Can the political structure of nearly-unopposed-Abe be broken down? Can the opposition forces stop Premier Abe’s attempts to amend the Constitution? ? These were topics raised before the presidential election of the Democratic Party (DP) held on September 1. The party elected former Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji ? that brings disappointment among people who look for running opposition-supported common candidates in the general elections. May the new leader’s aspiration be a convenient tool to sustain the Abe government?
DON’T GIVE UP POLICY TO UNIFY OPPOSITION FORCES!
The new leader, Mr. Maehara, was elected again as President. He had been President in 2005, too. The recent DP’s presidential election was watched carefully as it suggests prospects whether citizens could stop the arrogant and violent political drive of the Abe administration and they could run opposition-supported common candidates in the elections.
Citizens are Disappointed
Mr. Maehara, who opposes unification of opposition parties, has won, while Mr. Edano Yukio, former Chief Cabinet Secretary, who advocates the policy, lost, as largely expected. Therefore a pessimistic mood prevails among citizens.
President Maehara emphasized a policy ‘all for all’, which means social welfare system might be universal without considering the income level of beneficiaries. His concept is timely, but he bases financially on the consumption taxes.
Rules of taxation rely on the principle of ability to pay. Thus, the government has a duty to redistribute wealth. If the government is negligent, and imposes the higher consumption tax on those who do not earn, while it reduces taxes for the rich and Big Business, it is offensive; the history and realities concerning the consumption taxes in the country are overlooked.
Who will be happy if the consumption tax rate surges? They are big exporting business corporations as they can enjoy a beneficial treatment of pay-back of taxes.
Ordinary consumers have kept saving money and taken passive purchase attitude since the consumption tax rate was raised. Meanwhile, internal reserves held by Big Business whose capital stocks exceed 1 billion Yen have surpassed 400 trillion Yen for the first time at the end of 2016 Fiscal, reaching 403 trillion and 400 billion Yen.
Voters without Party Affiliations
Mr. Maehara focuses more on voters without party affiliations rather than gathering and unifying opposition forces. And a key incentive is necessary to mobilize these political independents. So a single party, the DP, cannot do this job. Voters do not cast ballots unless they have expectations: a candidate could win, a would-be politician could peg the Abe government and a sense of tension could be generated in the politics.
President of Rengo=Japan Trade Union Confederation Kozu Rikio defines the Democratic Party as a mild conservative party. He seeks for restructuring of opposition forces based on the DP as one of the two big parties. However, supporters of the DP in the Rengo are being undermined.
The core unions of the Rengo, one of which Mr. Kozu comes from, held the questionnaire in the spring 2016 and the results were shown: 23% of answerers supported the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), while 18%, the DP. How do you analyze the fact?
The LDP lost severely in the recent election for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly members, but, in the same way, the DP was seriously defeated.
The DP occupies the core of the unified opposition forces, but it should pay attention to the declining rate of influence.
Let’s Change Political Trend
We see evil outcomes surfacing due to the unopposed Abe’s reign of the government. What do people expect in the politics? Do they want alteration of government?
We want a change, of course. But under the circumstances in which opposition parties have weakened, the first task is to change a political trend and then to alter the government.
We must not help the Abe government to survive in anyway. We must get united in agreeing to ideas and policies.
September 12, 2017