Diet debates have ushered in the session’s last phase. The ruling Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) seeks a chance zealously to present a bill to revise the
Referendum Act to the Diet and to propose the 4th item of the party’s
draft text to revise the constitution. Some people around the prime minister
say about holding elections of the two Houses simultaneously to contend for
amendment of the constitution. Our task is to prevent the Council to Examine Constitution
from operating in order to stop the government’s drives and to work so that
constitutional opposition parties can win over 1/3 of the seats in the House of
Councilors through the election scheduled in summer.
INTEGRATE STRUGGLES BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF PARLIAMENT TO PREVENT COUNSIL
annual event of May 3 – a constitution day – this year was attended by over 65
thousands people, which was the biggest in years. Many of the speakers
criticized on the podium the LDP’s version of amendment text, especially their
4th item, stressing strong determination of citizens to impede the government’s
intention and proposing key tasks of the civic side.
major mission of struggles lies in actions how broadly we can succeed in
organizing campaigns in unity of citizens and opposition parties. The first is
to win over one-third of the seats in the House of Councilors in the coming
election so that the pro-amendment forces may fail in holding 2/3 of them: to
field a jointly supported, unified candidate in every 32 single-seated
constituencies. If they gain a seat, they can be added to those lawmakers who were
elected in the last Upper House election.
distrust in politics and abstention
Takayama Kanako of Kyoto
University, referring to
the number of abstention in the 2017 House of Representatives election held in
October, told the figure, 44,097,142. She said that this meant a crisis in democracy
and that at the same time this result practically supported the Abe government.
of the opinion researches held at that time by a foundation on public affairs,
the Association for Promoting Fair Elections, showed interesting data.
to the survey, voters were interested in the policies showed below in the
were chosen freely and redundantly)
healthcare and elderly care 51.12
economy-boosting policy 46.2 points
pension programs 45.1 points
childcare and education 34.7 points
consumption tax 30.4 points
constitution amendment 22.3 points
opinion poll asked about the low voting rate. The reasons were;
not convinced by the reasons of dissolution
of the House 26.2%
opposition parties were incapable to present
ruling parties were supposed to win in the
replies showed voters’ distrust in the opposition political parties.
are upset with mounted dissatisfactions in politics today. In total 72.45% of
respondents said they were frustrated by politics; among the dispatched workers
the rate reached 83.3% and among the part-time employees, 72.3%.
voting rates by age groups were;
in their 20s 33.85%
in their teens 40.49%
in their 30s 44.75%
voters showed high abstention rates. Those of the age group between 18 and in their
20s did not show party affiliation and the abstention rate was as high as
61.6%. The phenomenon clearly demonstrated mistrust in politics, thus leading
policies and mass movements
this perspective a key lies in policies and actions led by constitutional
opposition parties. The Abe government destroys three constitutional principles
(people’s sovereignty, pacifism and respect of the fundamental human rights), infringing
articles to keep up people’s lives. Constitutional opposition parties and civic
activists face a critical moment: they should present bold policies to cope
with gaps and poverty prevailing in the society and build up mass movements.
corporations enjoy an extraordinary amount of wealth in stock and the riches,
too. Right taxation measures should be imposed on them. Reduction of the
consumption tax to 5% is needed urgently. Military expenditure should be cut massively
so that tax money may be spent on healthcare, pensions, the elderly care and
were made in the council on constitution of the House of Representatives to
restrict commercial propaganda over the referendum. According to the
above-mentioned survey, 62.5% of voters depend on TV resources to get
information on politics and elections. Pro-amendment forces enjoy a far more comfortable
position without media limitations.