The voting date December 16 for Tokyo governorship coincides with the voting for general elections. With Candidate Utsunomiya Kenji, various civic and political forces in Tokyo defending Constitution can have a common ground of campaigns, which is a success after long time since the victory of Governor Minobe in 1967. Tokyo Prefectural Branch of the New Socialist Party (NSP) has issued a statement to support the candidate, being ready to campaign. Party members in the regional branch are determined to make their maximum efforts.
LET'S WIN UTSUNOMIYA! LET'S ARRANGE COMMON ACTIVITIES FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS!
Current Situation Surrounding Double Elections
Ex-governor Ishihara ruled Tokyo for 13 years and a half, during which he has left deep scars in the administration of the capital city. Candidate Utsunomiya proposes a slogan, Tokyo, Gentle Enough to People. The idea represents an important base to counter rightist political trends of these days prevailing across the nation. In this sense the Tokyo governor election has enormous significance.
Election campaigns will officially begin November 29, 2012. Ten days before the date various civic groups, trade unions of various kinds and sizes, associations of independent local assembly members and political parties, including the NSP, Social-Democratic Party (SDP), Communist Party (JCP) and Green Party, expressed support of the candidate.
Attention is paid to the positions of major civic groups and parties, like Network of Civic People, Party Kokumin-no-Seikatu-ga-Daiichi, led by Mr. Ozawa Ichiro, and minor parties which oppose nuclear power generation.
However, the election leadership of Candidate Utsunomiya is not ready to combine Socialist Party, Communist Party and regional council of trade unions as firmly as was done during the campaigns of Governor Minobe, when various activities were staged in an organized manner: posters were put on the walls swiftly, leaflets were distributed quickly and election tours were arranged one after another.
Today civic volunteers work in the election office of Candidate Utsunomiya. Activities differ from one locality to another. The office serves as a center to coordinate efforts of campaigners.
The rival will be Candidate Inose Naoki, the incumbent Deputy Governor, recommended by the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the Nihon-Ishin-no-Kai. Activists look at the ruling Democratic Party of Japan: how will they behave? Because it is hard for the party to field its candidate and it is prospected that some of the party members may support Candidate Utsunomiya.
Running and Organizing
On November 14 a kickoff rally was held in the Nakano-Ward to support Candidate Utsunomiya, attracting 1,400 citizens. Campaigns have begun. Campaigners run and organize simultaneously. Activities vary from one Ward to another.
General elections overlap the governor election. Thus election campaigns require flexibility and diversity in the organizational works.
On November 20 a similar rally was held in Suginami-Ward, in which participated civic groups, labor unions, NSP, SDP, JCP and the Greens.
As for general elections, however, unity is absent. JCP fields its candidates, while SDP does the same. Election campaigns are independently staged.
On November 26 another rally was held in the southern Ward of Tokyo to support Candidate Utsunomiya, but it was organized by the forces affiliated to the ex-Socialist Party. Groups of JCP hold political rallies separately.
The Tokyo Governor's election campaigns go on in the diverse and complicated way in the structure. Everybody should be ready to recognize differences of others in a flexible way so that election campaign efforts may lead to a victory of Utsunomiya, making efforts simultaneously for general elections.
This is a call to all the political and civic groups.
November 27, 2012