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INTERVIEW: LDP alarmed by CDP-JCP election cooperation

Tokyo, Oct. 21 (Jiji Press)–The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is alarmed by the cooperation formed for the Oct. 31 general election by the leading opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Japanese Communist Party, LDP Secretary-General Akira Amari has said.


“People make the choice of government through elections of the House of Representatives,” the all-important lower chamber of Japan’s parliament, Amari said in a recent interview. “On top of this, the upcoming Lower House poll will be an election to choose a political regime.”


“This is a choice between a government based on liberalism and democracy or a government incorporating communism for the first time in the Japanese political history,” Amari said.


The CDP and the JCP, together with three other opposition parties, unified their candidates in more than 200 single-seat constituencies.


If the CDP-JCP force wins the election, they will ignore their differences over political philosophy and cooperate within and outside the cabinet, Amari said, adding that things would not move forward in this case.


“We have a great sense of crisis” regarding the CDP-JCP cooperation to field unified candidates, he added.


There will be a big difference in the number of seats the ruling camp can win in one-to-two battles and one-on-one fights, Amari said. “We are facing a tough battle in single-seat constituencies,” he said.

All 465 seats of the Lower House will be up for grabs in the general election–289 for single-seat constituencies and 176 for proportional representation blocs.


On the victory-or-defeat line, Amari said the target is to secure a combined majority by the ruling camp of the LDP and its coalition partner, Komeito, in order to stay in power.


Still, he refrained from clarifying whether the aim is to win a stable majority of 244 seats by the ruling parties that would allow them to fill the posts of chair and half of members on all standing committees of the Lower House.


On novel coronavirus countermeasures and economic stimulus steps, Amari said the LDP intends to dispel public concerns over growing social divisions.


The key will be ways to balance coronavirus measures with economic expansion, he said, vowing to boost efforts to secure more hospital beds for COVID-19 patients and promote drug development to prepare better for a possible sixth wave of infections.


The party aims to realize a virtuous circle of economic growth and wealth redistribution that would lead to a new form of capitalism, a signature economic policy of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, also president of the LDP, Amari said.


“We aim to facilitate innovations by promoting investments in such growth fields as digital transformation,” he said.


Also in the interview, Amari said each political party should discuss the Constitution at the Diet.


There is no need for lawmakers to stay as legislators if they refuse discussions on constitutional amendments, he said, adding that talks on the Constitution will be of great significance if they involve opposition parties as well.

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