A time of crisis comes
With voting and counting carried out on September 11, the 44th Lower House general election ended in a landslide victory for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) winning 296 seats. Combined with the New Komeito Party's 31 seats, the ruling coalition has captured 327 seats, more than two thirds of the entire Lower House. This means the ruling parties can gain approval for any bill even after the Upper House has rejected it, and also allow themselves to dare to make a proposal for the long-pursued distortion of the Constitution of Japan. A time of crisis has arrived.
In the election, the mainstream of global capitalism came to the forefront. Upon the dissolution of the Lower House, the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) announced its support for the reforms led by KOIZUMI Junichiro. Rejecting support from some patronage organizations, Koizumi opted to wage a "theater-style election campaign," maximizing the effect of his political clout with the media. He robbed numerous votes in exchange for an illusion, challenging a public suffering in the adverse economic climate and a sense of insecurity. Simply, Koizumi cried out, "Now I urge my people - make your decision; say "Yes" or "No" to the reforms." His success rests only on the illusion that his "reforms" can invite a brighter future by removing "enemies" like employees of the Postal and Communications Ministry (public workers) and "old-guard lawmakers."
Upon confirmation of the results of the election, OKUDA Hiroshi, Chairperson of Nippon Keidanren, gave a pep talk, saying, "Pass the postal privatization bills as soon as possible. Break the impasse to structural reform through postal privatization." Already their efforts have begun to push public opinion toward "the extension of the Koizumi's term" aiming to corrupt the Constitution. Koizumi, a representative of global capitalism, is absolutely determined to take the fast track in every area for neo-liberalistic "reforms," that is, policies that ease dismissals of workers and destruct the quality of life, combined with policies for corrupting the Constitution and preparing for war.
Alternatives kept hidden
Despite the line-up of "pains" from Koizumi's "reform" policies, complete with unemployment, wage cuts, tax increases and truncated social security measures, the culprit of all those "pains," Koizumi, enjoys an overwhelming victory. What has brought about this ridiculous situation?
It is the total absence of alternatives to the Koizumi reforms, that is, war-oriented policies and privatization catering to global capitalism, among the options laid down in front of the voting population.
Being a fellow neo-liberalist reformist, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) can never be an opposition against the LDP. The DPJ once opposed the postal privatization bills under pressure from the public. In the election campaign, however, the DPJ was challenged by Koizumi to "say 'Yes' or 'No' to privatization itself" and made a scene by cowardly announcing support for privatization, which simply guaranteed their defeat in the election.
The Japanese Communist Party that emphasized its stance as a "reliable opposition" and an "opposition against tax increases" avoided a straight confrontation about the Iraq War and the occupation as well as privatization attacks waged in full by global capitalism. The same was true for the Socialist Democratic Party which campaigned under banners of "reform toward symbiotic society" and "maintenance of the postal corporation." Both failed to grow into forces that could respond to the hidden sense of crisis among electorates.
Against this background, the Koizumi's LDP grabbed a historical grand victory dominating more than 60% of the seats for support from less than 40% of voters, taking advantage of the single-seat constituency system that distorts the will of the people.
Local communities can stop war
Leading the ruling coalition occupying 327 seats, Koizumi will accelerate runaway moves toward war and privatization. We must note, however, that "reform" is only to serve global capitalism. That means Koizumi has no means other than demagogy to obtain "support." He cannot keep concealing his real identity forever.
Only 10% of the Japanese people say that they are better off compared to four years ago when the Koizumi administration took power. The opposition against the extension of the presence of Japanese troops in Iraq reaches 70%. We will be able to unravel Koizumi's demagogy when we succeed in organizing these voices into political forces.
The key to the success is in the communities. Sympathy is spreading for the Non-Defended Localities movement. Despite the all-out drive of power, distorted textbooks could not gain more than 0.4% support nationwide. Let us build movements rooted in respective local communities to reject war and privatization. Stand up in solidarity with Iraqi citizens to withdraw Self-Defense Forces troops immediately. (September 13)