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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 14 - 20  > Confrontation between ‘all-are-ruling-parties’ and JCP: nationwide gubernatorial elections
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2007 March 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

Confrontation between ‘all-are-ruling-parties’ and JCP: nationwide gubernatorial elections

March 19, 2007
Gubernatorial elections will be held in Tokyo and 12 other prefectures simultaneously on April 8; campaign for these elections will officially start on March 22. The Japanese Communist Party is campaigning in every election by either running candidates on the JCP ticket or by supporting progressive candidates.

The Democratic Party of Japan adopts a policy of “prohibiting” its local organizations from supporting candidates that the Liberal Democratic Party is supporting, pretending to be an opposition party confronting the LDP. In reality, however, the DPJ has joined the ruling camp in almost all local assemblies and is incapable of showing any differences from the LDP.

Only in Tokyo and four other prefectures, the DPJ runs or supports candidates “opposing” the LDP-supported candidates. In the other eight prefectures, the DPJ has come to support candidates that the LDP and Komei party are supporting, or gave up running its own candidates.

“In some prefectures, hoping that the incumbent governors will do their best, we refrained from fielding our own candidates,” DPJ Secretary General Hatoyama Yukio said.

In Fukui and Mie prefectures, the LDP, Komei, and DPJ are supporting the same candidates. In these prefectures, the DPJ decided to support the incumbents earlier than the LDP. So, the DPJ says that the LDP has come to support their candidate, and that they are sticking to the party policy of not supporting a candidate that the LDP decided to support. A local newspaper criticized the DPJ by describing this explanation as a “strange interpretation.”

In six prefectures, the DPJ is not fielding its own candidates. In Oita, the local DPJ representative said that after they examined the present governor’s administration over the past four years, they did not feel the necessity to run a candidate to oppose him.

In prefectures where the DPJ runs its own candidates, the party also faces serious contradictions. In recent Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly meetings, the DPJ suddenly began to criticize Governor Ishihara Shintaro by taking an “opposition party” position. Ishihara in response ironically said, “Then why has the DPJ supported all of the metropolitan government proposals?”

Although the media are reporting the gubernatorial elections from the stereotyped viewpoint of the “confrontation between the two major parties,” the true underlying structure is a confrontation between candidates supported by the “all-are-ruling-parties” camp and candidates supported by the JCP that squarely confronts LDP policies.
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