Results of the December general election have revealed typical features of the Abe government. Majority of the electorate do not want nuclear power, rich-and-poor gaps and wars, but the ruling bloc of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Komeito has won due to the low turnout. Let’s look back at what happened in the year 2014. Let’s think over what made the situation develop in this way? Let’s make a courageous step forward. The government is well ready to amend Constitution to threaten our survival.
WHAT SITUATION DID DECEMBER ELECTION PRODUCE?
Though stronger and broader people’s movements against nuclear power generation, the government’s approval of the right of collective self-defense and a construction plan of a new military base in Henoko, Okinawa, have been waged, the ruling bloc led by Premier Abe enjoyed a tremendous victory in the December election, except for defeats in the constituencies in Okinawa. The ruling parties, taking advantage of the electorate’s reactions to the opposition forces, for instance, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which had betrayed them after becoming the government, were successful in not only in increasing votes but in consolidating their foundation. Let’s analyze exactly disparity of the ruling bloc’s powerfulness and weakness on our side.
Ruling Bloc Supported by Combined Force of the Capital
One of the reasons of strength of the Abe government comes from the combined support of the capitals. Honeymoon-like relations between the government and the Keidanren, the Japan Business Federation, were amazingly good during the past year. Thanks to the Abenomics economic revival policy, the employers’ organization is completely satisfied with business performance resulted from a big reduction of corporate taxes, investment chances to the pension programs and the Bank of Japan’s efforts to purchase government’s bonds. The business circle gained extraordinary benefits from the deregulated financial measures. The Abe government allowed employers to take any illicit action in order that big capitals could fulfill desires.
The story does not end here. The capital side requested politicians to break up all taboos. In 2014 it has decided on re-operation of nuclear plants and export of its technologies. It is ready to export weapons and cooperate to develop with other countries. It has committed in the project to set up special strategic zones. The Abe government is entrusted by the capital to ‘liquidate the post-war regime’.
A hidden factor that guaranteed victory of the government was a low voting rate. Following the Lehman Shock, the worsened economy was eroded by the Abe’s policy; the numbers of poor people and beneficiaries of the Life Protection Services grew bigger, resulting in wider gaps and harsher poverty. Reliable and powerful political forces, however, have not yet been established after split of the former Socialist Party.
Failures of the government led by the DPJ disappointed agonized people to lose trust in the politics and parliament. The low turnout is a proof. A half of the electorate abstained. Some of them probably expected emergence of dangerous forces. The Ishin-no-To (Innovation Party), which criticizes passiveness of the Abenomics policy and insists on ‘bold reforms’, enjoyed quite a high level of support. This fact shows risky politics.
We welcome victory in Okinawa and of the Communist Party. But the party solely could not break through the current situation. The Social Democratic Party managed to keep its status as a political party through support of the New Socialist Party, but solely it could not have gained future perspectives. A key point is how to respond sincerely to voices of people who expect defending the Constitution and opposing the Abe’s politics.
In 2014 the National Referendum Act was finalized. Reports say that the LDP is ready to present a draft text of new constitution which has clauses on contingency for the scheduled Upper House election in the 2016 summer. An urgent task is required to organize new forces to oppose neo-liberal politics and defend the constitutional rights.
In this year Anti-War Committees of 1000 were organized in many places in the country, organizing people’s aspiration. In the 2015 spring we must launch movements to oppose bills relevant to execution of the right of collective self-defense.
December 23, 2014