Komeito and the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) are clashing fiercely in multi-seat constituencies electing three or more House of Councillors members. Since these two parties are likely to win about the same number of seats in the proportional representation segment, results in the multi-seat districts will determine which party will be the No. 3 party after the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Democratic Party (DP). Therefore, they are fighting tooth and nail.
In a stump speech in Osaka City on June 23, Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi pointed out that the DP and the JCP differ in their position on the consumption tax, criticizing such “political irresponsibility.”
Komeito is aiming at increasing its seats in the multi-seat districts, including Aichi and Fukuoka, which have newly been given additional seats in this election. Yamaguchi is intensifying his criticism of the JCP because his party’s candidates are fighting against JCP candidates to grab the last seats in these constituencies.
According to Yomiuri Shimbun’s survey, the DP and LDP candidates are leading in the Fukuoka district (three seats), while Komeito and the JCP are fighting for the third seat. Likewise, the DP, Komeito, and JCP candidates are neck-and-neck in in Saitama (three seats), with the LDP candidate enjoying a clear lead.
The JCP has been expanding its political force in recent national elections. JCP Chairman Kazuo Shii has declared that the party intends to win seats in all multi-seat districts in this Upper House election. Shii criticizes Komeito as a “completely phony peace party,” exhibiting a confrontational posture.
Meanwhile, the LDP has at least one candidate leading in 11 of the 13 multi-seat districts. It is campaigning to have a second candidate elected in Chiba and elsewhere. The DP candidate is putting up a credible fight against the LDP candidate in Ibaraki, Shizuoka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. This party aims to win two seats in Tokyo, Aichi, and other constituencies where it is fielding two official candidates, in order to increase its overall number of seats. (Slightly abridged)