Jan. 17, 2004

Fuwa: JCP new Program shows Japan's course

Summarizing the achievement of the JCP 23rd Congress in the closing speech, JCP Central Committee Chair Fuwa Tetsuzo emphasized the following three points:

First, the 23rd Congress adopted a new Program as the JCP banner in the 21st century that will guide the movement for social progress in Japan with accurate analysis and alternative viewpoints of the prevailing currents in Japan and the world.

Second, the Congress adopted a Resolution which sets forth tasks and policies for the immediate struggle. Many delegates were more or less shocked by the Central Committee's call for a 30 percent increase to be achieved in Akahata readership in preparation for the House of Councilors election, but expressed their determination to achieve that goal.

Third, the Congress turned out to be a forum in which solidarity was deepened with our friends from abroad. The exchange was more than just formalities. Our guests from abroad expressed surprise at the schedule that keeps delegates in their seats for more than two hours at a time, listening attentively to speeches. The Congress thus served as a point of contact between the JCP and the world.

Fuwa, reelected by the new Central Committee as CC chair, held a news conference after the Congress and commented on the Congress as being a fruitful one. He stressed that the new JCP Program has shown the people policies for correcting distortions of society in the long term and not just as immediate tasks.

Referring to the Democratic Party of Japan, Fuwa said that the JCP is paying close attention to a major shift the DPJ has made toward establishing a two-party system and constitutional revision but that the JCP will continue common struggles in the Diet when possible. (end)

From discussion

Discussions by delegates on the proposal for the Program of the Japanese Communist Party and the Resolution began Wednesday, the second day of the JCP 23rd Congress in Atami. Thirty-two delegates spoke on a variety of issues, including Japan's democratic change, the world situation, and a future society.

A young man from Fukushima Prefecture said he gained further resolve when he read the Central Committee's proposal for the Akahata readership to be increased to 130 percent of what it was at the time of the November 2003 general election to secure a JCP victory in the upcoming House of Councilors election.

A delegate from Kochi Prefecture said, "The revised JCP Program has the power to respond to the questions of those groping for a future society." He said that young people, who have felt helpless because they were unable to prevent the Iraq War from breaking out, were inspired by the viewpoint given by the revised JCP Program.

The issue of a "future society" was another central topic of discussion. A lawyer in her twenties from Tokyo said, "I learned here that a socialist/communist society is a society full of hope." A delegate from Chiba Prefecture said, "The view of the revised Program on a future society can earn support from young people who are forced into unreasonable competition that will divide them into winners and losers."

A delegate from Gunma Prefecture, speaking about his long and bitter struggle against the inhumane government policy for former leprosy patients, said what supports him in the struggle is the feeling that "the JCP is my home".

Many speakers in the third day of the Japanese Communist Party 23rd Congress on Thursday expressed their agreement with the first major revision in 43 years of the JCP Program.

A woman from a JCP youth branch in Hiroshima said, "I have so far only been able to say, 'What the future will be like can only be determined by people of the future,' but now, I can say we are aiming for a society in which average citizens are the key players."

A 26-year-old town assembly member said that his high school teacher, who criticized his support for socialism as "idealistic", later told him that he regretted what he had said, adding, "You can always count on my support." The delegate said he realized that only JCP advances will ensure that we can achieve "freedom and equality as well as a society without the gap between poor and rich or continuous war."

The secretary of the JCP committee at NKK Works, a major steel mill, said that the party committee's newspaper reporting the JCP's position drew attention from a young worker, who later joined the party. The delegate said, "Opposition to capitalism without rules is essential to achieving equitable development of Japan's economy and society, and I now understand that this is a task called for by society." (end)

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