The day November 3 commemorated the 71st anniversary of declaration of the Constitution. Various events were held across the country to condemn the Abe government which wants to amend the supreme law. The last general election has brought a severe result to constitution-campaigners, but the series of the day’s mass actions have proven firm unity of people who refuse revision. The New Socialist Party keeps fighting in every domain to defend the Constitution with united efforts of the opposition parties and civic organizations.
UNITED STRUGGLES ARE ONLY PATH TO VICTORY
Resumption of Mass Actions against Amendment
Forty thousand of people rallied around the parliament building on November 3. The event was co-organized by two civic organizations: the Nationwide Civic Action against Ruthless Drives of Abe Government to Article Nine and the Civic Executive Committee of Mass Mobilization. During the rally representatives of the opposition political parties and well-known figures delivered a speech, which indicated a new start of people’s action in a joint struggle to defend the Constitution both inside and outside the Diet. In the parliament, however, over 2/3 of the seats are occupied by amendment-advocates in both of the two Houses.
‘A new start’ may not be a right expression. But the people’s side was severely hit by the perplexities and disarray of the Democratic Party, the biggest opposition party, which was witnessed just before the October general election. The path of ‘a joint struggle of opposition parties and civic groups’ was frustrated. The election result has, consequently, allowed amendment-advocates to enjoy the right to present a bill to change the constitution.
However, the accumulated achievements of collaborative actions on the side of people have not faded down. Unity of citizens with opposition parties has proven to be more powerful. The November 3 action has left big possibilities for the future of people’s mobilization.
Countermeasures to overthrow Abe Government
The focal point in the general election lay in legitimacy of the current government. Mass media reported about a low, descending supporting rate of the Abe government, but on the voting day when it was stormy the electorate chose continuity of the administration.
The voting rate was 53.7%, just one point above the lowest record of last general election since the end of WWII. Judging from the low turnout, the opposition side was undoubtedly defeated. As many critiques say, the electorate cannot trust in governability of the opposition parties united with civic organizations.
Struggles for the Constitution will see the most critical phase soon. But distrust of people grows in the politics in general and in the opposition parties as they fail in ‘commitment in poverty and gaps’.
Under these circumstances greater efforts are indispensable among the opposition constitutional parties to reach an accord for countermeasures. That is a key leading to overthrowing the Abe government and preventing the Constitution from being revised. The opposition parties should be more determined, desperately, to go forward.
Expansion of Joint, United Struggles
Mass mobilization for the Constitution provides with good opportunities: mass organizations, including trade unions, could stimulate joint struggles and to promote human exchanges among various organizations.
We know already several struggles: the Joint Action Campaign for Employment, in which a group of attorneys are engaged and the Minimum Wage Campaign, which commemorates the second year.
These developments must not be confined to local, partial activities. Necessary are human exchanges through labor organizations across the nation. The New Socialist Party is planned to hold the sixth round of national seminar in April next year.
Labor movements must be reorganized. The union organization rate is below 17%, while over 40% of the working population is employed on the irregular, contracted basis.
Let’s prepare for joint actions. Let’s build up human exchanges on the community level. Let’s advance not only in the labor movement but also in other social movements.
November 21, 2017