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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 21 - 27  > Shii to foreign journalists: new direction in politics possible with JCP advance in Tokyo election
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2017 June 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

Shii to foreign journalists: new direction in politics possible with JCP advance in Tokyo election

June 21, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo, at an invitation from the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ), on June 20 spoke before foreign journalists about the JCP stance toward the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election slated for early July.

Shii stated that a victory in the coming election of the nation’s capital is very important as it may lead to a subsequent victory in the general election, and expressed his determination by saying, “We will further work to develop cooperation between opposition parties and concerned citizens in addition to making efforts to achieve a JCP advance in the Tokyo metropolitan race so that Japan can establish a new direction in politics.”

Regarding the hot issue of moving Tokyo’s wholesale market from Tsukiji to a location where detoxification work had ended in failure, he pointed out that many of the wholesalers, including intermediary traders, in Tsukiji have been opposed to the relocation. He said, “Renovation and redevelopment of the existing market at the current location is the best option.”

Speaking about the JCP election platform, Shii said that the JCP places priority on improving services related to people’s welfare and daily lives. To cite an example, he said that the party proposes to reduce the payments of national healthcare insurance premiums by 10,000 yen per person and to build more authorized daycare centers to take care of an additional 90,000 Tokyo children.

The Liberal Democratic Party, the Komei Party, and the “Tomin First no Kai” are all supporting the construction work to extend the Tokyo Outer Ring Road. Regarding this, Shii stated that the JCP is demanding a stop to the injection of public money into the unnecessary road construction, and that the JCP position is to secure funds to improve Tokyo’s social welfare programs by reviewing such wasteful and unnecessary large-scale public works projects.

About national politics

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo told the press after the closure of the ordinary session of the Diet on June 19 that he “deeply regrets” his use of strong language in reaction to what he called “impression manipulation” in the Diet. Referring to Abe’s press conference the previous day, Shii criticized Abe for shouting at the opposition parties and accusing them of what he called “impression manipulation”. Shii said, “This cannot be considered ‘deep regret’.”

The latest opinion polls all show a sharp decline in the approval rating of the Abe Cabinet. Shii said that this is due to public distrust in the ruling parties which railroaded through the “anti-conspiracy” law by using an underhanded technique and their attempt to draw the curtain on the “Kake Gakuen” scandal.

Shii said, “The battle line in the political arena is the ‘LDP/Komei vs. JCP’ and this is becoming clearer,” adding, “We will appeal to Tokyo voters to hand down a stern verdict on the LDP-Komei coalition’s attempt to take the teeth out of the Constitution’s pacifism and on PM Abe’s handling of politics for his personal benefit.”
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