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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 September 27 - October 3  > True face-off is between LDP/Komei and Citizens/opposition parties united front
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2017 September 27 - October 3 [POLITICS]

True face-off is between LDP/Komei and Citizens/opposition parties united front

September 30, 2017
Major mass media are diverting voters’ attention to a bogus face-off between the ruling Liberal Democratic/Komei coalition and Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko’s “Hope Party” in the general election slated for October 22.

Yomiuri Shimbun dated September 29 ran the headline “Hope rams into LDP/Komei” and the “Abe-vs.-Koike gun fired” headline appeared in Nikkei Shimbun of the same date.

However, the Hope Party is just another supplement to the LDP. In the coming Lower House election, a focus of major campaign issues will be whether to approve or replace the Abe regime which forcibly enacted the unconstitutional war laws and destroyed constitutionalism. On this point, the Hope Party fully supports the controversial security legislation as well as the LDP’s aspiration to remove the war-renouncing principles from the post-war Japanese Constitution. Therefore, the “LDP/Komei vs. Hope” cannot be regarded as a face-off between the ruling coalition and opposing camps. A true head-on confrontation will be between the “LDP/Komei vs. citizens/opposition parties”. In this context, a significant advance of the Japanese Communist Party in the coming election will be of decisive importance.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in May of this year proposed amendments to the Constitution to legitimatize the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and expressed his hope that a new constitution will come into force in 2020. The LDP plans to submit a draft constitution to the Diet this year. The Abe-led LDP is eager to take the teeth out of Article 9 of the Constitution which prohibits Japan from possessing war potential and renounces war. Abe’s call for changes in this important Article will certainly become the main focus of the election. The Hope Party, however, is no different from the LDP in regard to the war laws and constitutional revision.

The Democratic Party, the largest opposition party until only recently, already announced that it will merge with this conservative Hope Party. Asked by reporters on September 29 if the Hope Party will accept all former DP lawmakers, Governor Koike answered that her party will “exclude” anyone who does not support constitutional amendments and the national security legislation.

According to the sources, the Hope Party asks former DP representatives who seek to stand for the election backed by the Hope Party to pay three million yen for a party ticket application and an additional two million yen for a donation to the party. A question came from the press corps if the Hope Party looks to ex-DP parliamentarians to bring the five-million yen “dowry”. Koike said in response that her party will not be fettered by the money.

Past related articles:
> Tokyo governor founds national political party [ September 26, 2017]
> Tokyo Governor’s new party is rightwing constitutional revisionist [ September 26, 2017]
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