Japan: JCP on the General Election results
December 15, 2014
In the December 14 House of Representatives election, the Japanese Communist Party more than doubled its seats from 8 to 21. Of the 21 successful candidates, 20 were elected from proportional representation blocs, obtaining 6.06 million votes (11.37% of total votes cast) and Seiken Akamine was elected from the Okinawa No.1 constituency. This is the first major victory of the JCP in general elections since 1996. The JCP regained the right to introduce bills also in the House Representatives following the party’s reacquisition of that right in the House of Councilors.
The party achieved the electoral targets proposed in the 26th JCP Congress Resolution: to obtain more than 6.5 million votes or 10% of the total vote and to win victories in all the proportional representation blocs and in single-seat constituencies. Though no JCP candidate was elected from the Shikoku proportional representation bloc, the JCP received 10.12% of the total votes cast in the bloc.
As a result of efforts made by JCP candidates and their supporters, the JCP obtained a total of 7.04 million votes (13.30%) in single-seat constituencies, which not only contributed to the JCP advance in the proportional representation blocs, but also opened up a prospect for future victories.
In sum, the JCP achieved an epoch-making advance in the latest general election.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to voters for their support and to our campaign volunteers and local JCP members for their efforts.
The JCP, during the election campaign, focused on five important issues in the party’s election platform: no to another consumption tax hike, counter “Abenomics”, peace, no nuclear energy, and a base-free Okinawa. We also strongly called for the abolition of the public funding system for political parties.
We straightforwardly confronted the Abe regime, presenting counterproposals on every issue representing the interests of the general public. All throughout campaign, the party also attached importance to cooperation with the public to strive together to change politics.
Many people now feel that what Abe calls for might be a dangerous path to pursue. In such an atmosphere, the JCP in the election campaign engaged in a head-on confrontation with Abe’s runaway policies, and this was appreciated by many voters.
The JCP proposed a progressive alternative to increase tax revenues instead of a consumption tax hike. The party also proposed establishing a framework in Northeast Asia for peace and cooperation. The JCP’s counterproposals on national and diplomatic issues helped voters to see and choose alternatives other than what Abe calls “the only way”.
The JCP has actively taken part in various single-issue movements with the general public. Through these movements, citizens came to view the JCP as a party which always takes the side of the general public and a party to represent their voices, which also helped bring about the JCP advance in the election this time.
The JCP, to fulfill its election promise, will fully utilize its right to sponsor bills in the Diet. In order to respond to the expectations of voters who supported the JCP in the election, the JCP will use all its years of experience and creative spirit in the next Diet.
In the election campaign, we have stressed that the confrontation between the LDP and the JCP is the true political showdown in Japan. This has become clear by the fact that the JCP is the only political party that made a great advance in the general election.
Some media and critics say that the LDP won “a landslide victory”. This is not true. In reality, the number of the LDP’s seats in the House of Representatives decreased. In terms of the percentage of votes garnered by political parties, which plainly shows power relations among them, the LDP’s stood at only 33%. The single-seat constituency system, which gives a significant advantage to major political parties, allowed the LDP to obtain the majority in the chamber. Even under such an unfair electoral system, the ruling party was unable to increase its seats.
At the same time, an important feature of the election results is that the JCP, the most determined opponent of the Abe government, achieved a remarkable advance. Furthermore, in all the four single-member constituencies in Okinawa, candidates opposing the construction of a new U.S. military base beat the LDP rivals who had broken their campaign promises and accepted the construction plan.
If the LDP-Komei coalition government sees the election outcome as a blank check from the public, it is a great mistake. The administration should take seriously the will of voters shown in Okinawa and the JCP’s dramatic progress.
Forces that want to contain the JCP have employed various anti-communist tactics. For more than a decade, they have led campaigns to implement “a two-party system” and backed “third pole” political groups to check the advance of the JCP.
The JCP has faced up to these attacks and is now opening a new chapter in the full-scale confrontation between the LDP and the JCP. Our tenacious hard work has borne fruit in the House of Representatives election. The JCP Standing Executive Committee expresses its deep respect and appreciation for the struggles engaged in by all the party members.
The Abe administration intends to move ahead with an increase in the consumption tax rate to 10%, the “Abenomics”, reactivation of nuclear power plants, the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, and the construction of a new U.S. military base in Okinawa. All run counter to the will of the majority of the general public. A forcible implementation of Abe’s policies would incur serious opposition and social upheaval.
Taking full advantage of the new position gained in the general election, the JCP will make every possible effort to further develop various single-issue joint struggles based on the agreed point of departure in any field in order to stop the runaway Abe government and realize political change in Japan with people power both inside and outside the Diet.
The underlying cause of the major party advance in the election is the effort the whole party has made since the Party Congress in expanding party membership, doubling the overall party strength, promoting generational succession in party organizations, and building a stronger party in both quality and quantity.
Based on our epoch-making advance in the general election, we are resolved confidently to engage in activities to build an even stronger and bigger party.