OSAKA — A day after the Lower House was dissolved for the June 25 general election, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, along with 26 others, has been blacklisted as a candidate unfit for winning a seat in the Diet.
According to the list disclosed Saturday by the Citizens’ Union, Construction Minister Masaaki Nakayama and Yuko Obuchi, a daughter of late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, are also considered unfit to become lawmakers in the coming poll.
About 30 citizens’ groups in the Kansai Region formed the Citizens’ Union in April to launch an effort to stop unfit candidates from winning Lower House seats in the light of eight criteria they had set. The criteria includes involvement in crimes, injustice and corruption, or those who lack common sense.
After the group received about 300 opinions on unfit candidates through e-mail, fax and letters, it confirmed its reasons for unfitness of the 27 candidates with newspaper or magazine articles, group representative Yoneko Matsuura said.
Prime Minister Mori was blacklisted because of his alleged involvement in the Recruit shares-for-favors scandal in the 1980s as well as his recent remark that Japan is a “divine nation centered on the Emperor.”
Construction Minister Nakayama is listed as unfit because he called a plebiscite over the construction of a dam on the Yoshino river in Tokushima a “malfunction of democracy.” His recent remark that he would not meet the plebiscite campaigners because one of them has a criminal record was also considered to lack common sense.
The list also questions Yuko Obuchi’s ability as a politician. She is trying to succeed her father’s constituency in Gunma Prefecture.
The group members got the idea from a similar campaign in South Korea’s elections in April.
The campaign in Osaka is not as aggressive as in South Korea, where 59 out of 86 candidates blacklisted were defeated. Instead, the group suggests the list as a point of reference for voters to consider when they cast a ballot, Matsuura said.
The group plans to distribute the list on streets before the official election campaign starts June 13 and measure the effectiveness of the blacklisting campaign after the poll, she said.
The complete list can be viewed in Japanese only at www3.ocn.ne.jp/~mihari