August 26, 2004
I also extend my heartfelt greetings to those who are watching the live satellite broadcast.
I will now make a report to the second plenum of the Central Committee, on behalf of the Executive Committee.
The first subject of my Executive Committee report is to sum up the House of Councilors election and draw lessons from it.
In view of the setback suffered in the general election in 2003, we have struggled in the House of Councilors election, with the goals of securing five proportional representation seats, defending the seven incumbent JCP seats in prefectural constituencies, and obtaining an increase of more than 33 percent of the votes we received in the general election. However, we secured only four proportional representation seats and lost all of our incumbent seats in prefectural constituencies.
It is a matter for deep regret that we disappointed voters who hoped that the JCP would advance this time, as well as JCP supporters' association members and party members who braved the hot weather to work hard wishing to "win a decisive victory." On behalf of the Central Committee, I apologize for failing to meet your expectations and express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for your efforts and support for the JCP. Thank you very much.
The JCP received 4.36 million votes, or 7.8% in the proportional representation election and 5.52 million votes, or 9.84% in prefectural constituencies. The number of votes we received in proportional constituencies in the last three national elections has been around the four-million mark, or a little less than 8 percent. In the 2001 House of Councilors election, we got 4.33 million votes, or 7.91% which meant a serious setback from the results of the previous national election, then in the 2003 general election 4.59 million votes, or 7.76%. Thus in the past three consecutive national elections, the number of votes cast for the JCP was at the four-million level, or the ratio was less than 8 percent. We are facing a major task of how to change this status quo and make a new advance.
After the election, the party head office received many opinions on the election results from inside and outside of the party. We have carefully evaluated each of them and those opinions helped us to sum up the election campaign and draw lessons from it. We also gave party members, branches and leading bodies a chance to share their experiences and lessons learned, which enriched the summing-up process. Based on these procedures, in this Executive Committee report, I will speak about the lessons we must learn from the recent political battle and what we must do to break through the current situation.
Analyzing our campaign in the House of Councilors election should be primarily focused on if we could effectively fight against the trend toward a "two-major-party system" in which the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan are the only available options.
An essential feature of the move toward a "two-major-party system" is to exclude the Japanese Communist Party from the political arena. With the LDP in a state of crisis, the aim is to overcome its cisis of legitimacy by focusing on possible government parties within the framework of LDP politics, and excluding the JCP as a viable option for voters.
A full-fledged campaign to implement this aime started in the 2003 general election backed by business circles. In the recent House of Councilors election, this campaign strongly influenced voters' judgment compared to the general election last year. This created the difficult conditions that hampered the JCP from advancing.
The key to analyzing our election activities should be to determine if our response to this move was accurate and effective or not.
Let me first review the JCP's message to the public from the angle of our policy proposals during the election campaign. As a whole, we should be convinced that our overall message in the election campaign was timely and in accord with public interests. We believe, together with many of those who joined in the election campaign, that agreement with JCP policies spread among many people wherever our message reached them.
Our campaign platform consisted of two parts: "Six hot issues on national politics" and "Remaking Japan early in the 21st century." Presenting our views and policies to solve pressing problems, including the Iraq war and occupation, pension, consumption tax, employment, the Constitution, and North Korea problems, the party position stressee the need for a complete resolution of these questions in order to pave the way toward "remaking Japan." This was an appropriate position to take.
Subsequent events in the short period after the election proved the farsightedness of our position. In the election campaign, we criticized the moves to increase the consumption tax rate and revise the Constitution of Japan pushed by the reactionary stream of collaboration between the "two major parties." After the election, leading members of both the LDP and the DPJ began advocating the need of a tax increase and constitutional revision.
Our policy in the election campaign was in accord with people's interests and will have significance in future developments. Firmly convinced of this, let us make every effort to realize the JCP election platform.
The problem is that people's agreement with our policies did not lead to actually voting for the JCP, influenced by their perceived choice of political parties under the dominant "two-major-party system" campaign.
At the beginning of June, the Executive Committee took up the struggle against the "two major parties" campaign, and analyzed the power relationship among political parties, saying, "In the 2003 general election, the attempt to establish a "two-major-party system" was the biggest point at issue. But there has been a dramatic change, and the so-called etwo-major-party system' argument is beginning to lose steam." This analysis described how the LDP, Komei, and DPJ were facing difficulties in policy making, and this analysis somewhat helped our party members regain momentum in the campaign. It was true that those parties were actually in confusion, but in the course of the subsequent development of the situation, the trend for establishing a "two-major-party system" turned out to affect voters' minds more than we had thought possible.
The "two-major-party system" in Japan has not yet been fixed as in the United States or Great Britain, and it is greatly incompatible with people's interests. But the following point must be noted: the major aim of the ruling forces, including business circles, is to prevent people's criticism of the LDP politics from turning to support for the JCP. By preparing political groups that could replace the LDP government within the framework of LDP politics, the "two-major-party system" argument aims at calling on the people to pay attention to not which party is really opposed to LDP politics, but to which party could become the force to take over the government from the LDP.
In the House of Councilors election, the argument for a "two-major-party system" had a very strong effect. The more the people's criticism of LDP politics grew, the stronger the trend toward voting for the DPJ which had been put forward as a viable alternative to the LDP became.
This trend constituted a major adverse wind for the JCP. There was no election other than the one this time in which people said, "The JCP has good policies, but it is powerless." This indicates that the argument for the "two-major-party system" has widely attracted the voters.
We did not make a clear counter-argument against the voices that said, "The JCP is powerless." This is the problem.
It is true that we made positive efforts in pushing the JCP's role ahead, including the distribution of the "Hello! This is the JCP" pamphlets and the face-to-face talks with voters.
However, it cannot be said that we made decisive arguments regarding the significance of JCP seats in the Diet and the need for increased votes for the JCP when the schema that the DPJ was confronting the ruling LDP and Komei Party had been designed and the people were urged to make a choice between them. This was the biggest weakness in our policy debates.
This question is of great importance in our future political battle against the move toward a "two-major-party" system in the cause of summing up the JCP campaign for the House of Councilors election and organizing the political struggle against the attempt to build up the "two major parties."
I want to emphasize the following six points of the importance of JCP seats in the Diet in contrast with the "two major parties."
First of all, the Diet seats of the JCP are the seats that reveal the true nature of LDP-Komei politics from the people's perspective.
We played a pioneering role in accurately criticizing the mal-administration of the LDP and Komei Party, including the pension issue and the Iraq question, which affected the discussions in the Diet. We can do this because we firmly stand for correcting the wrongs imposed by LDP politics.
