Japan elections: JCP as 'constructive opposition party' gains support

Original source: Japan Press Weekly

At a news conference on August 24 in Nagano City, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo made the following comments at the present stage of the election campaign:

We have called on voters to put an end to the government of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komei Party, and I can say that this call is being shared by an overwhelming majority of the public.

Opinion polls suggest that the Democratic Party of Japan may win about 300 (out of 480) seats. Make no mistake, however. This tendency only represents the overwhelming rejection of the LDP-Komei government. It is not an expression of wholehearted support for DPJ policies and its political line. This is the important point to consider.

In one poll, regarding DPJ policies, 55 percent of the respondents said they do not support the proposal for child allowances, and 67 percent said making the nation's expressways toll free is not a good idea.

What is more, 83 percent said DPJ policies are not convincing because of the uncertainty about its sourcing of fiscal resources.

The DPJ's call for Japan-U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) talks to be promoted and for the number of proportional representation seats in the House of Representatives to be reduced is also causing concern among the public.

We should also note that 56 percent responded that no perceived change is forthcoming, even if a DPJ-led government is established. Many people are saying that they are fed up with the LDP-Komei government, but that they are unsure about the DPJ. I believe this is the voice of majority.

Under these circumstances, public support for and understanding of the need to increase the number of JCP seats in the Diet is increasing, as the JCP has declared itself a "constructive opposition party" that will cooperate with a DPJ-led government in implementing policies in the public interest and will oppose policies that are not in the public interest.

In a debate of party leaders, I said that the Japan-U.S. secret agreement on the handling of nuclear weapons should be disclosed and abrogated. In response, DPJ President Hatoyama Yukio said he will negotiate with the U.S. in order to prohibit the U.S. from bringing nuclear weapons into Japan. This is how we are already playing our part as a constructive opposition party.

Furthermore, our future vision, including an economy governed by rules to protect the people's livelihoods, implementing a diplomacy for peace with the full use of Article 9 of the Constitution, and the creation of a new Japan where the people are the key players, is gaining support.

 

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