The Japanese Communist Party (JCP) is urging the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) to emphasize a “united front” in the upcoming Lower House election, following the victory of Yamanaka Takeharu, who was endorsed by the CDPJ and received the unsolicited backing of the JCP in the Yokohama mayoral race. But the CDPJ’s real intention is to keep the JCP “behind-the-lines” in the Lower House election. The two parties are likely to continue bargaining over strengthening of a united front.
“There seems to be discussion about making the Yokohama mayoral election a model for national elections. But equality and mutual respect are the principles in the next Lower House election.”
At a press conference on Aug. 23, JCP Secretariat Head Koike Akira warned the CDPJ. Koike meant that his party’s decision not to endorse a candidate and give unsolicited support [to the CDPJ] in the latest Yokohama mayoral race was just an “exception.”
In the race, the JCP was asked by the CDPJ to support Yamanaka and did everything possible to avoid standing close to CDPJ lawmakers and the CDPJ candidate during street campaigns. But Koike strongly believes that “Yamanaka was able to win because the JCP made an all-out effort for his victory.” The JCP takes a stance of putting more emphasis on a “united opposition front” to win the upcoming Lower House election.
But the CDPJ thinks differently. In the Yokohama election, the party called for the JCP to give unsolicited support out of consideration for the deep-rooted opposition to the JCP within the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), the CDPJ’s biggest support group. The CDPJ believes that the JCP consequently devoted itself to logistic support, which enabled the CDPJ to win the election by enjoying broad support, including Rengo’s endorsement. One CDPJ member thinks that if the party adheres to the method it used in the Yokohama mayoral race in the upcoming Lower House election again, “It will become easy for the Democratic Party for the People to join the united opposition front and the CDPJ will lose fewer votes on account of aversion to the JCP.” (Abridged)