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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 21 - 27  > Tokyo Assembly election is opportunity to open bright future for Japan
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2017 June 21 - 27 [POLITICS]
editorial 

Tokyo Assembly election is opportunity to open bright future for Japan

June 23, 2017

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The campaign for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election (slated for July 2) officially kicked off on June 23. This election has not only direct influence on the livelihoods of Tokyo residents but also nationwide importance as an opportunity for 10 million voters to make a judgment on issues of national politics. It is particularly significant as the first major election to be held after the ruling parties railroaded the unconstitutional anti-conspiracy bill through the Diet while covering up the scandals over the private school operators having a deep involvement with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

At the final stage of the ordinary Diet session which ended on June 18, PM Abe’s ruling coalition enacted the anti-conspiracy bill using its force of numbers. As to the “Kake Gakuen” scandal, a new internal document was recently revealed which indicates that Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hagiuda Koichi, one of the closest aides to PM Abe, put pressure on the Education Ministry to offer advantages to the educational corporation operated by Abe’s “confidant”, which plans to open a faculty of veterinary medicine in the southwestern prefecture of Ehime. Nevertheless, the Abe administration shows no willingness to fulfill its accountability to respond to that allegation. Although the Special Investigation Department of the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office has embarked on a compulsory investigation of the “Moritomo Gakuen” scandal, the Abe government and the ruling parties are still reluctant to respond to the allegation in the Diet.

It is essential for Tokyoites, through this election, to urge the governing Liberal Democratic and Komei parties to respond to people’s demands for the repeal of the anti-conspiracy law and for a thorough investigation into the allegation that PM Abe runs the government for his own interests.

In May, PM Abe expressed his intent to revise the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution to legitimize the Self-Defense Forces and enforce a new constitution by 2020. Following Abe’s direction, the LDP has begun discussing constitutional amendments. It has become increasingly important for Tokyo citizens to raise voices calling for the protection of Article 9.

With regard to the planned relocation of the Tsukiji fish market, a major election issue, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko announced a policy to move the world-famous market to the contaminated Toyosu site and redevelop the Tsukiji district. However, the governor, who claims that she will work to secure food safety while maintaining the “Tsukiji brand”, should reconsider the transfer project and hold talks with people concerned regarding how to improve the existing market.

The Japanese Communist Party’s campaign promise to lower the national health insurance tax by 10,000 yen per person has drawn a lot of support from the general public. A victory by the JCP in the coming election is vital to enable the metropolitan government to put top priority on welfare services and residents’ lives over large-scale development projects.
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