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Taking the victory of joint struggle by the citizens’ movement and opposition parties in 3 Diet elections as conviction, we will continue to fight to change politics to realize our demands.

Kurosawa Koichi
Secretary General
National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren)

In Nagano, Zenroren and other civic organization jointly supported a united opposition candidate

Opposition parties’ united candidates won three Diet elections on April 25: The House of Representatives by-election in the Hokkaido No.2 Constituency; the House of Councilors by-election in Nagano Prefecture; and the House of Councilors re-election in Hiroshima Prefecture. The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) took part in these campaigns by adopting a policy to help “move away from the authoritarian politics toward a new government that saves people’s lives and protect their livelihoods.” It has called for victory of candidates jointly supported by the citizens movement and opposition parties in the three Diet elections in order to realize the workers’ demands. We express our respect to Zenroren’s prefectural federations in Hokkaido, Nagano and Hiroshima, other federations and unions, and the local organizations, which strenuously supported the united candidates in response to the Zenroren policy and by surmounting the various difficulties.

These were the first Diet elections of Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide’s tenure. The victory of the candidates jointly fielded by opposition parties is a severe verdict the people passed on Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide’s administration’s abuse of politics for personal benefits and its authoritarian politics. Clearly, the Suga administration is held accountable for the corruption cases, including a bribery scandal involving a former agriculture minister. and a large-scale vote-buying scandal involving a former justice minister and his wife (lawmaker), and the allegations of private companies illegally entertaining officials of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, and for its inability to respond to coronavirus pandemic.

In the recent Diet elections, the Civil Alliance for Peace and Constitution on behalf of the people put forward policies to the Constitutional Democratic Party. Based on the proposal, the citizens’ movement and opposition parties signed a policy agreement aiming to repeal the “Security Laws” and restore constitutionalism, leading to fielding united candidates. Their victory shows that the citizens’ movement and opposition parties can win even in single-seat constituencies and change politics if they develop joint struggle for the agreed demands and policies.

As the current Ordinary Session of the Diet enters the final stages, we are called upon to increase our struggle to block the Suga administration’s attempt to railroad a series of bad bills. They include plans to reduce the number of hospital beds and double the elderly patients’ share of healthcare cost at a time when hospitals are reaching a breaking point due to a surge in the coronavirus infections, pass a national referendum act in the Commission of the Constitution of each house of the Diet, and pass a digital transformation bill to pave the way for the use of personal data, which could violate rights to privacy.

Zenroren express determination to do its utmost to block the adverse revision of the Constitution. Inspired by the recent important electoral victories, it will continue to make efforts to increase joint struggle between the citizens’ movement and opposition parties to win change of government in the upcoming House of Representatives general election with a view to changing politics toward realizing the demands of the workers and the people.

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