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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 September 27 - October 3  > DP will merge with new rightist party, betraying its promise to concerned citizens
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2017 September 27 - October 3 TOP3 [JCP]

DP will merge with new rightist party, betraying its promise to concerned citizens

September 29, 2017

The Democratic Party on September 28 at its joint meeting of DP Dietmembers of both Houses unanimously decided to merge with Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko’s new political party, the Hope Party. With this, DP’s newly-elected leader Maehara Seiji will virtually disband the DP.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a JCP Dietmembers’ assembly criticized Maehara for throwing away the mutual agreements made among the four opposition parties over the past two years and criticized the DP for one-sidedly breaking the promise it made to the Civil Alliance, labeling the DP act as treachery.

The following is a speech Shii delivered at the JCP Dietmembers’ assembly on September 28:

General election is historical opportunity to give ‘red card’ to Abe administration

Today, the House of Representatives will be dissolved for a general election. Prime Minister Abe intends to forcibly carry out the dissolution at the Lower House plenary session scheduled to begin at noon.

Dissolution of the Lower House at its opening plenary is totally irrational. It is an unprecedented act in postwar history. The four opposition parties, including the JCP, on June 22 urged the PM Abe-led government to convene an extraordinary session of the Diet based on our constitutional right to do so guaranteed under Article 53. Without responding to our demand for three months, the government decided to disband the powerful chamber at the just-convened session of the Diet. A major reason for this act is to cloud the allegations regarding the “Moritomo” and “Kake” school corporations. Let us protest against the Abe government’s unconstitutional and outrageous act.

At the same time, driven by public opinion and opposition movements, the Abe government was forced to take this reckless action. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party suffered a historical defeat in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election. This also weakened the Abe administration.

Therefore, the upcoming general election will be a historical opportunity to put an end to the Abe regime. Let’s work hard to achieve a JCP advance and a success in the joint struggle by opposition parties and concerned citizens and replace the Abe government with a new one representing the public interest.

Abe’s runaway politics will be biggest issue - deliver exit verdict and bring politics back to general public

What issues should be discussed in the upcoming election campaign? I’d like to propose a campaign agenda that covers a wide range of issues. The most important among them is in response to Abe’s runaway politics. Whether to allow PM Abe to continue implementing anti-people policies should be the top item on a list of election issues. Over the past five years, what has the PM Abe-led LDP-Komei government done?

It is the first ever regime in the postwar era to have totally undermined the Constitution.

In December 2013, the ruling coalition forced through the State Secrets Protection Law which suppresses the public right to information and freedom of expression. In September 2015, the ruling forces rammed through the national security laws (i.e. war laws). In order to do this, they reversed the government’s traditional constitutional interpretation, maintained for half a century, that Article 9 of the Constitution prohibits Japan’s use of the collective self-defense right. In June this year, they steamrollered through the conspiracy law which criminalizes a broad range of people’s private thoughts. All three laws are unconstitutional. In the coming general election, the JCP will appeal for the need to abolish the three laws as a package.

There is no government in postwar Japanese history which disregards public opiion in such a flagrant manner.

A majority of Okinawans in repeated elections voted against the construction of a new U.S. base. The Abe government, however, refuses to change its high-handed stance and is moving ahead with the Henoko new base construction, which is totally unacceptable. In various opinion polls, 50-60% of the general public opposed the reactivation of nuclear power plants. Despite this fact, the Abe administration is pushing forward with its policy to restart all off-line NPPs. On top of that, it even intends to allow Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the crippled Fukushima NPP, to bring its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP back online. Let’s work hard in the election campaign to oppose the restart of NPPs and create a “zero” nuclear power Japan.

Abe’s authoritarian handling of politics has ended up abusing his power in his own interest.

Friends of PM Abe and his wife received various special favors. Unusual discounts for purchases of public land has been offered. Special treatment was provided in the process of opening new schools. To overlook these acts in total disregard of conflicts of interest means that Japan is no longer a nation governed by law. It is unacceptable to overlook the serious allegations of corruption involving PM Abe. In order to thoroughly investigate the allegations, we need to win the election.

The Abe government undermines the Constitution, infringes on people’s will, and abuses its power for its own sake. Let’s put an end to the Abe administration, which is arrogant with its majority force, and take politics back to the general public. In this struggle, the JCP will take a leading role and do its utmost.

Hope Party is a supplementary force of LDP, judging from its members and policies

Next, I am going to explain the current situation and future strategies for the joint struggle between concerned citizens and opposition parties.

