April local elections have clearly shown problems of the Japanese society. One
is an excessive concentration to Tokyo,
the second is spreading poverty and uneasiness and the third is a fact that
progressive political forces cannot present concrete steps to the public to overcome
the difficulties. Consequently, the turnout rates in the elections were low,
which helped the arrogant governing parties.
VOTING RATES REFLECT POLITICAL ALIENATION OF PEOPLE
contentious point in the elections held in the 23 special districts of
Metropolitan Tokyo is extraordinary amounts of financial balances pertaining to
the administrative entities. Rich resources are not spent to improve livelihood
of residents, thus a tremendous sum of funds are left intact in the general
elections in Osaka have shown strong political
impacts produced by a political party, the Osaka Ishin-no-kai. In all of the election
districts the said party gained overwhelming victory. Voters worry about,
primarily, local economy in Osaka,
which is left behind, and they hoped it should be boosted.
Osaka used to
be a commercial center, but today it has been deserted. The rate of
beneficiaries to the residents of the Life Protection Service is the highest
among the 46 prefectures in the country, recording 3.31%, which is ten times
bigger than the lowest rate that Toyama
Prefecture has. Look at
the city of Osaka.
It is worse, being 5.34%. As for the rates of unemployment and irregular
has the worst records. Thus, the Osaka
Ishin-no-kai has grabbed minds of voters through their rhetoric; a hope for
growth and development is restructuring of the Osaka’s administrative management and
slashing public workers.
let’s look at Hokkaido.
The prefecture, too, has unfortunate records in the number of beneficiaries of
life protection service and irregular workers. Two candidates contested in the
governorship election, a ruling and opposition ones, which was the sole rivalry
race in the country. A young ruling candidate in his thirties, former Mayor of
Yubari City, has won. He has known for his active commitments to revive the
bankrupted city. Local voters might see a glimpse of hope in his achievements for
special districts, either, a hope could not be seen clearly. Other regions that
are abandoned suffer from graver situation. These phenomena are consequences as
the financial group has taken initiative in politics to meet their demands.
Today unity as a nation has been eroded.
however, did not show much pride. The lowest turnout rates were further
deteriorated. If a society expects to see a hero, it will see disasters.
Despite the fact voters still firmly believe that politics is to be engaged in
by someone else.
support rate of the Abe government is of a passive nature; no other choice is
available. Japanese voters are not yet mature enough to react to a rule that voters
change politics through active participation.
toward opposition parties
is to blame? The opposition forces, too, a side to change politics. They owe
partial responsibility. Do they regard irregular, uncertain employment and
deterioration of public services as their own issues? Don’t they cope with
social problems just by employing effective steps, believing that they
themselves are outside of the living conditions of people? Sympathy could not
be gained from workers and citizens who live in agony, if the opposition forces
behave aloof from them.
ordinary circumstances municipal elections are the closest political stage to
people, but voting rates are the lowest. Some voters are interested in the
state’s level politics, but they are not so in the local administrations and
assemblies. Local assemblies, in particular, are not influential enough.
reality must be changed. It is a municipality that sets amounts of payments for
childcare, the elderly care, medical and other services, including welfare.
posture of the New Socialist Party
members of the New Socialist Party rightly respond to problems and present concrete
policies to settle them? In order to be successful we should have a habit to
work together on the daily basis with citizens in the social movements. In the recent
elections we could gain good results, but for the next round of elections, we
should be more prepared.