Adopted on January 16, 2010
Part I: ‘New Period’ in Japanese Politics and Power that Created It
Part II: JCP’s Tasks under Transitional Situation
Part III: World Undergoing a Major Change and JCP Position
Part IV: For Major Advances both in National and Local Politics; JCP Policies to Build a Powerful Party
Part V: Outlook for Future: World in Turmoil and Outlook for Future Society
We are holding the 25th Party Congress amid a turbulent situation marking the beginning of major changes in Japanese politics.
The Resolution of the JCP 24th Congress four years ago stated, “The crisis facing LDP policies is more serious than ever, in both foreign and domestic policies,” adding that underlying all this are “three aberrations in LDP government policies” unprecedented among the capitalist countries in the world: justifying the past wars of aggression; always acting at the U.S. beck and call; and always acting in the interest of large corporations. The Resolution set forward policies to put an end to these aberrations and remake Japan in line with the direction set out in the Program of the Japanese Communist Party.
The JCP 24th Congress Resolution referred to the fact that the Liberal Democratic Party led by then Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichiro, won a substantial increase in the number of its seats in the House of Representatives in the 2005 general election, using the deceptive tactic of asserting that postal reform was the main issue. Regarding this deceptive LDP tactic, the Resolution states: “If their lies and tricks are exposed, a major political cataclysm will inevitably follow,” adding that the situation in Japan today “is entering an historic period that calls for a new direction in politics to replace the outdated LDP political framework.”
This proposition proved to be accurate in foreseeing how the Japanese political situation would evolve, in the light of the major political changes that have taken place during the past four years.
Regarding the aberration of “justifying the past wars of aggression,” criticism of then Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichiro, who had continued his official visits to Yasukuni Shrine, grew not only in Japan but also internationally. The Koizumi government was thus isolated from the international community and his successor Abe Shinzo gave up the reins of government halfway through his term in office after failing to reintroduce the prewar political system under the slogan: “Break away from the postwar regime.” All this dealt a heavy blow to the pro-Yasukuni Shrine forces, leading to a positive resolution of the situation. The JCP has made clear that breaking with the aberrant politics that justifies the past wars of aggression and achieving a drastic policy change without waiting for the establishment of a democratic government is one of the most urgent tasks (JCP 24th Congress Resolution). Thus, the JCP has played an important role in overcoming the adverse current.
However, there remains the need to resolve the issue of the inappropriate history textbooks that justify and even glorify the past Japanese wars of aggression, and to use textbooks that reflect the country’s remorse over the past Japanese colonial rule and wars of aggression. As to the issue of sex slaves of the former Imperial Japanese Army, the urgent task is for the government to offer a sincere apology and compensation to the victims.
The year 2010 marks the 100th year after Japanese imperialism used military forces to annex Korea. Sharing common understanding of the basic part of history with China and South Korea, at the government level as well as the people’s level, is an important task in our effort to lay the groundwork for building true peace and friendship with East Asian people in the 21st century. The JCP will continue to do its utmost to implement this task. In facilitating the normalization of relations between Japan and North Korea, we must tackle head-on the historical question as one of the pending issues that need to be resolved.
The voters’ verdict in the House of Representatives general election in August 2009 opened a “new period” in Japanese politics that can be characterized by its “transitional nature.”
With a huge majority of voters passing the verdict to put an end to the Liberal Democratic-Komei rule, Japanese politics took a historically important step forward. This is an event that we welcome. In this general election, many voters were demanding policies to relieve them of everyday hardships and put an end to policies endangering peace implemented by the LDP-Komei government. They also had high expectations for a major change in political direction. This latest electoral verdict is not just a temporary one; it has an ongoing impact on the post-election situation that is evolving.
However, the reality shows that there are no prospects in sight for overcoming the “two aberrations”: Japan’s extraordinary subservience to the United States and the tyrannical rule of large corporations and the business circles. Although the public said “No” to the LDP-Komei government in the general election, this does not mean that voters threw unquestioning support behind the policies of the Democratic Party of Japan. The verdict did not give an answer to the question about what kind of politics will replace LDP-Komei politics. Many people throughout the country are still trying to find the answer regarding the cause of hardships people are experiencing in their everyday lives and the crisis endangering peace, and are considering what new policies should replace the old policies. This is a new period in which people are beginning to explore policy options.
The transitional character in the new DPJ-led government is a reflection of the transitional nature of the present political situation in an early stage of evolution. The new government’s policies include some positive aspects that reflect public demands. There are even elements that to some extent contradict the direction envisioned by Japanese business circles as well as U.S. interests. At the same time, we must point out that the new government does not present any new policies or political direction that would pull Japan out of its commitment to the two political aberrations. It even goes against public interest on a number of issues. The DPJ harbors intentions that would put parliamentary democracy at risk as shown by its proposal to reduce the number of House of Representatives proportional representation seats. We cannot afford to overlook the negative ideology inherent in the DPJ.
