Komeito leader welcomes Ozawa’s proposal to give foreigners voting rights

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.”