The general election has ended. The result is victory on the side of constitution-revision forces. The have gained the maximum number of parliamentary seats in the history after the WWII. The general election has disintegrated the Minshin-to, or the Democratic Party, the biggest opposition. Though the newly built-up Rikken-minshu-to, or the Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP), has taken a good number of seats, over 80% of the PMs are advocates to amend the Constitution; they are parties of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Komeito, which constituted the preceding coalition government, and the new party, Kibo-no-to = Party of Hope and the Ishin, or the Renovation Party. Let’s analyze the results to win in the coming struggles to defend the Constitution.
LET’S OPEN A WAY TO WIN, WITH FIRM DETERMINATION
The LDP led by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has pledged to add an item to specify the Self Defense Force in the text of the Constitution. That is for the first time after the WWII. He emphasized, too, to provide a clause on national emergency. The LDP’s election campaigns have led to a big increase in its ballots with a stress on the party’s primary tactic to pressure on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Though the LDP had lost its influence on the electorate, its right-wing followers like the Party of Hope and the Renovation Party have gained strength. We, people of Japan, must be determined firmly to fight in the years to come.
It is reported that the Premier Abe will present a draft bill of his party to change Article Nine at the opening of the parliamentary debate to be held after the extraordinary Diet session. That will surely accelerate discussions in the legislative panel, the Constitution Examination Committee. The government estimates to amend the constitution by 2020: thus it is planned to hold a referendum at the occasion of the next general election or in combination with the 2019 election of the House of Councilors. The government will take advantage of the critical situation around the Korean Peninsula over which some foresee a grave incident may happen at the end of the year.
It is anticipated that the government will use the Diet’s overwhelming right-wing forces and control over the police, administration and judiciary as well as the substructure network of the state’s power. The conspiracy act may take effect.
We must build up a firm basis to defend the Constitution by integrating various local forces so that citizens can behave freely to prevent the society from suffocation.
Opposition Forces to be reorganized again
Who can build opposition forces?
The New Socialist Party fielded a candidate Kikuchi Noriyuki, in the No.9 Election District in Hyogo Prefecture with joint cooperation of the opposition parties and civic forces. Hopes are seen now: foundation of the Constitutional Democratic Party and good results of the independent candidates, including the outcome in Niigata Prefecture.
However, as far as votes in the proportional representation channel are concerned, those votes to be covered by the Communist Party and the Social-Democratic Party flowed into the CDP. That does not mean political forces as an entity have won to fight against amendment of Article Nine, the scheduled increase of consumption tax, re-operation of nuclear power plants and construction of a new base at Henoko, Okinawa.
Now, another reorganization process of opposition political forces has apparently begun. Commercial media stir up re-integration of the Minshin-to, or the Democratic Party. But the CDP was founded, splitting from the DP by the leader Edano Yukio, by the background support of citizens who had sympathized to see some DP members sternly rejected to join the Party of Hope. As Mr. Edano says the CDP was encouraged by civic forces. Therefore the CDP has responsibility to satisfy expectations of people.
Dissatisfaction in Established Politics
We must analyze a fact; why was the Minshin-to=Democratic Party disintegrated by the moves of Ms Koike? If the party had not contributed a number of candidates and funds to the Kibo and had maintained its policy to cooperate with opposition forces, big victory on the side of Abe groups could have been evaded.
Some of parliamentary candidates may have been paralyzed by the campaign of Ms Koike which had been successful in the Tokyo’s governor election and subsequent local assembly election - a Koike phenomenon, representing people’s dissatisfaction in the established politics, including opposition parties, incapable to tackle poverty and social inequality. The populism stimulated by Koike stressed anti-power and break-up of vested interests. People were allured by her drive.
According to some opinion polls, almost 50% of the electorate between 18 and 29 year-old-of age, who are most affected by the today’s politics and are anxious about the future, supported the LDP. Over 50% of them were in favor of amendment of the Constitution. Ten percent of the youth preferred the Party of Hope, while only 5% favored the CDP.
Young people are exposed to severe exploitation of the neo-liberal politics which robs as much as profit as possible. Victory in defending the Constitution relies on trust from the youth.
Let’s build up organized force in every locality in foreseeing the 2019 elections of House of Councilors and municipalities in cooperating with opposition parties which basses on the Constitution.
October 31, 2017