The JCP will work hard to live up to the expectations of the people hoping for a change in politics under the new government and tackle problems the people are faced with and relieve their anxiety in order to move Japanese politics forward as an opposition party engaging constructively with the new government.
What were the forces that helped open this new period of Japanese politics? They were contradictions between the old politics that had undermined people’s livelihoods and peace and their interests, as well as the rise in public dissent and increase in political movements. Nationwide struggles emerged in various fields in society calling for measures to be taken against the increase in poverty and economic inequalities that was brought about by neoliberal economic policies promoted under the name of “structural reform.” Such struggles had a great influence in moving Japan’s politics in a new direction.
The JCP has played an important role in creating positive changes in Japanese politics. Every time a political decision crucial to people’s livelihoods was made, the JCP played an important role in pushing politics in a progressive direction. The JCP was the only party that opposed such adverse measures as the 1999 revision of the Worker Dispatch Law that lifted restrictions on the use of temporary workers in all business sectors, including manufacturing; the “supplementary resolution” on the 2000 revision of the Health Insurance Law which laid the groundwork for establishing a separate health insurance system for the elderly aged 75 and older; and the liberalization of rice imports implemented over the period 1993-1995. At present, the JCP’s opposition to these adverse measures represents the opinion of the majority of the public. It is thus influencing on-going political processes.
The JCP 24th Congress called on the public to wage a social struggle in social solidarity against the brutal attack made by the Koizumi and Abe cabinets under the name of “structural reform” policy. The party has worked hard to help increase and strengthen solidarity and cooperation with people’s movements in various fields, playing an important part in forcing the “structural reform” policy into bankruptcy.
The business circles representing large corporations and the financial sector as well as other ruling forces have been promoting a “two-party system” since 1993. This attempt has had two aims. One is to establish a system in which “two major parties” will take power in turns based on the old political framework and compete for similarly adverse policies, thus helping to prolong the old politics faced with a crisis. The other is to exclude the JCP from the Japanese political scene, or if circumstances allow, to erase its very existence. To achieve this aim they have introduced the single-seat constituency system and campaigned to force voters to choose between the two major parties as the only viable option.
However, in the recent House of Representatives general election, voters passed the verdict that the LDP and the Komei Party, which had stuck to old politics, must go. Many voters in this election strongly called for an end to the old political framework. Despite the ruling forces’ intent to exclude and erase the JCP from the political scene as their ultimate goal, the JCP has defended its position in the past several national elections and vigorously carried out a diverse range of activities thanks to support and struggles by our supporters, members of supporters associations, and party members. This was the ruling forces’ worst misjudgment.
Contradictions between the ruling system and people’s interests have become apparent and have contributed to the movement of people taking to the streets demanding a new direction in politics. This is what is taking place before our very eyes. Convinced by and proud of the people’s voices and movements and JCP’s own struggles that opened the new period in Japanese politics, the JCP will make the best use of its wisdom and power so that the politics in this transitional situation will be transformed into a more progressive direction.
Although there may be various trials and errors in the process of people’s quest for better politics and the development of their political awareness, it is inevitable that their political awareness and capabilities to further advance the political process will be heightened through the following political experiences starting from the struggle to realize their pressing demands:
Under the present political circumstances, conditions exist for us to achieve people’s demands to a certain extent depending on the development of popular movements and a subsequent change in power relations. Demands that were hard to achieve under the old politics can be realized under the new situation. This change will help increase people’s awareness and conviction that “we can change politics if we raise our voices together.”
At the same time, many people will realize by experience that there are big obstacles to the realization of their demands. For example, the effort to fundamentally revise the Worker Dispatch Law is resisted by the business circles. The effort to resolve the issue of the military bases in Okinawa has to confront the Japan-U.S. military alliance structure. It becomes clearer than ever that people’s demands are hampered by the “two major aberrations.”
The characters and roles of the various political forces will be tested in the present political process. The DPJ-led government has limitations and problems because of its character as a stop-gap government. The LDP with its reactionary stance continues to defend the old policies characterized by the two aberrations. The JCP’s role is one of constructively engaging with the new government. The stances of these political forces will become clearer to the public over time.
These political experiences will help people increase political awareness and capabilities in the quest for new politics. If they are to achieve their wishes regarding better livelihoods and world peace, they will have to understand through these experiences the need to put an end to the two aberrations and move on to build a new Japan in which the people are the protagonists.
This is not an automatic process. People’s quest for a new direction in politics will make progress in the struggle between the serious demands of the people and the various adverse moves that hamper the realization of these demands. The real question is how we can build up the power among the public to pull Japanese politics from the “aberrations.” The JCP’s task in the present transitional situation is to help increase such awareness and capabilities among the people.
