Nagasaki By-Election: A Close Race with No Clear Winner | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Nagasaki By-Election: A Close Race with No Clear Winner

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There has been a flurry of activity around the Nagasaki 4th district by-election (Lower House) to be held on October 22.

Following the death of Seigo Kitamura, former Minister of State for Special Missions, the LDP’s Yozo Kaneko (40, nominated by New Komeito) and the Rikken Democratic Party’s Seiichi Suetsugu (60, nominated by the Social Democratic Party) are vying for a single seat, but it is said that it has become increasingly difficult to predict the outcome.

Prime Minister Kishida rushes to Kaneko’s speech in support of Kaneko.

Originally, Nagasaki is a strongly conservative area, and the Liberal Democratic Party candidate was expected to have the upper hand. However, with less than a week to go before the vote, the race is said to be so close that it is impossible to tell who will win. A local newspaper reporter in charge of politics explains.


In September, an unidentified survey titled LDP Survey was circulated to the media and political insiders, showing Kaneko with a 2.5-point advantage. On October 12, similar figures were circulated, this time under the name The Nishinippon Shimbun, but the Nishinippon Shimbun later denied in print that it had done the survey, spreading the information that it had not. 


Both parties were serious about the by-election, with LDP Secretary General Toshimitsu Mogi (68) and Democratic Party of Japan Representative Kenta Izumi (49) among the bigwigs who attended the campaign rally, but both camps were completely fooled by the false information. An official of the LDP’s Nagasaki Prefectural Federation lamented, “In the first place, the LDP’s support for Mr. Kaneko is not a coincidence.

To begin with, the prefectural federation was not united in its support for Kaneko. Kaneko’s father is Jiro Kanekogen, a former member of the House of Representatives and governor of Nagasaki Prefecture, and his grandfather is Iwazo Kaneko, a former Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries.

And, moreover, Nagasaki Prefecture is a very small prefecture. In the last House of Representatives election, there was criticism that there were too many hereditary Diet members. In this respect, Hiroshi Yamashita, 48, a former secretary to the Diet and a former front-line worker, has a strong political philosophy and is well remembered by the late Mr. Kitamura. There were many voices in the prefectural federation that favored him as the candidate.

The unpopularity of the Kishida administration, whose approval rating has remained in the low 20s, may be a headwind, making this a close race. This would seem to indicate a tailwind for the opposition, but in reality, this is not the case. The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which supports Suetsugu, has an extremely delicate relationship with the Communist Party and the People’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), with whom it has been in a joint struggle.


Even within the party itself, there are differences of opinion about electoral cooperation among the opposition parties. Izumi, partly due to the wishes of the Coalition, has maintained a strong stance of rejection toward the Communist Party. There have been calls from constituencies that are closely contested that electoral cooperation and joint opposition party battles are necessary, but he has not listened to them. From now on We have no choice but to cooperate in elections on a region-by-region, limited basis.

In this supplementary election, the National Democratic Party of Japan and the Communist Party in the prefecture only provided support, and it seems that they are not working together well enough. The problem is not so much Mr. Suetsugu, but rather the lack of coordination between the opposition parties, which is a negative factor for voters. This is a negative factor for voters as well.

It is quite understandable that the close race is the result of the lousy performance of the two camps.

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