There was a municipal assembly election in Kitakyushu City on January 31. Mr. Yuji Hino and Mr. Taishi Yoshimura, who are members of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and my good friends, won the election, but six incumbent municipal assembly members of the City, who belong to the LDP, were defeated in this election. They got a headwind against the LDP, which is said to have been caused mainly due to the government’s inadequate preparations against COVID-19.
In addition, four Diet members of the ruling parties – one from the Komeito Party and three from the LDP – were accused of having meals at a restaurant and visiting a night club in Ginza at night in late January when people were requested to refrain from non-essential and non-urgent outings under the declaration of a state of emergency. As a result, the LDP’s three Diet members left the party, and the Komeito’s member resigned as a Diet member. This incident tells us that any members of the Diet should reflect on their behaviors once again, and discipline themselves.
As mentioned above, any such incidents immediately affect the political situation. The Diet is now in session, and political tension has abruptly risen, and therefore the roles of the government and the ruling parties have become very important. It is understandable that there must have been a lot of struggle in implementing the various prevention measures against the new coronavirus infections, but we must be aware that the public is harsh in their assessment. The declaration of a state of emergency was initially scheduled to expire on February 7, but on February 2 the government announced to extend the state of emergency until March 7. This extended declaration will be applied to the following 10 prefectures. Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Gifu, Aichi, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka. In Tochigi Prefecture, the declaration will be lifted on February 7. For the next one month from February 8, the best efforts by the government and all the Japanese people will be expected to control the new coronavirus infections. In particular, the acquisition of the COVID-19 vaccines, their safe delivery systems, and the effective arrangements of the vaccinations will be the key to prevent the new coronavirus infections.
Meanwhile, the general election of members of the House of Representatives is coming closer and closer.