The following three tasks are particularly important:
The first task is to move politics in a progressive direction in response to the demands of the public. The keen demand of the people should be the starting point and we will do our utmost to further advance policies reflecting the public interest. At the same time, it is necessary to insist that a drastic reform to correct the two aberrations is essential to fully achieve people’s demands. In each area, struggles focusing on the following points to be changed in the previous policies are essential:
Jobs: We call for the payment period for unemployment benefits to be extended and for relief measures for the unemployed to be fundamentally improved. We demand an end to the policy of deregulating labor laws, which has increased the poverty rate and widened social gaps in Japan, and change it to one of strengthening regulations, including the fundamental revision of the Worker Dispatch Law. We call for this struggle as part of the effort to build a society in which workers are regular full-time employees as a rule. We will also aim to establish a national uniform minimum wage system so that every worker will be paid at least 1,000 yen an hour.
Social services: We will fight to revoke all cutbacks in social services that have left numerous negative legacies, including the health insurance system separating the elderly aged 75 and over from the existing health insurance system. We demand of the government that it should put an end to the “beneficiary-pays principle” and reduce the burdens to beneficiaries of the fees for social services, including medical care, nursing care for the elderly, and services for the disabled, with a view to ultimately making them free of charge. The government must end the policy of neglecting its responsibility for social services and surrendering them to large corporations that seek to maximize their profits, thus leaving them to market forces and privatized entities. Instead it must improve nursing care for the elderly, childcare, medical care and pension services. We will seek to have the Constitution’s Article 25 (the right to live), which provides for the right to social services, guide all areas of society.
Small- and medium-sized enterprises: As part of the effort to avoid bankruptcies and financial crises in small- and medium-sized businesses, we demand that the government drastically improve and expand relief measures for them, including credit guarantees and other finance-related measures, and to offer direct finance to help failing businesses rebuild themselves or secure incomes to those who have to suspend operations. The industrial policy must focus on protecting small- and medium-sized businesses as the key players in the Japanese economy instead of giving priority to defending the interests of large corporations. From this point of view, it is essential to implement programs to help develop products, human resources, and business successors as well as measures to protect small- and medium-sized enterprises from hostile actions by large corporations.
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries: We call for price guarantees and income compensation through subsidies to be implemented as a measure to ensure that farmers will earn incomes adequate to be able to continue farming. Along with this measure, we also call for border measures, including tariffs, to be strengthened. Ending the policy of unlimited liberalization of agricultural imports holds the key to changing the agricultural policy. We demand an end to the obligatory import of the so-called minimum access rice and oppose the conclusion of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States and an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with Australia, which will give a heavy blow to Japanese agriculture. We also call for the establishment of trade rules and regulations to guarantee food sovereignty for all countries, including revision of the Agriculture Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) exclusively aiming at trade expansion. Forestry should be given an important place in the national policy as an industry indispensable for developing both the local economy and a low-carbon society. Forestry and its associated lumber industry should be rejuvenated by shifting the policy of depending on imported timber to one of increasing the use of domestic timber, and by preserving and improving forests. Fishery should be promoted and fishing villages be developed through fishery assistance programs such as conservation and restoration of fishery resources, price stabilization of fishery products, and introduction of energy saving measures, so that the fishery sector can play an important role in the supply of food, and conserve the sea, the land and the environment as a whole.
Support for childcare: Along with the need to improve child allowances and other economic allowances to assist in child rearing, the key part of the comprehensive efforts should be to reform the present social framework in which parents are experiencing difficulties in bringing up their children. As part of the efforts, it is necessary to regulate the long working hours, to reform labor laws to help enable both men and women to carry out their family duties, and to substantially increase the number of authorized childcare centers so that no children are put on the waiting lists for vacancies.
Global environment: The government’s mid-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels is an important step forward. In order to make this goal effective, it is essential for the government to conclude an official agreement with the business sector, which is responsible for 70 percent of Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions, and to force large corporations to fulfill their social responsibility and assume their share of the costs for global warming. We need to break away from fossil fuel dependence and drastically increase renewable energy use. We oppose promoting nuclear power generation under the pretext of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as it could devastate the environment through radioactive contamination.
Tax system: We call for the excessively favorable tax system for large corporations and the wealthy to be changed to re-establish a democratic tax system (tax-exemption on living costs, progressive and composite taxation system, and direct tax as the major components) based on the principle of taxation according to the ability to pay. The JCP strongly opposes increasing taxes on ordinary people through an increase in the consumption tax and the discontinuation of the system of tax deductions for spouses and dependents.
