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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 21 - 27  > Gubernatorial candidates begin campaigning in 13 prefectures with JCP participating in all of them
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2007 March 21 - 27 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Gubernatorial candidates begin campaigning in 13 prefectures with JCP participating in all of them

March 23, 2007
In Tokyo, candidate Yoshida Manzo said, “Ending the misuse of the Tokyo administration, axing the wasteful development projects, and defending the Constitution are key to achieving Tokyo’s administrative reform.”

Gubernatorial candidates on March 22 began campaigning in Tokyo and 12 prefectures throughout Japan. These are part of the first half of the nationwide local elections that will take place on April 8.

In all of the 13 prefectures, the Japanese Communist Party is campaigning in cooperation with a number of people without political affiliation for either JCP candidates or independent candidates whom it recommends, calling for a drastic change in local politics. The JCP and these progressive candidates are criticizing their opponents who represent the ruling forces consisting of the Liberal Democratic, Komei, and Democratic parties for squandering tax money on wasteful huge development projects and for not paying enough attention to the need to improve welfare services and living standards.

The LDP is also campaigning in all of the 13 gubernatorial elections for its own candidates or candidates it recommends or supports. The Democratic Party claims that it will not joining other parties in putting up candidates in order to maintain its confrontational stance toward the LDP. But it is campaigning only in five out of the 13 prefectures for its own candidates or those it recommends. In the remaining contests, it either joins with the LDP and other parties or has given up contesting the governorship.

Tokyo’s LDP-supported Governor Ishihara Shintaro (former LDP Dietmember) and Kanagawa’s Democratic Party-supported Governor Matsuzawa Shigefumi (former DPJ Dietmember) visited each other on the first day of the campaign opening to express support for each other.

Tokyo gubernatorial election

In Tokyo, Yoshida Manzo, a progressive independent recommended by the JCP, kicked off his campaigning at the Shinjuku railway station.

Speaking before an audience of about 7,000, candidate Yoshida criticized Tokyo Governor Ishihara for “planning to use tax money for an 8-trillion yen mega-development project in the name of hosting the summer Olympics.” He said, “Ending the misuse of the Tokyo administration for the governor’s private interest, axing the major wasteful development projects, and defending the Constitution are key to achieving Tokyo’s administrative reform.”

JCP Chair Shii Kazuo took the microphone and called on the public to vote for candidate Yoshida in order to achieve the Tokyo residents’ “Three Wishes,” which are (1) better welfare services and living standards, (2) an end to the wasteful use of tax money, and (3) the defense of the Constitution and peace.

Shii said, “Voters in this election are asked to choose between the ‘all-are-ruling-parties’ camp – which is now divided into two, one supported by the LDP and Komei and the other supported by the DPJ – and candidate Yoshida jointly supported by the JCP and independent people. Let us increase support for Yoshida in order to restore a Tokyo administration in which the residents are the protagonists.”

The other main candidates in the Tokyo gubernatorial election are Ishihara Shintaro (incumbent, supported by the LDP and Komei), Asano Shiro (former Miyagi prefectural governor, supported by the DPJ and the Social Democratic Party), and architect Kurokawa Kisho.

Shii criticized these candidates as follows:

“Governor Ishihara is adamantly advocating constitutional revision. He has been saying, ‘I do not accept the Constitution’ and ‘I will destroy the Constitution in my lifetime.’ He is a pro-Yaskuni Shrine politician who worships at the war shrine every year. Candidate Kurokawa is a member of the ‘Japan Conference’, a rightist group that advocates constitutional revision. Candidate Asano says he agrees with the need to discuss constitutional revision. He has supported Japan’s dispatches of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq. His election platform says nothing about the issue of the Constitution. Among the four candidates, only Mr. Yoshida says he will fight to defend Article 9 of the Constitution.”

JCP Chair Shii was the only political party leader to deliver a speech on the first campaign day for the Tokyo gubernatorial election that is attracting great attention throughout the country.
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