The DPJ also criticizes the government and ruling parties. However, most of the DPJ's criticisms are from perspectives that are categorically different from that of ours. Their criticisms are aimed to promote the same policies, not to block them by a head-on confrontation. The DPJ's criticism of the government's policies on "structural reform" or "bad loan" problems as well as the pension system is based on the position that they are insufficient, too slow. The DPJ's criticism offers no substantial change but just accelerates the policies of mal-administration.
In contrast to this, the JCP in the Diet offers strong criticism of LDP-Komei politics in the interest of the people, and reveals the real picture of politics.
The second role of JCP seats in the Diet, I want to stress, is to block the adverse politicies jointly promoted by the "two major parties."
The JCP's seats are indispensable for representing people's voices and opposing the bad politics by the "two major parties."
The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties and the Democratic Party of Japan cooperated behind closed doors, drafted contingency bills last year and subsequent contingency-related bills this year, and railroaded them through the Diet. Also, they have been working hard to increase the consumption tax rate based on their mutual agreement. The competition between the "two major parties" for revising Article 9 of Japan's Constitution is leading to jointly drafting a bill to revise the constitution.
When the people rise up and increase their movement against the adverse policies ot the "two major parties," the JCP is seen as the most trustworthy and reliable party in the Diet.
Thirdly, the JCP's seats in the Diet are essential to reflect people's demands in the parliament, including their demands for better living conditions.
Working hand in hand with people's movements, the JCP Dietmembers group has realized many popular demands by working together on national politics. These are activities the JCP is proud of. For example, it is the JCP that is able to carry out actions to eliminate "unpaid overwork" and defend people's living conditions and their rights from major corporations' unlawful and arbitrary behavior. In contrast, although the LDP, Komei Party and DPJ have a large number of Diet seats, they do not engage in such efforts, but compete in a race for "deregulation" that only helps to destroy the rules guaranteeing the minimum conditions needed to work humanely.
Also, the JCP is unrivaled in working to meet people's keen demands for a better nursing care system and an end to the wasteful budget for large-scale public works projects. The LDP, Komei, and DPJ parties are all in favor of cutting state subsidies for the nursing care system, and can not meet people's needs and expectations. Other parties which virtually form the "all are ruling parties" bloc in local politics cannot present democratic reform plans in relation to individual public works though they talk about the problem of the enormous waste of taxpayers money.
Fourthly, I want to stress the role of the JCP seats in defending parliamentary democracy.
The move toward a "two-major-party system" coincides with the move to ruin parliamentary democracy.
The JCP's seats have an irreplaceable role in the Diet, confronting such attempts to destroy democracy, and protecting parliamentary democracy as essential to guaranteeing the people's sovereignty.
The JCP's seats are the link connecting the peoples of Japan and rest of the world who wish peace.
Although the JCP is not a governing party at the national level, it is promoting international exchanges with peoples and governments of Asia and rest of the world, uniting them with the Japanese people who are demanding peace. In particular, the party's historical position calling for sovereign independence with its history of consistent struggle for peace and against war have contributed to promoting friendship and trust with the peoples and governments of Asia and rest of the world. Our seats in both the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors are indispensable for voicing and implementing our opposition party diplomacy.
The role of the JCP is unique and indispensable, compared with the government and ruling parties which give priority to subordination to the United States by valuing the "Japan-U.S. alliance" far above Japan's Constitution and the United Nations Charter, as well as compared with the Democratic Party of Japan whose leader, currying favor with its partner, said in the United States that his party is also ready to revise the Constitution of Japan in order to allow Japan to use its forces overseas. Our party's peace diplomacy based on the position of sovereign independence can be called a truly responsible one serving the interests of the Japanese people.
Lastly, I want to stress that the way to establish a democratic government can be opened only when we succeed in dramatically increasing the JCP's seats in the Diet.
The catchphrase for the "two-major-party system" is "a change of government is possible." However, a "change in political power" with the old political framework intact of giving major corporations priority and continued subordination to the United States can hardly meet the people's desire to change politics. In fact, because it wants to take power, the DPJ has become a party which has no fundamental difference with the LDP in foreign or domestic policies, helping prolong LDP politics as usual.
An increase in JCP seats in the Diet is the only and the surest way toward a people-oriented democratic coalition government to truly change away from LDP politics as usual.
These are the six points that I want to emphasize. It is of course important to talk about individual, people-oriented policies. But this is not enough. In accordance with the changing situation, it should have been and will be necessary for us to push ahead with the above-mentioned six points concerning the JCP's role to counter the move toward a "two-party system." This is the biggest lesson we must learn from the House of Councilors election.
Let me refer to the second issue in summing up our election campaign for the House of Councilors election in terms of policy-making, publicity, and organizational activities from which we should draw some lessons.
First, how were our efforts at making our policies known? Many comments on the election campaign that we received from across the country said that while the contents of policies were good, we must be more skillful in publicizing them. As I mentioned earlier, our policy proposal in the election campaign was appropriate. But for the sake of increasing nationwide support for and agreement with JCP policies, there are some problems that must be solved.
First, on our policy of economic reform to restrain the rampant abuses of major corporations. We have actively called attention to this issue, but it needs to be further emphasized so that we can increase the public awareness of the abuses of major corporations.
In the first half of the 1970s, it was quite easy for the people to become aware of the arrogant actions of major corporations that were responsible for environmental pollution and consumer price hikes. It took no time for public criticism to focuse on them. Then during the 1980s and 1990s, they launched a publicity campaign, claiming that "the private sector is making their utmost efforts." Therefore, it has become harder for the people to discern the outrageous behavior by enterprises though it is more rampant. The present situation requires that we make daily criticism of major corporations and business circles based on details of how arbitrarily they are controlling the Japanese economy, politics, and people's daily living conditions.
It is also necessary for us to be conscious of the public perception that the Japanese economy will sink when major corporations decline in strength. Let us make known to the public the following points: The JCP's position is not to "overthrow" major corporations. We demand that major corporations accept their social responsibility and a reasonable tax burden that will result in sustaining a sound development of the Japanese economy, and also benefit their corporate image and standing with the public. Thus our appeal needs to be made using a broad perspective.
Regarding opposing the plan to increase the consumption tax rate, we should similarly adopt an approach based on public feelings on the issue.
