Hi Blog. Do I hear the sound of a wedge being driven into the ruling LDP/Komeito coalition? Debito in Tokyo
Komeito leader welcomes Ozawa’s proposal to give foreigners voting rights
Courtesy of Stephen Vowles
Kazuo Kitagawa, secretary-general of ruling coalition partner Komeito, has voiced support for opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leader Ichiro Ozawa’s suggestion of considering submitting a bill to give foreigners with permanent residence status the right to vote in local elections.
“I would like a bill to be compiled and submitted,” Kitagawa said of the proposed move, adding that there had been arguments against it within the DPJ. “If they compiled it I would welcome that,” he said.
In a news conference on Tuesday, Ozawa said, “I’ve stressed before that the right for foreigners to vote in local elections should be granted. I’ve been criticized by long-time supporters, but the bottom line doesn’t change.”
There has been a strong tendency within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to take a cautious approach over granting foreigners with permanent residence status the right to vote in local elections. In 2005 Komeito submitted its own bill to the Diet, and the bill remains under deliberation.
Some LDP members have expressed concern over Ozawa’s comments, calling them a move to break up the ruling coalition.