A smiling, smartly attired 30-year-old woman sits at an expansive table in a meeting room decorated with simple elegance on the fourth floor of a modern office building in central Tokyo.
Only the sunflower broach Ė an anti-nuclear symbol Ė on the womanís suit, and perhaps that the large calligraphy scroll on the wall behind her that isnít hung perfectly straight, betray the fact that this isnít a scene from corporate Japan. Yoshiko Kira doesnít look like she intends to dismantle capitalism, but this is the headquarters of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), and she is one of its rising stars, and thatís her plan.
When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party cemented its grip on power with a victory in the upper house elections on July 21, the unlikely other winners were the Communists. Ms. Kira was one of the partyís newly elected lawmakers who saw the JCP raise its representation in the House of Councilors from six seats to 11, giving it a large enough bloc to propose legislation. She was the first Communist to win in the five-seat Tokyo constituency in 12 years, while another young JCP candidate won in Osaka, the partyís first victory there in 15 years. Overall, the Communists came in second to the ruling party in terms of votes collected in Japanís two giant metropolises.
How? Part of the reason has to do with the deterioration of the main political parties. (Hmmm. Interesting)
Communist Party makes a comeback ... in Japan