Fifteen years have passed since the regressive consumption tax was introduced. Many people, exposed to various publicity campaigns claiming that the consumption tax is inevitable, regard this tax as unavoidable. It is not appropriate for us to simply shout out that "the consumption tax is bad." Instead, we should inform the public about how the tax is hurting the lower income earners the most because of its regressiveness. We need to point out that a democratic tax system should use a direct tax, and a fair tax should mainly be progressive, composite, with no taxation on daily commodities. These basic points should be explained carefully. Only by making such efforts can our counterproposal that a sound social security system is possible without depending on the consumption tax widely attract public support.
Another point I want to stress is the matter of policymaking to address people's concerns about various social problems.
Many people have anxieties and concern about social issues such as the falling birthrate, juvenile delinquency, quality of education, or equality between men and women, in addition to concerns regarding foreign affairs and economic issues. We made a pioneering advance to address these issues in the 22nd Party Congress which made a proposal on the education problem, and in the 23rd Congress on how to overcome the moral crisis. The JCP engaged in analysis and policy-making more systematically and earlier than any other party.
These proposals, however, offer only brief outlines, and they were not fully utilized in the election campaign. We must expand them into detailed policy proposals.
Now I'd like to speak about activities to increase publicity and related future tasks in this field. The party center has received many opinions from inside and outside the party.
Our weakness in the publicity campaign paralleled our weakness in political debates. In terms of publicity papers published by the central committee, we failed to push the stance of the JCP regarding the etwo-major-party' campaign. This is the weakest point of our publicity campaign.
Delays in publishing posters and not enough thought regarding their design should be reviewed, but the greatest problem was that their contents were centered on party policies instead of presenting clearly the role of the JCP in relation to the move for a "two-major-party system." A similar weakness was also seen in leaflets published for the door-to-door delivery.
We must reflect on these points in preparations for future elections.
In addition, when we consider publicity activites in future election campaigns, we have one thing in particular to seriously consider. As you know, the "two major" parties, the LDP and the DPJ, ran many advertisements in newspapers and on TV networks by using the state subsidies. It has become a new task for us to strengthen our activities to counter this advantage We must improve and strengthen our activities to gain publicity for the JCP.
An initial first step in such an effort is to reestablish a nation-wide network to deliver party leaflets door-to-door. In contrast to the extensive use of the influential mass media and advertisements to gain publicity by other parties, our principal means of getting our message out is still the delivery of leaflets and handbills door-to-door.
The party center must improve its publicity-related activities and publish attractive materials that potential voters can finish reading at one stretch and which party members will be proud of distributing.
Also, distribution networks must be set up to cover every corner of the country, which requires great efforts. Reports sent to the CC show that regions where party leaflets and other materials are not distributed or where it takes long hours to distribute are increasing. The solution is to build up the party strength, but in the meantime it is necessary to mobilize the present party power to establish a nationwide distribution network. Let us strengthen the leaflet delivery network in cooperation with party branches at workplaces, youth groups, and with Akahata subscribers and all other supporters.
Let's develop a grass-roots power peculiar to the JCP
Second, we must develop a grass-roots based publicity campaign, an outstanding campaign peculiar to the JCP.
Reports from local organizations say that regional newspapers published by party branches at communities and workplaces, and newsletters for supporters' associations and Akahata subscribers are full of items closely related to the concerns of residents and workers, in clarifying the JCP position and attracting more attention. Together with street speeches using portable loudspeakers and displaying posters on billboards, these are activities which are peculiar to the JCP and other parties cannot imitate. Further efforts are expected in this area.
Third, an effective use of new media. In particular, utilization of the Internet is important for local JCP organizations, assembly members and branches as well as for the Central Committee. We will encourage local efforts to this end. Young people are utilizing cellular phones to exchange views and provide voters with JCP information. We will study how to make use of them further.
The fourth point is advertisements in newspapers and on television. Although we have financial limitations, we must make an effective use of commercial media. In the House of councilors election, our opinion advertisement on the Constitution appeared on May 3, Constitution Day and another ad in a sport newspaper received much attention. Effective use of media is necessary. We've used TV commercial messages during the election campaign that had a positive significance. We should have been more prepared in how to utilize them most effectively and we need to more carefully prepare our ads in the future.
Next concerns our election campaign giving priority to the proportional representation election. In tackling the House of Councilors election, we raised the goal of securing the five proportional representation seats as "must-win seats," and gave priority to this goal in all party activities, concentrating efforts to gain votes one by one in support of the JCP in competition with other parties.
Some prefectural committees reported that they tended toward centering on the local constituency elections and their activities for the proportional representation system were weaker. These frank confessions raise a question of the party center's insufficiency in pursuing the key policy of proportional representation elections as the pivot.
It was at the final stage of the election that newspaper Akahata carried its first and accurate appeal to the entire party, saying, "Any votes cast for the JCP anywhere in the proportional representation election will lead to JCP seats," and "let's make use of every social relationship to increase votes for the JCP in the proportional representation constituency!" Daily guidance and assistance, and suggestions made in prefectural committees' publications to give priority to the proportional representation constituency were inadequate.
Under the ballot system of the proportional representation constituency which is not tied to each party's candidate lists, we called on the people to write either "the Japanese Communist Party or a candidate's name." This was an improved action policy, compared with the call for "writing the party name, JCP" in the previous election. But there are those who feel that the way of "either the party name or personal name will do" is complicated. We will further examine the policy.
The next subject is regarding our efforts in prefectural constituencies. We have put up party candidates in all 47 prefectural constituencies, including one candidate we recommended. This has a positive meaning in terms of our responsibility to voters and in securing votes for the proportional representation seats.
We attempted to retain all seven incumbent seats in prefectural constituencies, but lost all of them, a very regrettable outcome.
Analyzing our failure in changing the gap in strength with other parties to win regional races, reports from these prefectures indicate that they could not produce a major wave of support for the Japanese Communist Party. To win prefectural seats, it is also necessary to emphasize the irreplaceable role of the JCP in relation to the move toward a "two-major-party" system. Our failure in securing incumbent prefectural seats can be attributed to our weakness regarding this point.
But in examining the struggles in the seven constituencies of our incumbents, the key issue is how many votes we could add by calling on other parties' supporters and undecided voters in the respective local constituencies, with the proportional representation election at the center. It must be noted that there are some constituencies in which party organizations, based on the 23rd Congress decision, tackled challenges which had not been done before, including arranging gatherings in smaller cities throughout the constituencies, achieving dramatic increases in the number of votes as well as the vote ratio over the House of Councilors election three years ago.