U.S. military bases: We oppose the strengthening and perpetuation of U.S. military bases under the name of “U.S. military realignment” and demand their reduction and removal. The present issue of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Okinawa will test the new administration’s promise of an “equal relationship with the United States.” We cannot solve the problem by continuing to stick to the old arguments that “the Marine Corps is necessary as deterrence” and “we are bound by the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.” We resolutely demand that the government give up its plan to relocate the Futenma base within Okinawa as well as the policy of the U.S. returning its site on condition that a new base will be constructed, and that the base be removed without condition. We will develop a powerful nationwide movement to establish an Okinawa and a Japan without U.S. military bases by vigorously promoting solidarity between the mainland and Okinawa. We also demand that the government stop paying the costs for the stationing of U.S. forces in Japan under the “sympathy budget” and cancel its promise to pay the expenses for the U.S. military realignment that includes three trillion yen for the cost of the transfer of a part of the U.S. Marine Corps from Okinawa to Guam.
Self-Defense Forces: We demand a withdrawal of Self-Defense Force units from abroad by immediately ending their unconstitutional dispatches to the Indian Ocean and the coast of Somalia. We demand that the permanent “anti-piracy” law to dispatch SDF to any places in the world be repealed and oppose the enactment of a permanent law to deploy the SDF abroad to enable Japan to militarily intervene in international conflicts. We call for Japan to make a shift to implement far-reaching disarmament measures by canceling the development and installation of equipment for overseas dispatches.
Nuclear weapons: We urge the government to make public all secret nuclear agreements with the United States and have them rescinded, take steps to implement without condition arrangements of “prior consultation*” and strictly implement the Three Non-nuclear Principles (not to possess, manufacture, or allow nuclear weapons to be brought into Japan). Japan must break away from the U.S. nuclear umbrella in order to become nuclear weapon-free in both name and reality. We call on Japan as the country to have suffered an A-bomb attack to take the initiative to swiftly start international negotiations on the total elimination of nuclear weapons in order to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.
* prior consultation: When the Japanese and U.S. governments revised the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in 1960, they agreed on the following as the subjects of prior consultation: any major changes in the deployment into Japan of U.S. armed forces, major changes in their equipment, and use of U.S. bases in Japan for military combat operations outside Japan.
Constitution: The advocates of constitutional revision have suffered a severe blow due to the recent change in the political situation, but we cannot underestimate the danger of a future move toward constitutional revision. The DPJ in its election Manifesto clearly states its intention to revise the Constitution based on its “Proposal on the Constitution.” It is persistent in calling for a revision to the interpretation of the Constitution to allow Japan to constitutionally use military forces abroad if such action is in conformity with a United Nations resolution. We will continue to make efforts to win the majority of the public to oppose the adverse revision of the Constitution and develop movements to make use of the Constitution as a guide to world peace and improved qualities of life. We will work to further this cause in solidarity with the increasingly globally influential “Article 9 Association.”
Education: We will work to have the government begin to reduce the class size at schools, reduce household costs for education and institute free education at all levels, especially at high schools and higher education. We will work to end the excessively competition-driven education system based on ranking, which is unparalleled in the world, as well as the state control of education, including the imposition of educational guidelines. We demand that the Fundamental Law of Education, which was adversely revised in violation of the Constitution prohibiting state intervention in education, be fundamentally revised. Based on the Constitution and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we will work to build a national consensus in support of the enactment of a new Fundamental Law of Education that will help defend and develop the right to education and defend the freedom and independence of education, aiming for the perfection of the humanistic character of each and every child as a sovereign.
Academic, cultural and sports fields: We will not allow budget cuts on the basis of the short-term efficiency and results-based policy of the government in the academic, cultural and sports fields. We demand a substantial increase in the budgets for university basic funds, basic research on science and technology, and assistance to young researchers. The government must fulfill its responsibility to support art, culture and sports. We will work for a society where culture and sports will be guaranteed as a fundamental right of the people.
Gender equality: We will work to have the government apply the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in order to eliminate discrimination against women in every area of society. More than half of Japanese women workers are contingent workers. Their working conditions are unstable and their wages extremely inadequate. They are discriminated against in promotion policies. The task is for us to change this unjust situation affecting women and achieve gender equality so that both men and women can work as well as fulfill family responsibilities.
The second task is to put an end to the two aberrations that have plagued Japanese politics for many years and build a national consensus on remaking Japan so that people are the key players, as outlined in the JCP Program.
In addressing this task, we will make specific efforts to explain to the public about a new era of democracy, which will be realized by achieving the urgent demands of the people and making clear the necessity of reform, while carrying out policies for remaking Japan the JCP is aiming for. The party will publicly discuss how extraordinary Japanese politics reveals itself to be in the light of what is going on in the rest of the world. It will also show the public how reasonable and necessary it is to remake Japan.
First, Japan must end its subordination to the United States and move to become a truly independent and peaceful nation.
The year 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the revised Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which was signed in defiance of nationwide massive protests against the treaty’s revision. How has the world situation in relation to military alliances changed in the past half century? What are the defining features of the Japan-U.S. military alliance in the present international context? We will try to show the answer to these questions from a broader perspective and show the path needed to break away from it.
