Akiko Kamei (2nd from right) formed a new parliamentary group
with three female Diet members who left the DPJ(Democratic Party of Japan)
They aims at organizing a new type of political party
(On July 17, 2012)
English translation of a Japanese article of Akiko Kamei’s website- July 17, 2012 –
Hello, I’m Akiko Kamei.
On July 17, 2012, I held a press conference together with three female Diet members who left the DPJ on the same day- Kuniko Ikuta, Tomoko Tanioka and Yasue Funayama- to announce to form a new parliamentary group “Midori no Kaze.” As we have to take the necessary steps within the Diet to establish a parliamentary group, Ｉthink the group will be officially established after a week or so.
We were all elected for the first time in 2007. For the last five years, we have witnessed six changes in prime minister (Abe→Fukuda→Asou→Hatoyama→Kan→Noda) and got through drastic changes in political situation: as the opposition party in the twisted Diet, as the ruling party after change of administration, and as the ruling party in the twisted Diet.
In the midst of confusion within the Diet, “indecisive policy” is definitely a problem. However, it is inexcusable to make decisions about the consumption tax increase and the promotion of nuclear energy use, which are directly related to the public’s life and safety, in backroom wheeling and dealing by the ruling party and opposition parties, called “three-party agreement” the people never accept. They made a mistake in ignoring the wishes of the public in decision-making process. Now Prime Minister blows his own trumpet by saying he changed direction of policy from “indecisive policy” to “decisive policy.” We should keep in mind that democracy can exist only if legitimate procedures are taken. Prime Minster Noda’s political style is “dictatorship” now and never parliamentary democracy. The prime minister cuts off objections within the party, makes party members obey him by wielding power of “entrustment to the leadership” and “restrictions on individual members”, and forces to pass legislation through the Diet by means of the “three-party agreement” reached by the executives of the ruling and opposition parties, and the “restrictions on individual members.” His political approach is dictatorial government itself. I could have sworn that the people chose a change of administration, but before we knew it, “Taisei-yokusankai”, or a huge network of political organizations led by the government has begun to exist, which is the same situation as before the war. I think we have faced a serious crisis which will mislead Japan.
The “twisted Diet” and “change of administration” were the outcome of the election and the choice of the people. I understand that the first twisted Diet, change of administration and the second twisted Diet reflected the will of the people: control over the landslide victory of the ruling party won by the dissolution of the House of Representatives over postal privatization, hope for change, and opposition to the consumption tax increase, respectively. In the House of Councilors election five years ago, public anger was directed toward “the lost pension money” and “Medical Care System for People Aged 75 and over.” As a result of the party’s promise to review these issues, the DPJ won the election and finally succeeded in change of power. Who can dare to say that “We will set the consumption tax rate of 10 percent tentatively. We will set up a panel of experts to discuss the issues on pension and medical system”? I cannot say that kind of thing. Four of us would like to go back to our first objective, make the best use of our five-year experience and engage in political activities for the remaining one-year of term.
The House of Councilors is originally the seat of good sense and the seat of reconsideration. There will be no significance of the House’s existence if it repeats the same political situation as seen in the House of Representatives. I am afraid that in future elections, the twisted Diet will be normal state of affairs. We would like to form a new parliamentary group first, then increase friends who will join us, and aim at organizing a new type of political party, where we impose no restrictions on individual members. We have formed the parliamentary group with four women, but we are going to ask male Diet members to join us, too.