In the proportional representation election in Aichi Prefecture, the party increased both votes and the vote ratio from those in the 2003 general election, and in the local constituency the party received 1.8 times as much as votes in the proportional representation election. It was 1.5 times higher than the votes received three years ago, and approximately equal to the record number of votes Aichi's JCP received in the 1998 House of Councilors election. This shows that extra efforts do make it possible for the JCP to win seats in prefectural constituencies, however hard and complex the situations are.
The third point of reviewing the election campaign should be whether we undertook the election campaign by building a strong party to make an advance no matter how difficult the political situation may be.
Let's make it our conviction that our full-scale challenge of building up a bigger and stronger party to fight in election campaigns is very significant.
With the new Party Program and the 23rd Congress Resolution adopted last January, the whole party devoted its energy to increase Akahata readers by 30 percent of the readership we had at the time of the 2003 general election.
During the five consecutive months after the Congress, our efforts attracted about 80,000 new subscribers. Nearly all prefectural and district committees successfully increased Akahata readers every month, and more than 70% of branches got new readers. This has an epochal significance.
First of all, this activity made the whole party get over the shock of the setback in the general election and regain vitality and confidence. Reports from many branches and local committees indicated that they regained confidence by tackling the party expansion drive and that it gave further impetus to the election campaign. This shows that the activity to expand Akahata readers is the key to party activity. The increase or decrease in Akahata readership is a gauge of party power and its ties to the people.
It is because of this challenge of increasing Akahata readers by 30% that the party was able to undertake tasks in various fields in a creative manner, not by a mere extension of past strategies. There are precious experiences to learn from: activities to win the advance of every branch by getting new readers, by engaging the public by depending on personal relations of each party member for a victory in the election with the concept that we are all fighting in Japan in the same national constituency, by increasing support for the party by face-to-face talks with voters by opening out Akahata, and by making new efforts for activating activities of party branches in workplaces. These activities must be developed further to enrich future activities.
Many party members wrote to the party center saying that they fully devoted themselves to this campaign so the party managed to poll the number of previous votes notwithstanding the difficulties. I want to express my heartfelt respect to all party members who, at the call of the Party Congress, waged tireless efforts in the party strength expansion drive.
However, we must face the fact that our reader expansion drive resulted in only a moderate increase from the 2003 general election. In comparison with figures at the 2003 general election, the number of daily Akahata readers was 99.7% and Sunday Akahata readers 102.8% as of July 1, 2004. The number of party members increased by about 900 since the 23rd Congress. Thus our House of Councilors election campaign was fought without fundamentally resolving this serious defect. Emphasizing the decisive importance for the party to carry out a party strength expansion drive, the resolution of the Resolution of the 23rd Congress states: "Without building a large and strong party, we will not be able to achieve the target we set for the House of Councilors elections. This is a major enterprise that calls for great efforts by all party members and organizations. There is no alternative easy way." The result of the House of Councilors election proved that an advance in national elections cannot be ensured if we fails to make a radical increase in our strength. This is a point that we must be fully aware of.
In local autonomies where the JCP got a rather high vote ratio for the proportional representation election among political parties, relevant JCP organizations maintained a relatively higher position in terms of the number of party members in relation to the total population as well as the number of Akahata readers among electorates.
Having the whole party have confidence in achieving an increase in party strength before the election, let's renew our determination to build up the party at the grassroots level so that we can win national elections under any circumstances.
Another question in relation to the party strength is if we can really approach elections by rallying the entire power of the party.
According to reports from prefectural committees, 97.5% of all branches and 55.3% of party members took part in electioneering. Viewing the video highlights of the 23rd Congress and other efforts were made to make the Congress decision fully known to all members. However, party members who partially read the decisions are only 48%, and those who finished reading them are only 25%. This shortfall must be seriously examined.
Only half of the party members shared the burden of activities, especially in the national election campaign. This is a situation that is far from making full use of the party's potential power. How can we build a party in which all members and branches take part in the activities based on their voluntary self-awareness? Many opinions came in from prefectural and district committees, expressing their self-criticism. Preparing this Central Committee meeting, the party center also held a meeting to learn from those branches in which all members participate daily in various activities.
Those branches always attach importance to each member's wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
These ongoing relationships with the people are the source to revitalize the party branch activities. Based on this position, advanced branches have commonly tackled a variety of daily activities as follows:
These activities of advanced branches indicate that rallying every branch member can be done only through their constant efforts for multiple branch activities.
The Central Committee and all other leading bodies are requested to tackle the major task of increasing the numbers of such advanced branches and making them the majority of the party.
Another point of reviewing the electioneering effort is if what we did to guaranteer the the succession of party activities to the young generation, while employing every generation, was earnest.
Some expressed anxiety about the decline of the party's energy due to the high average age. It is an immeasurable treasure for the party to have many aged party members with long experiences of party activity, to whom a major role is attached. At present, about 60% of party members are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, in the prime of their working life. If we fail to recruit younger generations now, the succession of party activities will be compromised.
Of course, the succession to the next generation is not a matter that can be accomplished easily in a short period of time. In particular, to strengthen activities in two fields have supreme importance -- among the youth and students, and at workplaces. Activities in these two fields have just begun to take shape in the Upper House election campaign.
Youth and students took to the streets at more than 1,000 sites across the country in the evenings of the last three days before voting day to call for support for the JCP; half a million election campaign postcards targeting youth were sent out; and 1.5 million copies of the party leaflet for youth were distributed. These actions by youth and students are unparalleled in scale, and they greatly encouraged the whole party, increasing the vitality of JCP efforts in the election. To our joy, youth branches worked hard in these activities, and seven district committees of the Democratic Youth League of Japan were reconstructed this year. It is noteworthy to note that underlying these fresh efforts by young generations is their struggles with fellow youth for peace and employment, and the party's new program which has a theoretical appeal for young people.
Meetings to share activity experiences of branches at workplaces were held to build up the party to win the election, change politics, and change workplaces based on ties with workers and struggles to realize keen demands. In this way, the activity to build up the party and to win the election has been strengthened. Since major corporations and business circles are pushing corporate restructuring by splitting workers unity, the activity of workplace branches and members to increase their influence by consolidating daily ties has much potential.
The activities among the youth and students, and the activities by branches at workplaces are vital for the party both at present and in future. Leading bodies of the party must grasp these new positive changes, and encourage them to develop.
These are the central points to consider in reviewing the House of Councilors election campaign in relation to our organizational strength.
