NAGUMO Speaks! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Outcome of 22nd House of Councillors Election
12 July 2010
In the 22nd House of Councillors election held on July 11, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) lost even though it gained 44 seats out of the 54 seats it had that were up for re-election. The ruling coalition led by the DPJ lost a majority in the House of Councillors even when added to its uncontested seats. On the contrary, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won 51 seats. Among others, in the single-seat districts which decide the outcome of election, it gained 21 seats exceeding 8 seats of DPJ. Furthermore, Your Party made a rapid advance gaining 10 seats. The DPJ had expected to gain the trust of people by conducting impressive debates on the basis of the steady achievements it had made and with the idea of "a strong economy, a strong finance and a strong social security" in its election pledges. It is indeed regrettable that the election had resulted in such an outcome. RENGO would like to express heartful thanks to all the people concerned including officials and staffs of RENGO affiliates and locals, their members and members' families and retired people who had made all their efforts in the election campaign in the midst of difficult situation.
The DPJ achieved a change of power in the House of Representatives election last summer and has steadily implemented the policies raised in its election pledges such as a child-raising allowance for all children, effectively free public high school education and the expansion of the employment insurance coverage. However, voters were not so impressed by the way the government of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama had handled the issue of the relocation of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Okinawa and the problem of "politics and money". As a result, the approval rating for the DPJ-led government had plunged. Although the cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who took over from Hatoyama, initially had a higher rating, this was an expression of people's hopes for politics that "puts people's lives first". One of the main reasons why the approval rating for the Kan cabinet dropped rapidly after the election campaign began was that voters were dissatisfied with the proposal made by Prime Minister Kan to raise the consumption tax and his response thereafter.
In the election for the electoral districts, RENGO had recommended 55 candidates, of whom 26 had gained seats thanks to RENGO locals-centered fierce election campaign. In the proportional representation vote, RENGO backed 11 candidates from RENGO affiliates and fought with all its might. As a result, it could win 10 seats. However, the number of votes gained in the names of 11 candidates substantially decreased from 1.82 million in the last election to 1.59 million this time. Total number of votes gained by the DPJ in the proportional-representation poll also decreased, ending in an unsatisfactory result.
Hereafter, the Kan government and the DPJ are requested to go back to the starting point of "putting people's lives first" and to implement the policies promised in election manifesto. RENGO sincerely hope the DPJ to unite and gain the trust of the people through government management based on sincere debate and consensus formation. RENGO will give all-out support to the DPJ government through further close relation and cooperation so that important bills which were carried over to the next session of the Die, including a bill to revise the Worker Dispatch Law, and other important ones abandoned in the last regular session can be passed as early as possible in order to build "a society of hope and security".