Many countries during the last half century have broken away from military alliances to embark on paths to join regional communities of peace that are open and without potential enemies.
During the last half century, many military alliances have dissolved or become dysfunctional or weakened. The military bloc led by the former Soviet Union was disbanded or dissolved itself following the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
In the U.S.-led military alliances, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) in the Mideast were dissolved, and the Security Treaty between Australia, New Zealand and the United States (ANZUS) in Oceania, and the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty) have both ceased to function. At present, only four U.S.-led military alliances are functional: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, the U.S.-ROK Mutual Security Treaty, and the U.S.-Australia Security Treaty. All these alliances involve 31 countries, which account for only 16 percent of all U.N. members. Their total population of 1.08 billion accounts for just 16 percent of the world’s total population.
In 1960, 52 countries were members of U.S.-led or Soviet Union-led military alliances. They accounted for 53 percent of all U.N. member states and 67 percent of the world’s population that included countries under colonial rule. The number of people living under military alliances has decreased sharply from 67 percent to 16 percent of the world’s population. This means that the days when military alliances were dominant in the world have almost disappeared. Thus, it is clearly anachronistic to maintain military alliances that are remnants of the 20th century.
Worse still, the Japan-U.S. military alliance has the following abnormal features, which have no parallel even among the four U.S.-led military alliances:
The Japanese land area occupied by U.S. military bases and facilities (including those shared with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces) has more than doubled since the 1980s. Even though the number of U.S. troops deployed worldwide has decreased to 280,000 from 610,000 since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. troops stationed in Japan has remained unchanged at about 40,000.
The United States has strengthened its U.S. military bases in Japan as a major foothold for the U.S. global strategy for intervention by deploying forward-based strike forces that have nothing to do with the defense of Japan, including the Marine Expeditionary Force, the Carrier Strike Group, the Expeditionary Strike Group, and the Aerospace Expeditionary Force.
Japan is the only country in the world to host the U.S. Marine Expeditionary Force (in Okinawa and Iwakuni), and the Carrier Strike Group and the Expeditionary Strike Group (at their homeports in Yokosuka and Sasebo. U.S. Department of Defense’s reports show that the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps in Japan have constantly deployed between 2,000 and 3,000 troops in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq during the last several years. Thus, U.S. bases in Japan are always prepared to participate in wars as frontline bases.
U.S. bases in Japan are forcing local residents to suffer enormously due to various accidents and crimes committed by U.S. military personnel. Following the gang rape on a girl by several U.S. Marines in 1995, it became known that the number of U.S. servicemen who had been brought to justice for assaulting women or indecently assaulting minors in Japan is much higher than that in other countries hosting U.S. bases. This situation remains unchanged. U.S. military personnel who commit crimes go unpunished because they have extraterritorial rights under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). Although this humiliating situation has repeatedly been called into question, the SOFA has not been revised for more than a half century.
Japan, generously using tax money to help the United States continue to station its forces in Japan, is the world’s most aberrant country. It stands out as the most “generous” host nation to the U.S. forces. In its 2004 report on “Allied Contributions to the Common Defense” released by the U.S. Department of Defense, the amount of Japan’s monetary contribution for the stationing of U.S. forces on its territory was the highest among the 27 U.S. allies and was higher than the amount of contributions by 26 countries combined. This is why U.S. government officials say that it is much more economical for the United States to station its forces in Japan than in the United States. This encourages the United States to continue stationing its forces in Japan and even strengthen their bases.
When the Security Treaty was revised in 1960, Japan and the United States agreed to hold “prior consultation.” This system was touted as a step to make the treaty equal and to ensure Japan’s sovereign independence. Recent revelations, however, show that the “prior consultation system” is associated with secret agreements the two countries had concluded regarding the entry of nuclear weapons into Japan as well as other matters and that it was a fiction invented to deceive the Japanese people. It is now an undeniable fact that the two governments concluded secret agreements allowing U.S. nuclear weapons to be brought into Japanese territory on airplanes or ships in transit without prior consultation, as well as the use of U.S. bases in Japan for military combat operations outside Japan, and that the agreements remain in force to this day.
Under the name of “transformation and realignment,” the Japan-U.S. military alliance setup has taken on a more aggressive role as a global alliance that breaks out of the bounds of the framework of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. The Japanese prime minister and the U.S. president at their summit in June 2006 issued a joint statement entitled “The Japan-U.S. Alliance of the New Century.” It was a declaration of a “new U.S.-Japan Alliance of Global Cooperation for the 21st Century.” The statement declares that the two countries share common strategic goals, seek to integrate the SDF with the U.S. forces, and intend to dramatically strengthen the U.S. bases in Japan. This is what they are promoting at present.