We must say that our present strength is not enough to defeat the "two major parties" campaign and achieve a major advance in national elections. This can be said both in its quality and quantity in terms of what the situation requires of us. We must make every possible effort to increase our capability so that we can overcome any situation, no matter how difficult and complicated it may be. Deeply convinced with this point as a major lesson from the House of Councilors election, let us set a new course.
The second subject of this report is how to establish and strengthen a new people-centered politics in opposition to the move toward a "two-party system."
It is important to grasp the political background to this move. It is because the LDP can now not maintain control in its traditional way. Fundamentally, its base of support is declining and collapsing. 1993 marked a watershed; the LDP suffered a big split, and went out of power. Although they came back to power within a year, they could not maintain power by themselves alone any more. The LDP has managed to maintain power only through forming a coalition with the Socialist Party and the New Harbinger Party (Sakigake) at first, followed by a coalition with the Liberal Party, then, with the Komei Party.
In respond to the deepening crisis of LDP politics, the ruling circles have adopted a new political strategy to prolong the outdated regime. Leaving the pro-U.S. and pro-big business framework of the LDP politics untouched, it prepared an "alternative" on the same footing to maintain the ruling system, no matter what happens to the LDP.
Its first manifestation is the "non-LDP" government in 1993-1994. The second is the Koizumi politics which calls for a "non-LDP" slogan to "destroy the LDP" even though it is an LDP government. And the third is the present attempt to establish a "two-major-party system."
They all focussed only on the issue of who assumes government power, not on the substance of political reform. They are coupled with undemocratic outrages in the political system to introduce and implement the single-seat constituency system. In addition, anti-JCP political intrigues were carried out to shut us out of the political arena. These moves have interacted with each other, constituting a great barrier to our advance.
The more the crises of LDP politics have been deepening, the stronger the force to prevent the advance of the JCP become, a head-on opponent to them. This is the major characteristics of the political situation of the decade.
At the same time, their strategy of "preparing the substitute" on the same foundation cannot work well in resolving the contradiction between the people and the old regime. Although it may help in prolonging the life of the ancien r?gime temporarily, the contradictions and crisis further deepen. When it becomes clear through our struggles and people's experiences, it can lead to a positive and dramatic development in the political situation. We have already experienced it. When the fraudulent scheme of "LDP or non-LDP" fell through, people's support to the JCP spread so widely that the JCP achieved a series of advances in the latter half of the 1990s. In light of this experience, we must take a broad view of things: it depends on our own initiative whether the moves toward a "two-major-party system" can be defeated.
But the present move toward a "two-party system" is more deeply and strongly rooted than past ones to prepare "alternatives."
In particular, attention should be given to the fact that the attempt is being made by business circles to realign and control political circles directly. The experience of the House of Councilors election taught us that in spite of the serious contradictions and confusions the LDP and DPJ, the players of the "two-party system," may encounter, their efforts prevailed.
This move also aims to impose bad politics on the people through competition between LDP-Komei forces and the DPJ, and, among other things, it is designed to prevent the JCP from making a leap forward by their use of the DPJ as the absorber of increasing criticism of the LDP. The struggle against this attempt should be placed in the core of our daily activities, not only in the election campaign.
We must immediately engage in systematic and constant efforts to build up a political pivot to counter the "two-party system" by establishing a core of political forces for a new people-oriented politics.
Next, I would like to report on our activities to realize people's demands and solve their difficulties, and our struggles to prevent two major reactionary policies.
First, I want to take up pressing political challenges. From this autumn to next spring, we must develop struggles for people's demands in relation to urgent tasks in national politics.
First of all, I would like to emphasize the party's founding spirit: "Where there are people's difficulties and demands, JCP's activities always exist." This must be the basis of all of our activities.
Reviewing the period since the election of the House of Councilors, we have faced serious problems one after another that put people's lives and safety in danger. They include damage caused by heavy rains which hit Niigata, Fukushima, and Fukui prefectures consecutively, the disaster caused by the typhoons and heavy rains which brought about damages in many parts of Japan, and the serious accident at the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant of Kansai Electric Power CO. In every case, our Dietmembers' group and local organizations made joint efforts to relieve the hardships and anxiety of those affected. We also appealed to the government so that it would fulfill its responsibility and correct the anomalies in Japanese politics which lies at the root of all of these incidents.
Our party's founding spirit is to devote ourselves to defend people's lives, safety and livelihoods. We are determined to continue to attach importance to this founding principle on every occasion.
The next issue is the struggle to prevent adverse revisions of the pension and other social security systems.
The struggle against implementation of the adversely revised pension law will face a critical moment this autumn. It has become evident that the pension law will not only impose tremendous "pains" on the people in the form of increases in contributions and decreases in benefits, but the pension system itself will come to a standstill sooner or later even if the law is implemented. The declining birthrate, the low rate of payment of people's contributions to the national pension system, and a large amount of the deficit in welfare pensions for corporate employees show that even the levels of pension benefits and premiums which the law predicts are a mere impractical desktop theory based on fabrication. Above all, there is no possibility that the system, that 80 % of the people do not want, can function effectively.
Whatever the pension system is aimed at, the indispensable premise of realizing a system that people can rely on without anxiety is to revoke the adversely revised pension law. We will do our utmost, together with the people, to stop the implementation of this law. In order to fulfill the people's earnest desire to establish a pension system that is reliable in the future as well as at present, we will reiterate the necessity of the realization of our proposal to guarantee everyone a minimum pension.
As regards the social security system, programs of adverse revisions are planned one after another in every field, such as a revision of the nursing care insurance system in 2006, decrease in benefits of the livelihood protection system in 2005, and revision of the health care system centering on the increase in burdens to the elderly in 2008. As the cuts in livelihood protection or welfare benefits demonstrates, these plans trample on the right to life guranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution, and will lower the minimum standard of living of the nation. People's livelihoods, especially those with low incomes, are deteriorating seriously. There are increasingly a large number of people who do not have a say in the matters, although they wish for an improvement in the social security system. It is really important for us to organize a persistent struggle, in the arena of national politics as well as in grassroots activities, to stop these adverse revisions and achieve improvements in social services, while responding to a request for advice by those people adversely affected.
Next, I would like to touch on the struggle to force on SDF withdrawal from Iraq. More than a half year has passed since the SDF were sent to Iraq and contradictions in continuing to deploy the SDF in Iraq are increasingly serious.