Democratic Party leader Maehara Seiji proposed to the DP’s executive committee that the party merge with Tokyo Governor Koike’s Hope Party. However, what is actually going on looks more like an acquisition of the DP by the Hope Party. This is an astonishing development.

In the first place, what characteristics does the Hope Party have? The party’s roster indicates what they are. Members include former LDP executives, former DP members who left the party to oppose the opposition parties-citizens joint struggle, and some ultra-rightists. The party is being formed by these people. This fact clearly shows that the Hope Party is in essence a supplementary force of the LDP.

What is the core of the Hope Party’s political goals? At a press conference held yesterday (September 27) to announce the Hope Party’s establishment, Lower House member Hosono Goshi (former DP executive) stated that if Japan abolishes the national security laws (war laws), it will be unable to deal with the North Korea issue and other national security issues. He also said, “As a conservative party, we have a responsibility to make full use of the existing security laws and propose realistic policies.” In short, this means that the Hope Party fully supports the unconstitutional war laws. In addition, party executives proclaim that they will seek to revise Article 9 and other clauses in the Constitution. Upholding the war laws and promoting constitutional revisions, including Article 9, are the party’s two main objectives. It is crystal clear that the Hope Party is an offshoot of the LDP.

It is also clear that the JCP will never consider conducting a joint struggle with the Hope Party. When a candidate decides to run in next month’s general election on the Hope Party ticket, the JCP will confront him or her by putting up an opposition candidate in the same electoral district. This is a matter of course.

DP leader’s proposal is betrayal of agreements among opposition parties and Citizens Alliance

Maehara’s proposal denies two years of joint struggle.

Maehara intends to unilaterally dispose of agreements repeatedly confirmed by leaders of the four opposition parties. The four parties agreed to cooperate in national elections as much as possible to bring down PM Abe from power as well as work together to abolish the war laws and restore constitutionalism.

Maehara also breached agreements with the Citizens Alliance. Earlier this week, the JCP and three other opposition parties made agreements with the Citizens Alliance on a common election platform. Just a few days later, the DP chief ignited a state of confusion in the party. He trampled on the efforts made by concerned citizens, which is a serious betrayal of trust.

Maehara’s proposal is waiting for the party’s decision. I heard that the DP will hold a general meeting of its Dietmembers this afternoon and decide on its stance. I hope that the DP sincerely keep the agreements with the opposition parties and the Citizens Alliance.

JCP will keep promise with Civil Alliance to pursue joint electoral struggle

In fact, with this latest development, a serious rift has been created in the opposition-citizens collaboration. The JCP, however, will firmly adhere to the agreed-upon position to change the present politics through a joint struggle with concerned citizens.

Most importantly, we will continue valuing and developing the collaborative relationship with the Civil Alliance whose major organizations have “opposition to the national security legislation” and “restoration of constitutionalism” in their group names. The Civil Alliance movement started from resistance to the security legislation, the so-called war laws. Since then, it has been gathering a wide range of concerned citizens with various issue of concern together. The JCP will also gather together under the banner of “No” to the war laws and “Yes” to constitutionalism and will increase cooperation with the Civil Alliance and concerned individuals.

I’d like to add that the JCP is ready to join hands with any party, lawmaker, or candidate who is sincerely, bravely loyal to their commitments to the alliance with citizens.

Just a short while ago, JCP Secretariat Head Koike Akira held talks with Social Democratic Party Secretary General Mataichi Seiji and reached an agreement with the SDP to field a united candidate in as many constituencies as possible in the coming general election. I’d like to again emphasize that the JCP will never abandon its position of working for progressive change through an opposition parties-citizens united front. Based on this basic stance, the JCP will fight along with the SDP in the coming battle.

JCP advance in election essential for ‘cause’ and ‘unity’

Over the past two years, the opposition parties-citizens joint struggles have created a lot of other collaborative ties in every community throughout Japan. I’m sure that this 2-year-history of struggles will certainly have a positive effect on future collaboration. It seems like things are now taking a turn for the worse. However, from a long-term perspective, opposition parties-citizens collaboration has a promising future. Let us fight out the election battle, being certain about this prospect!

The JCP will keep working for “retraction of the security legislation” and “restoration of constitutionalism” which used to be the common goal for the opposition parties-citizens alliance and will never abandon the unity of “cooperation” between opposition parties and concerned citizens. Only by achieving a JCP advance in the coming Lower House election can the joint struggle of opposition parties and concerned citizens develop further to improve Japan’s politics. Having this in mind, let us bravely face the election campaign!

We will definitely win and achieve progress in the election and meet again in this room next time with a lot of new JCP Dietmembers. Let’s do our best!
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