Regarding the result of the Upper House election

The Upper House election that was implemented yesterday resulted in a major triumph for opposition the Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), the Liberal Democratic Party has thereby slipped from the leading party of the Upper House. I think that this may be because of the local people’s resentment toward disparities among regions and mistrust of the current government. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Yoshihiro Kawakami who was elected as a member of the House of Councilors at the top of the poll in the Tottori prefecture district. I expect his performance to speak for the local people as he has made pledges in his national campaign. I would like to show respect to Liberal Democratic candidate Takayoshi Tsuneda for his long term performance in the interest of Tottori prefecture as a member of the House of Councilors, and as vice minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

About schedules, etc.

This week, I am planning to have a dialogue with people in Wakasa Town and also hold a project team meeting regarding employment development and industrial promotion in the Chubu (middle) and Seibu (western) regions. This morning, I talked with the fruit farms producing Twenty Century pears. As has been revealed in the Upper House election campaign, there are many contradictions in the local sites that the central government cannot figure out. So I have become aware that local and central governments must jointly solve such contradictions.

Q. Throughout the election campaign at this time, the governor (you) seemed to be committed to the Liberal Democratic Party. Do you intend to maintain the same stance after this?

As I have already mentioned, my stance remains unchanged, namely, the prefectural administration must be run in a fair and neutral way. I humbly accept the results as the will of the residents.

Q. Do you think that the prefectural residents accept the situation of the governor’s behavior during the Upper House election campaign?

Honestly speaking, I cheered for Liberal Democratic candidate Takayoshi Tsuneda. I engaged in political activity on a personal level. This election was a key moment for us to decide our future vision and I thought Mr. Takayoshi Tsuneda would be able to exercise his ability as a minister and would bring great advantage for the Tottori administration if he were elected. Also, since the Tottori gubernatorial election in April, the staffs that have fought together joined the Mr. Takayoshi Tsuneda’s camp. This was one reason that I supported him.

Q. In every national election, are you going to make a campaign speech for the LDP?

At this time, I have no such plans to it. I have a clean slate.

Q. What stand will the governor take toward Mr. Yoshihiro Kawakami as a DPJ Upper House member?

I will deal with Mr. Kawakami as a valued prefecture-elected Diet lawmaker. I expect him to use his skills to get the needs of our prefecture met by the central government.

Q. I think that voters have elected Mr. Kawakami as a lawmaker who will listen to the voice of the regional matters. What is your view?

We must humbly accept the public verdict. I felt something was wrong with the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s announcement that showed his will to hang onto his administration while votes were being counted and then the ballot counting went heavily against LDP. Public opinions were critical of Abe’s cabinet; that was fairly reflected in the election results this time. Who believes in an election, conducted on the premise of no regime change regardless of wins or losses in the election? That makes no sense. Democracy does not work this way and the ruling parties should be more humble. Hypothetically speaking, the nation would not accept Prime Minister Abe remaining in power unless he drastically reworked his cabinet members.

Q. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has fought an uphill battle in the Upper House election campaign. What do you think was behind this election result?

As was seen in the exit polls, the biggest causes for LDP’s loss in the election may be their pension problems and problems linking politics and money. These problems have become political issues at one blow through this election. I think that it is not of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's own making. However, realistically, it brought about the public distrust in the current government. I think people in this country have felt that social distortion such as the regional divide is the result of the structural reforms that were advocated by former Prime Minister Koizumi.


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