Japanese Communist Party Wins 12%, 7 Million Votes

Robert (101607.2566@CompuServe.COM)
22 Oct 96 08:40:52 EDT


Dear friends,

we thought that the following statement on the election results
for the Communist Party in Japan might be of interest to readers
on this list too - at least we were quite surprised about it. It
seems to contradict the development of the Communist Parties in
most countries since the break-down of the eastern block. Can
anyone pass in more information on how this might be part of a
social movement, the situation in Japan in general and what the
psoitions/prospects of the Japanese Communist Party are? It seems
questionable to us that unlike the other parties, the JCP should
not ignore peoples interests - maybe they are just slightly more
populist? The Japanese Press Service from which the report originates
sympathises with the Communist Party and clearly the report itself
is coloured. On their web-site the Japanese Press Service describes
itself as:

"Japan Press Service is the only news agency that provides in English
information on Japan's progressive forces, including the Japanese
Communist Party, much of which is not dealt with by mass media."

We are trying to contact anarchist comrades in Japan to
comment on the current situation there.

All the best
Robert
(for A-Infos Germany)

---------- Forwarded Message ----------

From: INTERNET:ats-l@burn.ucsd.edu, INTERNET:ats-l@burn.ucsd.edu
To: Multiple recipients of list, INTERNET:ats-l@burn.ucsd.edu
Date: 22.10.1996 07:35

Subject:Japanese Communist Party Wins 12%, 7 Million Votes

JCP Won 7 Million Votes And 26 Seats, 12% Of Popular Vote

TOKYO OCT 21 JAPAN PRESS SERVICE -- The 41st House of Representatives
general election was voted on October 20. The Japanese Communist Party won
26 seats (24 from 11 proportional representation constituencies and 2 from
single-seat constituencies), an increase of 11 seats from 15 seats the
party had had before the election (which were won in the 1993 House of
Representatives general election).

Over 7 million votes (about 12 percent of total votes) were cast for the
Japanese Communist Party in the proportional representation constituencies,
the highest ever number the party won in the national-level elections. This
was the first general election following the introduction of the
single-seat plus proportional representation election, the aim of which was
to shut out the JCP from the Diet. The turnout of votes was 59.6 percent,
the lowest ever, due to the renege on their election pledges by all the
political parties, except the JCP, following Liberal Democratic Party
politics, and their ignorance of the people's interests.

Tetsuzo Fuwa, JCP Presidium chairperson, Kazuo Shii, Secretariat head, and
Mitsuhiro Kaneko, Presidium vice-chairperson, were returned.

Besides the JCP, the LDP increased seats from 211 to 239, but failed to win
the majority (251 of the total 500 seats, which was reduced from 511 before
the election). All the other parties, including the newly founded
Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), have reduced their seats, or at best,
retained the same number of seats before the general election. (see table)

With the strength of 26 of 500 seats in the Lower House, the JCP now holds
the right to submit a bill to the House of Representatives, which does not
involve a budgetary question.

ELECTION RESULTS

Seats won Before election

------------------------------------------------------

Japanese Communist Party 26 15

Liberal Democratic Party 239 211

New Frontier Party (Shinshinto) 156 160

Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) 52 52

Social Democratic Party of Japan 15 30

New Party Sakigake 2 9

Other 1 6

Independents 9 10

----------------------------------------------------------

Total 500 493

(Source: Japan Press Service, http://www.twics.com/~jpspress)

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