Tokyo, March 21 (Jiji Press)–Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed on Sunday to spearhead the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s campaign in the next general election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, the country’s parliament.
“The general election will be held by autumn this year at the latest. I’m determined to wage the battle to the end at the forefront of the race,” Suga, also president of the LDP, said in a speech at the party’s annual convention, held for the first time in two years. The terms of office for the current Lower House members are set to expire on Oct. 21.
At the convention, held at a hotel in Tokyo, the LDP adopted its platform for 2021, which underscored the party’s resolve to unite to secure victories for all official candidates and candidates supported by the party in public offices elections to be held this year.
Noting that bringing the novel coronavirus epidemic under control is top priority for the LDP, Suga said, “There could be both good and bad developments in the infection situation, but I believe we can see a light ahead.”
“Our party can help Japan overcome the coronavirus crisis and pass down the country to the next generation,” Suga said.
Suga also voiced his strong wish to hold this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which were postponed from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We want to deliver courage and hopes throughout the world and show to the world the reconstruction of Japan” following the March 2011 powerful earthquake and tsunami,
Suga said, adding, “We hope to stage the Tokyo Games as a testament that humanity has overcome the coronavirus.”
The convention was also attended by Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of Komeito, the coalition partner of the LDP, who was invited as a guest.
“Steadily cooperating in elections and producing maximum results will be the responsibility of the two parties,” he said, mentioning the upcoming Lower House election and the Tokyo metropolitan assembly election in July.
With some labor unions apparently seeking to cooperate with the ruling coalition, the LDP platform said that the party will promote “policy dialogue” with unions for better relations.
The platform also called on the party to aggressively put up female candidates in a series of elections.
Earlier on Sunday, the LDP held a meeting of senior local members of the party at the same Tokyo hotel.
At the meeting, Hiroshige Seko, LDP secretary-general in the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, called for redoubling efforts for the party’s victories in an Upper House by-election in the central prefecture of Nagano and a rerun election for the upper chamber in the western prefecture of Hiroshima, both set for April 25.
“Winning the two elections will lead to the LDP’s victory in the forthcoming Lower House general election,” Seko said.
The LDP convention was canceled last year for the first time since the party was founded in 1955, due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
While Sunday marked the final day of the government’s coronavirus state of emergency, in place for Tokyo and neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, the LDP held this year’s convention as planned by limiting the number of participants in the venue and allowing many to join the event online.