The Japanese economy, bound by the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, is in a state of subordination to the United States. Since 1994, the U.S. government has issued the “Annual U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform Report” urging Japan to implement neoliberal policies and do more to open its market. Financial deregulation and the privatization of postal services in Japan came about due to pressure exerted by the United States. Japan is the only country to have its economic subordination institutionalized. This institutionalization of blatant U.S. demands, combined with the tyrannical demands by the Japanese business circles and large corporations, has further distorted the Japanese economy. What is more, this distortion has forced the public into extraordinarily serious hardships under the global economic crisis.
Although the present Japanese government is stressing the need to put its alliance with the United States “on an equal footing,” this alliance by its very nature is firmly structured on the premise that Japan remains in a permanent state of subordination to the United States. Japan’s degree of subservience under the military alliance with its extremely aggressive foundation is unparalleled in the rest of the world. Due to its extraordinary aberration, the Japan-U.S. alliance is fundamentally incompatible with the Japanese Constitution’s Article 9, a pioneering provision declaring pacifism.
In order to abrogate the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and build a Japan based on the principles of sovereign independence and peace without foreign military bases, we must achieve the consensus of a majority of the public. The JCP will make efforts to advance this struggle to win the demands of the people for peace in cooperation with the broad range of people irrespective of political differences. We will do this while explaining to the public that the existence of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is the fundamental obstacle to the realization of their demands. At the same time, as we observe the 50th anniversary of the revised Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, the JCP will do its utmost to share with broad sections of the public the recognition that Japan is bound by the Japan-U.S. military alliance as a subordinate ally and that the alliance has many dangerous features.
As we work to help develop a truly peaceful atmosphere in East Asia, we must make efforts to create a national consensus on the need to abrogate the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Regarding the effort to resolve the issue of North Korea, the JCP calls for the Six-Party Talks framework to be reactivated in order to attempt to comprehensively resolve the issues related to nuclear programs and missile development as well as abductions and other historical questions. The JCP calls for the Six-Party Talks to be developed into a framework for peace and stability in the region.
Second, we need drastic reform to put an end to the “tyrannical rule of the business circles and large corporations,” which has no parallel in the world, and to build an economy governed by rules in defense of people’s rights and livelihoods.
The JCP Program points out that in order to promote its reform plan to build an economy governed by rules by overcoming the present state of capitalism without rules, it is important “to take into account what has been achieved in major capitalist countries in Europe and through international conventions.” This means that our plan for immediate economic reform is not just an idea on paper. Our reform plan is intended to establish rules in a way that fits in with Japanese conditions based on rules enshrined by international conventions reflecting struggles of the world’s people and rules achieved in major European capitalist countries.
Look at what have been achieved in major European capitalist countries and through international conventions, and you will find how extraordinarily out of step Japan’s situation is.
We need to first look at the Japanese situation in the light of what has been achieved by international conventions.
Of the 183 International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions, excluding five that are no longer in force, the Japanese government ratified only 48. Japan has not ratified any of these 18 conventions on working hours and holidays, including Convention No. 1 on the eight-hour day. Japan and the United States are the only major capitalist countries to take such a negative position on these basic labor issues. Equally, Japan has not ratified a recent series of other important conventions, including Convention No.111 (Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation), No.158 (Termination of Employment Convention), and No.175 (Part-Time Work Convention). Such a negative attitude of the Japanese government has only worsened the abysmal working conditions causing Karoshi (death from overwork) and the emergence of the tent city for those who lost their temporary jobs and places to live, a phenomenon that is rare in any other countries.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1979, is a landmark international treaty requiring all parties to implement its provisions, including those related to employment and women's participation in society in harmony with their family affairs. Japan technically ratified it but has done nothing to implement it.
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in August 2009 issued recommendations to the Japanese government, stating: “The Committee is concerned that the Convention has not been given central importance as a binding human rights instrument and as a basis for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and the advancement of women in the State party.” The Committee urged Japan to implement the convention fully in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.
The U.N. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expressed its concern about Japan’s public pension system setting no minimum in the amount of benefits and recommended that Japan establish a system clearly guaranteeing a minimum amount of benefits. Only Japan and Madagascar reserved endorsement of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ provision calling for free education. It is disgraceful that Japan’s costs for education are the world’s highest.
The JCP will continue to demand that the government implement world-level standards achieved through international conventions, in the areas of employment, social security, education, gender equality, human rights and democracy as well as other areas.
In the light of achievements in major European countries, Japan is seriously lagging behind.
In Europe, where an economic community of nations is developing, the European Union (EU) is pushing ahead with the establishment of the region’s common social rules. Especially since the 1990s, the EU is moving toward creating common standards for social and labor policies.
