(Yomiuri: December 4, 2015 – p. 4)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Chairman Kazuo Shii indicated at a press conference on Dec. 3 that his party has decided to cooperate with the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, which plans to field independent candidates with other opposition parties in a unified manner in electoral districts where only one seat is up for grabs in the House of Councillors election next summer. The JCP had insisted that participation in a “national coalition government” aimed at abolishing the security related laws would be a precondition for cooperation in the campaign for the Upper House race, but it has now decided to cooperate with the DPJ as one of the measures for the coalition of opposition parties.
Shii intends to fully cooperate with the DPJ, saying, “We greatly welcome” the DPJ’s policy and “our party will make an effort to that end.” The DPJ’s policy is that opposition parties should support independent candidates who advocate such campaign pledges as “the security legislation being unconstitutional.” So the JCP has judged that it is possible for it to cooperate with the DPJ without withdrawing the concept of establishing a “national coalition government” because it does not need to directly cooperate with the DPJ in the election campaign.
A senior JCP member said: “If candidates supported by the opposition parties win in the Upper House election, it will give great momentum for the coalition of opposition parties.” The JCP has taken it as a chance to realize the “national coalition government.” The party plans to cooperate with the DPJ in a by-election for the Hokkaido No. 5 constituency to fill a House of Representatives seat next April, which the DPJ views as the first test for common candidates fielded by opposition parties. (Slightly abridged)