and demanded full compensation for the damage to agricultural products. After the scene was broadcast on television, support for him spread beyond the usual JCP supporters to child-raising mothers and other local residents.

In the Morioka constituency centering around the prefectural capital Morioka, where 16 candidates contested 10 seats, JCP incumbent Saito Shin was re-elected for his fifth consecutive term, taking sixth place, up from the previous eighth. Since the disaster, Saito has visited the tsunami-hit areas almost every week, listening to what local people are saying and offering his support. Saito has also called for rebuilding prefectural hospitals in stricken Rikuzentakata, Otsuchi and Yamada.

In municipal assembly elections held on the same day in the stricken areas, the JCP secured the seats it held before the election except in Miyagi’s Shiogama City.

In Iwate Prefecture, the JCP won three seats in Rikuzentakata City, two in Kamaishi
City, and one in Yamada Town.

In Miyagi Prefecture, the number of JCP seats has dropped to four, down from the previous five in Shiogama City as the city reduced the number of its assembly seats by three. Meanwhile, the JCP maintained its four seats in Tagajo City and three in Rifu Town.

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