Common EU rules, known as EU Directives, include the directive providing for the 48 hours-maximum working time per week, including overtime and discretionary work schedules; the directive on part-time work calling for equal treatment of part-time workers with full-time workers; the directive on fixed-term work, which allows employers to use fixed-term contract workers only when they have justifiable reasons to do so; and the directive on equal treatment between full-time regular workers and temporary workers. An institutional framework for rulemaking has already been in place, where Europe-wide discussions are carried out between trade unions, employers associations, and public authorities for concluding collective bargaining agreements. These EU efforts can be an important example for us to consider when we push ahead with democratic change in the Japanese economy.
The scale and form of the impact of the present global economic crisis on people’s livelihoods differ from country to country depending on whether the country has social rules and regulations to protect workers. The adverse effects of the global economic crisis are also being felt in European countries, but workers who are forced out of work do not become homeless as is the case in Japan, where a temporary tent city had to be opened to those who lost jobs and became homeless. In Europe, contingent workers account for just around 10 percent of the total labor force, and unemployment benefits are available for 1-3 years. Welfare assistance programs are in place, and the right to have a domicile is established. In Japan, a capitalist country without rules, people are severely affected in many ways by economic crises.
Turning Japanese society into one governed by rules is essential for paving the way for the sound development of Japanese society and its economy by solving the following problems facing the Japanese economy and society: the increasing poverty rate and growing economic inequalities, the prevalence of the use of throwaway workers, the worsening situation in regard to the availability of social services and uncertainty about the future, health problems of workers who are being forced to work long hours and the ensuing hardships placed on their families, the falling birth rate, disappearance of local communities, and environmental disruption.
This is also the most efficient way for the Japanese economy to overcome its current crisis and achieve stable economic growth based on a sound household economy thereby increasing domestic demand and spending. The present global economic crisis is characterized as a combination of a financial crisis and an overproduction crisis. What we are seeing in Japan is primarily an overproduction crisis. In the past decade or so, employee compensation has significantly dropped while large corporations have sharply increased internal reserves. Profits amassed by large corporations are not returned to working people and are accumulated as colossal internal reserves. This has led to a dramatic decrease in the household economy and in domestic demand, reducing the Japanese economy to a fragile one mainly depending on foreign demand. This is a clear indication of the inviability of “capitalism without rules.” We need a change in policy to force large corporations to return their excess internal reserves for the benefit of workers, small businesses, and society at large. Building “an economy with rules” is a concrete step that needs to be taken to accomplish such a change. We want to stress that this policy will also help to contribute to the sound development of large corporations in both the medium- and long-term.
In order to make progress in carrying out this reform policy, it is necessary to “control large corporation’s economic tyranny with democratic regulation as the main means.” (JCP Program) Regarding this task, the JCP had meetings with the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) and major corporations, which are mercilessly firing temporary workers as well as fixed-term contract workers, to encourage them to accept their social responsibility for employment. This activity is significant for protecting workers’ livelihoods and rights, and for us to improve our political abilities to become a party capable of taking power. Repeating the mantra of maintaining “international competitiveness,” big corporations and business circles are trying to evade their social responsibilities. It is important to expose the fallacy of their selfish argument. As a “political party that speaks out against the excesses and abuses of large corporations,” we will make every effort, working together with the people, to have our policies of remaking Japan with the view of making a society governed by rules implemented.
The third task is to prevent Japanese politics from turning reactionary.
We describe the present political situation as “transitional.” This means that a new political situation emerged as a result of the recent electoral verdict but that we are not sure how it will evolve because its direction will be determined by public influence as expressed by increased public awareness and pressures exerted by social movements, and by the balance of political power. We must never underestimate the danger that the attempt to push back the present positive political development into the old political framework consisting of two aberrations as outlined above may emerge.
We particularly note that under the DPJ government, and in relation to this government, the following undemocratic features have appeared one after the other:
Calling for the Diet to end its dependence on the bureaucracy, the DPJ is intent on carrying out its plan to reform the Diet. The plan has serious bearings on the constitutional principles of democracy and peace. It proposes establishing a law to prohibit bureaucrats from responding to Dietmembers’ questions in the Diet. Such a measure will decisively weaken the power of the Diet and its members, the representatives of the people, to directly investigate into and supervise administrative and bureaucratic organizations associated with national politics.
The DPJ is emphasizing the need to prohibit the Cabinet Legislation Bureau director-general from answering questions in the Diet using the pretext that he is a bureaucrat. The new government has made it clear that it will not be bound by past statements expressed by the successive directors-general regarding interpretation of the Constitution on the ground that politicians should take the initiative. This will leave the door wide open for interpretational revision of the Constitution.
Successive directors-general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau in their interpretational revisions of Article 9 of the Constitution have justified the unconstitutional overseas dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces. However, they could not circumvent Article 9’s prohibition of the use of force outside of Japan and activities associated with the use of force. The DPJ asserts, however, that Japan’s use of force is constitutional if it is used to implement a U.N. resolution. This is a very peculiar constitutional interpretation, which even the Legislation Bureau is unable to support.
