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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 December 19 - 2019 January 8  > Shii in New Year assembly calls for stepping up efforts to win Upper House and simultaneous local elections
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2018 December 19 - 2019 January 8 TOP3 [JCP]

Shii in New Year assembly calls for stepping up efforts to win Upper House and simultaneous local elections

January, 5, 2019
The Japanese Communist Party on January 4 held its New Year assembly at the JCP head office in Tokyo. JCP Chair Shii Kazuo delivered a speech and looked back on the outcome of the party’s struggle in 2018. He said, “We must not allow Prime Minister Abe to further destroy Japan’s democracy. Let us make this year a year of saying ‘goodbye’ to the Abe government, the worst government in the country’s post-war history.” Shii called on party members to make all-out efforts to open the way for new and hopeful politics this year by achieving a JCP advance and success in the joint struggle between opposition parties and concerned citizens in the upcoming simultaneous nationwide local elections as well as in this summer’s House of Councilors election.

Shii stressed that the party’s major challenge this year is whether to develop opposition parties’ collaboration in the Diet, which progressed markedly in 2018, into a joint struggle in the Upper House election. In this regard, he urged that based on an agreement made by the opposition parties in a symposium held in November by the Civil Alliance, opposition parties sit down at the negotiating table with the JCP without condition, agree to field joint opposition candidates in all single-seat constituencies in the Upper House election in order to bring down PM Abe from power, and begin discussing ways to foster this electoral collaboration. Shii also expressed his determination to achieve a victory in the House of Representatives by-election in Okinawa No.3 constituency scheduled for April 21.

Shii pointed to the following challenges as the main purpose of the JCP struggle in 2019: bring a stop to the planned increase in the consumption tax rate to 10% in October; restore the country's economy while putting priority on people's livelihoods; step up efforts to block Abe's attempt to turn Japan into a "war-fighting nation" again; further develop public movements against the construction of a new U.S. base in solidarity with Okinawans; and work even harder to achieve a "zero-nuclear energy Japan". He emphasized the need to consistently pursue joint actions in each challenge with the widest range of people and to appeal to them to support the JCP in the upcoming elections. He explained in detail about confrontation points and problems in each challenge.

He furthermore called on JCP members to firmly keep in mind that campaigns to achieve JCP advances in the upcoming nationwide simultaneous local elections and Upper House election should be done in an integrated manner.

He said that with the nationwide local elections approaching, all JCP members should focus on a JCP advance and do what they must do to achieve the party's victory. However, he mentioned that it will not be easy for the party to even maintain its present strength. He said, therefore, it is very important to understand that the JCP has a chance of making a great advance and that all members should bravely face up to every difficulty in the elections.

Shii cautioned against the idea which is "We will prepare for the House of Councilors election after the nationwide local elections end," saying that all the party organizations should fight in a consistent way all through the campaigns while centering on the Upper House proportional representation election. He stressed that the important thing is to publicize the JCP value in national politics during political debates in preparation for the nationwide local election campaign. By doing this, the party will be able to inform voters of its Program, history, and policies and will be able to increase the number of active JCP supporters. In parallel with this activity, he added, the JCP value in local politics should be brought to the fore.

Both ruling and opposition parties regard this spring’s nationwide simultaneous local elections as a pre-campaign stage for the House of Councilors election slated for this summer. They have become more aggressive in their preparation for the coming local elections as shown in the long list of their candidates. In this regard, Shii pointed out, “Communicating with the general public to effectively gain the supporters needed to win elections tends to come into full swing after the official kick-off of election campaigns. This is the JCP’s weak point. We must alter this practice, which is essential for our victory in the coming elections.” On behalf of the JCP Standing Executive Committee, Shii proposed a strategy to secure a JCP advance in the simultaneous local elections which calls on all party members to complete two tasks by March 1, about one month before the official start of campaigns (March 29) for the first round of the simultaneous nationwide local elections.

Explaining the strategy, Shii said that the first task is to conduct full-scale grassroots publicity campaigns and organizing activities, which are vital to win in the elections. He asked that all party members liken March 1 to the voting date and carry out various activities needed for JCP victories, including achieving the target of the number of votes to obtain. He added that the next step after March 1 is to engage in mass publicity campaigns and organizing activities which seek to attract support from a wide range of voters in the runup to the elections.

Shii moved on to the second task, which is to build a stronger JCP. Shii said that aiming to increase the party strength by 30% from the previous strength before the Upper House election, the Standing Executive Committee proposal sets March 1 as an interim goal. It calls on all party organizations to win more JCP members and more subscribers to daily Akahata and Sunday Akahata on March 1 than at the time of the 2013 Upper House election. He went on to say that party organizations which face the simultaneous elections in particular have a duty to increase JCP membership and the number of Akahata readers from four years ago. Shii emphasized the importance of accomplishing the proposed tasks.

Shii concluded his speech by stressing, “Efforts made in January and February will pave the way for a JCP victory in the coming elections. I call on all party organizations and members to adopt the proposed strategy and create a momentum of powerful JCP activities heading toward a series of elections.”
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