First, the contradiction with the Iraqi people is deepening. Even after the so-called "sovereignty handover" to the Iraqi Interim Government at the end of June, massive foreign military forces led by the U.S. forces have continued to stay in Iraq by changing their name to a multinational force. They have increased indiscriminate attacks on Fallujah, Najaf and elsewhere in the name of mopping-up operations, which is just making the Iraq situation worse. Now a very dangerous situation prevails in which continued SDF activities in Iraq as part of the multinational force could cause an irreparable confrontation with the Iraqi people.
Second, the SDF deployment contradicts Japan's Constitution. The government explains that "sending the SDF to Iraq is not a violation of the Constitution because they are not going to a combat zone." But this logic is absolutely breaking down, as is clear from the death of a soldier of the Dutch forces deployed in Samawah and the repeated attacks on the SDF base with mortar shells and other weapons. In addition, the fact that the SDF became a member of the multinational force, assigned to use force, and began to operate openly under the command of the U.S. forces contradicts even the government's conventional interpretation of the Constitution.
Among the 36 countries which sent troops to Iraq, 5 countries including Spain have already withdrawn their troops and 4 countries began to withdraw. This shows that the military domination of Iraq led by the U.S. is increasingly isolated internationally.
We strongly call for an immediate withdrawal of the SDF. Internationally, it has become more important than ever to make the U.S. take measures toward withdrawal of their forces, so that the Iraqi people may reconstruct their country in the framework of truly U.N.-centered assitance.
Next is the struggle against U.S. bases in Japan.
A U.S. military helicopter crashed in Ginowan City, Okinawa. In the handling of the accident, including on-site investigations, the U.S. infringed on Japan's sovereignty, and, without a thorough investigation of the cause of the accident, resumed flights of helicopters of the same model as the one that crashed. Such high-handedness, coupled with the Japanese government's subordination, has generated great anger, with the movement for an unconditional removal of the U.S. Futenma base.
As part of the on-going global reorganization of U.S. military bases by the Bush administration, the U.S. bases in Japan strengthen their command function and enhance their mobility and operational areas, as strongholds for sending troops worldwide. With a view to combined operations outside of Japan, the U.S. forces and the SDF are going to share bases and integrate exercises and operations further. It has become more important than ever to oppose these dangerous moves of strengthening base functions, and to struggle for removal of U.S. military bases.
Next, I would like to refer to a struggle to stop an adverse revision of the Fundamental Law of Education. On June 16, the LDP-Komei ruling coalition reached agreement on an overall "revision" of the law. It is highly possible that they will submit a bill for this "revision" to the ordinary Diet session that begins in January 2005. The substance of the agreement is extremely harmful as it will destroy the democratic basis of the Fundamental Law of Education as explained below.
First, the ruling parties are attempting to completely change the text of Article 10 from "Education shall not be subject to improper control," which prohibits improper intervention of administrative authority in education to "Education administration shall not be subject to improper control," which will block people's criticism of education administration.
Second, they want to include in education law the text, which will serve as a basis for the government to impose its view on teachers, "the government shall establish a basic plan on development of education."
Third, it mentions "to love the country" as a "purpose of education." In principle, patriotism should be a matter of people's individual views and the autonomy of the society. Imposing a certain opinion will impose restrictions on people's freedom of thought.
These are based on the common retrogressive position that denies people's right to education which Constitution's Article 26 guarantees, and tries to alter this right into the right of the state to determine education.
Problems with today's education which many people are worrying about are not caused by the Fundamental Law of Education. The responsibility for the problems should rest on the successive LDP governments' education administration which did not carry out the democratic premise of the law. Let's develop dialogue with the people for overcoming the education crisis and strengthen the struggle to prevent the adverse revision of the education law.
Secondly, I will report on the struggle against the consumption tax increase and the mal-revision of the constitution.
The tax hike and the Constitution revision, two reactionary policies the "two major parties" raise as a common slogan, are the biggest immediate political challenges the JCP should tackle with all its might. These policies threaten to change fundamentally the post-war state of Japan, and therefore the contradiction between them and the people are really glaring. There exist conditions and scope for us to wage a wider and larger struggle, bringing together the majority of the people. This struggle will test our intrinsic value.
I will start with the struggle against the planned increase in consumption tax.
The moves by the ruling parties and the Democratic Party of Japan reveal a really dangerous scenario: holding conferences between the ruling and opposition parties to reach an "agreement" by next year; enacting a law for a consumption tax increase in 2006; and putting the law into effect in fiscal 2007. We can lose no time in starting an urgent struggle to oppose these aims.
The aim is to fundamentally change Japan's taxation system. The Mid-term Policy Report by the Government Tax Commission as well as the policy paper by the Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), both published in 2003, clearly show that they intend to raise the consumption tax rate to the two-digit level. A ten percent consumption tax rate would increase the ratio of the consumption tax within the overall tax revenue to around 40%. In this case, the consumption tax revenue would be twice as large as that of the corporate tax, and one and half times as large as that of the income tax. The consumption tax would become a central part of Japan's tax system. We should ask the people if they will allow this least highly regressive tax to be the cornerstone of Japan's taxation system. This is the point we should raise before a braod section of people.
To develop the struggle effectively, we should well take into consideration the fact that people's thinking of the consumption tax has two aspects.
The majority of the public is opposed to a consumption tax hike despite the aggressive campaign by pro-hike forces. According to an NHK opinion poll after the election, 52% of the respondents "oppose a consumption tax hike, even though it is meant for the pension fund." This bears testimony to the vicious nature of this tax which sinks into majority people's mind from their day-to-day lives. That is why the LDP, Komei Party and DPJ were not able to openly ask people to support the tax hike during the election campaign, though their policies aim to increase the consumption tax rate. Encouraged by such a trend in public opinion, we should build up the movement with the majority of the public behind it. This is the first thing I would like to emphasize.
On the other hand, after fifteen years since the introduction of the consumption tax, people's perception of its "viciousness" has changed. Many people have been made to believe that there is no other way than a consumption tax increase to assist social welfare programs. In this regard, we will try to make more persuasive arguments based on the facts that: the consumption tax destroys social welfare to the worst extent; the tax hike is meant not to support social welfare programs but to decrease the tax rates of major corporations; and social services can be funded without relying on the consumption tax ? the points we made during the election. People who buy the "no other way" argument actually do not want to have the tax raised, if it is possible. If they are convinced that there is a pracitical alternative that does not rely on the consumption tax, they can be converted into the opposition camp. Let's try our utmost to increase public consciousness and the movement against the tax hike among the overwhelming majority of the public.
Next, I would like to talk about the struggle to develop a larger national movement against the revision of the Constitution.
No one will deny the fact that the Constitution with its Article 9 is in the greatest danger of revision since the end of World War II. The reactionary forces both in Japan and the United States, including the majority forces in the Diet such as the LDP, the Komei Party and the Democratic Party, began to openly voice in unison their support for the revision of the Constitution. Let me quote some of their statements:
Prime Minister Koizumi: "The Constitution should be revised so that we can use the right to collective self-defense."
Democratic Party of Japan President Okada Katsuya: "The Constitution should be revised so that we can exercise force abroad when there is a UN resolution."
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, interfering in Japan's affairs, said that Japan's Constitution must be reviewed.
The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), moving toward the revision of the Constitution, formed the Committee on Constitutional Policy.
It is an urgent task for us to squarely look at this danger and address it.
The JCP's important role in tackling this task is the following: we have to convince the public that their struggle will bring about the conditions to defat the forces calling for revision of the Constitution, and we have to encourage the growth of movements to defend the Constitution by offereing them assistance in forming strategies for struggle. I would like to stress the following three points:
First, concerning Article 9 of the Constitution. All opinion polls indicate that the majority of the people, about 60%, insist that the Constitution should be protected. Even in the case where respondents say they favor the revision of the Constitution in general, support for the revision of Article 9 is in the minority. This shows that the majority of the Japanese people find great value in Article 9.
If pro-revision forces try to achieve their aim, they must first make a draft revised Constitution, then gain the support of two-thirds of both Houses, and finally be endorsed by the majority of the public in a referendum. The fact that the majority of the public want Article 9 maintained is the greatest obstacle to pro-revision forces.
If the majority of the public supports protecting Article 9 and cooperates in this regard, pro-revision forces cannot revise the Constitution. It is extremely important to stress this point because pro-revision forces argue daily that the Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party which are calling for protecting the Constitution are now few in number in the Diet and have no future.
Second, I would like to point out some serious contradictions in the pro-revision argument. They aim to build a Japan that can militarily participate in U.S. wars abroad in Iraq, other Middle East countries and elsewhere. They are unlawful wars in violation of the UN Charter. Their aim is to make a Japan that will be able to participate in unlawful U.S. wars waged globally.
However, pro-revision forces cannot cadidly tell the people the reason for the revision. They talk in terms of something related to "Japan's defense." Prime Minister Koizumi, for example, in a press conference during the last election campaign said, "The Constitution must be revised for us to be able use the right to collective self-defense." But in his argument he could not but link this claim with "Japan's defense," saying, "It is strange not to be able to cooperate with U.S. forces in their actions to defend Japan."
In other words, they argue for "Japan's defense," but in reality they are trying to participate in U.S. wars on a global scale, which has nothing to do with "Japan's defense." Here is the greatest contradiction in their argument. If we reveal this deception to the public and expose their real aims, we can isolate the pro-revision forces.
Third, the currents in Asia and the rest of the world do not side with pro-revision forces. An overwhelming majority of countries opposed the war on Iraq, which shows the major trend in the 21st century world is for "a world without wars" based on respect for the peace rules in the UN Charter. The world pays special attention to the fact that Article 9 is of pioneering value in this regard for all human beings regardless of nationality.
The currents for peace are gathering momentum also in Asia. Let's take a look at East Asia. Currents for peace are gradually prevailing in Southeast Asia with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the center, and in Northeast Asia efforts are being made for settling the Korean problem through peaceful negotiations. It is clear that revising Article 9 to make Japan a country to wage wars is an adverse current no one will welcome in Asia or the rest of the world.
It is very important to note that various peace movements are spreading, uniting people's aspirations for peace and reason, regardless of political positions, such as the "Article 9 Association" and other movements.
As a party that has been consistent in opposing wars before, during, and after World War II, the JCP is determined to mobilize all the power we have to build broad national cooperation with the sole objective to oppose the adverse revision of the Constitution, isolate pro-revision forces, and foil their ambitions. Let's confirm our determination to fight it out.
Next I will report on activities to create a new advance in national elections and efforts of building a strong party.
The first subject is about activities for new advances in national elections.
The term of office of present House of Representatives members expires in November 2007. However, we must be prepared for a general election at any time the House is dissolved. We also need to make preparations for the scheduled election for the House of Councilors in July 2007 and the simultaneous local elections in April 2007.
We must struggle in coming national elections with the political view of establishing a firm political foothold in the Diet to counter the moves toward a two-party system. We must strive to top 4 million votes, or an 8 percent share in the proportional representation constituencies as in the past three national elections, thus creating a new rising tide. We aim to increase our seats and votes in the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors, including seats in all proportional representation constituencies of the former.
Basically, all party activities should center on the election in the proportional representation constituencies, striving to increase public support for our party. In such activities, party members are requested to talk about our policies regarding hot issues, the JCP policy of "remaking Japan," and the overall picture of the party. Learning lessons from the results of the latest House of Councilors election, it is imperative for us to wrestle with the task of boosting the JCP in connection with the move to implement a "two-party system."
The incumbent members of both houses and candidate-designates should strive to establish close contacts with the public, and play a major role in achieving progress in proportional representation constituencies. In local constituencies, it is also necessary for the party to carry out daily activities, with candidates in the lead. By deciding candidates as soon as possible for local constituencies where conditions fall into place, let's strengthen ties with voters and increase support through activities to realize local people's demands.
In order to make progress in national elections, the party's advance in each local assembly election is of great significance for our future advance in national elections, as well as for realizing local residents' demands. In particular, the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election to be held in June 2005 must be regarded as one of national significance and we must do our utmost to make an advance.
Next, I want to propose a major drive of learning the new Program and the Congress Resolution so talk about the JCP in their own words, using down-to-earth expressions.
The most important guideline of the party to create and develop a new axis of politics in which the people are the key players is the new Party Program. The report at the 23rd Congress on the revision of the Program states that the Party Program shows the "position that will help us to confront all the problems facing Japan and the world in the 21st century."
With the new Party Program and other 23rd Congress decisions as the guidelines, we must expand dialogue and exchange with people of all walks of life, irrespective of their party or non-party status, so that we may make clear to the public the true picture of the JCP.
To achieve that end, we must launch a major drive in which party members explain in their own words how the JCP aims to change Japan. In this activity, the entire picture of the JCP -- its policy line, history, and ideals to remove prejudices and misunderstandings must be presented in order to make clear the national significance of a JCP advance in the present situation in view of the task to boost the JCP position against the move toward a "two-party system."
Let all party branches hold meetings to talk about the JCP with the help of supporters' associations. Let prefectural and district committees also hold lectures. It is also important for us to have dialogues and discussions with people in various strata of society. The Central Committee members and Diet members are requested to take the lead in this activity throughout the nation. Let's promote such a drive in every corner of the country and make it a routine, not only at times of election campaigns but on a daily basis.
For this drive, all party members should study and understand the new Party Program and other Congress decisions. Basically, it is important to read the decisions, while making the best use of the video tape showing highlights of the Congress. It is also important to organize lecturers, including leaders of party bodies, and to hold meetings to study the new Party Program. In this regard, the qualification examination for lecturer of the party are to be given in autumn. As many party members as possible are encouraged to take the exam.
Three categories of study by party members are required: 1) the new Program, the line and history of the party; 2) immediate policies; and 3) theories of scientific socialism.
We have so far listed the "designated literature for study," which played a big role in enhancing the study motivation of party members. But as political situations and theories develop rapidly, such a way of fixing a "designated literature" has become outmoded. Therefore, we will introduce documents considered to be useful for all JCP members at appropriate times and in various forms.
JCP members vary in origins, generations, and party careers, but they are united with each other by the common aim of pursuing a progressive transformation of society. Explaining to the public the JCP in our own words means talking about our original intentions as JCP members, our purposes in life, and our feelings toward the party. Every JCP member can engage in such activities. Let us push ahead with this activity in every corner of the country.
I will now address the task of making the party strong enough to change the present situation by ourselves.
With the Congress decision stating that "it is the time in our history to boldly lay stress on party building for a party strong enough to struggle and succeed in the 21st century," we have stepped up the pace of such activities.
The basic policy for party building is specified in the decisions of the 22nd and 23rd Party Congresses. Those decisions state: the national significance of party building; a party build-up hinges on efforts to increase membership; party activities centered on newspaper Akahata; and qualitative improvement of party activities; and a strengthening of activities among young people. In this way, the basic policy is quite clear.
However, in the series of major national elections in 2003 and 2004, our efforts stopped short of the activities set out in the Congress decisions. In this respect, in the period between this year and 2007, we need to prepare for future national elections, bearing in mind that a Lower House dissolution and a general election may take place at any time. We can commit ourselves to party building efforts based on the basis of the Congress decisions.
I propose in the period from this year through the end of next year (2005) that all JCP branches make their respective "policy and plan" to implement the following five goals for a stronger party.
We should emphasize fact that individual JCP members have multi-faced ties with people, which should be regarded as a precious asset of branches. It is also important for party branches to attach much importance to daily association with the people around them in their neighborhoods and at workplaces. For the JCP branches and members to mix and associate with people around them is the basis of the party's vitality, not just the means of party activities. These efforts should be regarded as one of the fundamental tasks of the party.
All JCP branches should carry out activities based on the founding spirit:"Where there's people's difficulties and demands, JCP's activities always exist." Struggles on national-level tasks and local multi-faced demands on a grassroots level, including counseling activities on livelihood, labor disputes, child-rearing, and education -- these day-to-day activities in people's daily life are very important. If 400 thousand party members and more than 20,000 party branches together in the country pursue these activities, the JCP's value will be able to stand out, unrivaled by other parties.
Based on the decision of the third Central Committee Plenum (of the 21st Party Congress) in 1998, we once conducted a questionnaire on what kind of activities regarding residents' demands JCP branches were carrying out, and the whole party engaged in such activities. We must make the best of these past experiences and lessons, and develop it further.
The policy of increasing Akahata readership to 130 percent over the last general election level for the Upper House election, as proposed in the Congress decision, was raised as the "iron rule of the election campaign" on the basis of the "most painful lesson" learned in the past national elections. We acknowledge the significance of the fact that untiring efforts toward achieving that goal started after the Congress, and that positive results were produced in the party building drive toward the Upper House election. Let us actually achieve the goal of a 30 percent increase in the readership, and then fight future election campaigns for both houses.
In this connection, we will exert efforts to enrich party activities centered on "Newspaper Akahata." Not to mention the constant efforts to increase subscribers, the efforts to strengthen the setup of delivering Akahata and collecting subscription fees with the help of JCP supporters, and to value subscribers as the closest friends of the party are very important. Party members should listen to the requests and opinions of subscribers, routinely engage in conversation with them, get to know them better, and boost our ties with them.
The move toward the "two-party system" has been greatly bolstered by the mass media. As they tend to refrain from reporting on the JCP, the task to increase Akahata readership will play a decisive role in creating a heightened political consciouness. I call on all party members to tackle this task with renewed ambition and resolve.
The fourth objective is to build up a 500,000-strong JCP by 2005.
This goal was set at the 22nd Party Congress in 2000 and since then 43,700 people have joined the party, reaching a 404 thousand membership at present. The goal to achieve a 500 thousand membership by next year is of great significance in view of the future development of party activities and in achieving an advance in the next national elections.
I want you to remind that, in increasing membership, the Resolution of the 23rd Party Congress states, "In order to constantly recruit party members, it is essential for the JCP to help new members study and take part in day-to-day activities. In other words, we receive new members and help them study and participate in branch activities. We confirm this concept as an essential part of our party building efforts." In this regard, I want to call on you to solve the problem of informing a number of new members of basic policies of the JCP. The significance of uniting the efforts to encourage all members to participate in branch activities with the effort to increase party members was pointed out in the meeting to hear the experiences of advanced party branches.
We will concentrate our efforts on the following two areas to hand down our work to the next generation.
We want to make a conscious effort to have all party members read Daily Akahata.
To read Daily Akahata is essential for party members because it provides them with information such as how to view daily developments at home and abroad, how to deal with them, and how to live with confidence. Without this effort, we will be vulnerable to the harmful, distorted information by the corporate media.
Let us place emphasis, as a serious problem regarding party building, on kindly helping party members who don't read the daily to start subscribing, thus allowing all party members to have access to it.
In this report, I have discussed the weakness of the activities of the Central Committee in the Upper House election and proposed ways of tackling the task to create the pivot of people-first politics in opposition to the move toward the "two-party system." This task is difficult to achieve, but it is worthy of challenging. If we succeed in making a breakthrough out of the current situation, we will be able to pave a new step toward remaking Japan.
At the meeting to mark the anniversary of the JCP founding held on July 21 (2004), we called on exerting the strength and determination that runs through the 82 year history of the JCP. A large number of people were sympathetic to this appeal. I close my report by calling on you to accomplish with fortitude this challenging project with the new Party Program as guidelines.
The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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