The DPJ is calling for bureaucrats to be banned from answering questions in the Diet with the aim of having the freedom to change the interpretation of certain provisions of the Constitution under the pretext that politicians must take the lead so that they can freely impose their peculiar constitutional interpretations on the Diet. This is an extremely dangerous attempt because it will pave the way for making it constitutional for Japan to allow the SDF to use force abroad, something even the past LDP governments avoided adopting on the ground that it is unconstitutional.
The JCP is strongly opposed to any attempt to weaken the functions of the Diet as “the highest organ of state power” and to freely change interpretations of constitutional provisions in the name of political initiative.
What is the true intention of the DPJ government in pursuing political change with politicians taking the lead? In October 2002, the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) published policy proposals, providing a blueprint for a two-party system entitled, “In quest of the establishment of leadership under the prime minister and policy-based government.” Apparently, the DPJ is now trying to faithfully implement these policy proposals. The centerpiece of Doyukai proposals can be summarized as follows:
Leadership under the prime minister will be established through an effort to integrate cabinet and ruling party operations. The key policymaker of the ruling party should also serve as a cabinet member as part of the integration. The prime minister should take the initiative for forming a cabinet so that ministers, senior vice ministers, and parliamentary secretaries can work effectively as a team.
Political reform should be aimed at realizing policy-based politics. In the House of Representatives general election, each party will present voters with the policy platform (Manifesto) it intends to implement if it comes to power. Each party will make public its policy platform that includes details of numerical targets, time-frames to achieve them, and fiscal sources to achieve them so that it can implement them if it wins in the general election and comes to power. A political cycle should be established, in which the governing party will evaluate its policies by the time of the next general election, and voters can then evaluate government performance and decide whether the same government should continue or a change of government should take place (Political cycle based on Manifesto).
A simple single-seat constituency system will be introduced with the aim of making a smooth change of government possible. A House of Representatives general election should offer voters an opportunity to choose a government. In the general election, all parties, ruling as well as opposition, should put forward their platforms (Manifestos) and the names of candidates for prime minister and other cabinet positions. We suggest considering the introduction of a simple single-seat constituency system as an election system that will make a smooth change in government viable. Thus, a general election under a simple single-seat constituency system will be an election to choose the government with a virtual public election of a prime minister.
In this blueprint, a general election is the only opportunity for the people, who have sovereign power, to reflect their opinions in national politics. If a political party is elected on the basis of a Manifesto in a general election, the winner that becomes the ruling party will virtually obtain carte blanche to put its policies into practice until the next general election. The proposal lacks any democratic procedure in which parliament as “the highest organ of state power” is asked to engage in fully-fledged discussions by constantly listening to the public before a decision is made on each policy.
The role of general elections will be reduced to a means to elect an incoming government and prime minister. A key aspect vital to parliamentary democracy will be ignored, i.e. electing representatives who can represent the diversity of public opinion and have those opinions considered in Diet deliberations. A simplified single-seat constituency system will thus lead to a distortion of the true role intended for general elections.
According to the blueprint, a prime minister elected following a general election is asked to display his leadership in a top-down formula by promoting an integration of cabinet and ruling party operations. Stating that Japan is under a parliamentary cabinet system, the Doyukai proposal says that the power and responsibility to make decisions on policies exists in the cabinet with the prime minister at its center. This is a statement that asserts that the prime minister has the highest political and administrative power.
What is common in these ideas is a negation of the power and role of the Diet as “the highest organ of state power” and “the sole law-making organ of the State” and of democratic process of constantly hearing the opinions of the sovereign people.
The JCP is firmly opposed to putting Japan under an authoritarian state control mechanism following a blueprint created by the business circles. The JCP will do its utmost to defend and develop the principles of people’s sovereignty and parliamentary democracy as stipulated in the Japanese Constitution.
The DPJ, which is now in power, has called for 80 seats to be cut from the proportional representation section of the House of Representatives in its election Manifesto. Such a reduction will be a serious milestone on the way to having all Diet members elected under the single-seat constituency system, which the business circles regard as the key part of the type of authoritarian state they want to build. It is the most important first move to destroy parliamentary democracy as we know it. If this policy is put into practice, the DPJ and the LDP will end up occupying more than 90 percent of the seats, and the harms of the single-seat constituency system that distorts the will of the people will be immeasurable. People’s voices, including those against a consumption tax increase and the revision of the Constitution’s Article 9, will not reach the Diet.
In 1994, a new election system combining a single-seat system and a proportional representation system was introduced in the House of Representatives under the government of Prime Minister Hosokawa Morihiro. The stated reason given by its advocates was that the single-seat constituency system helps to choose a government based on public opinion and that it would be combined with the proportional representation section with the aim of ensuring that “public opinion” is reflected. Under this combined election system, if the proportional representation section “which reflects public opinion” is sharply reduced, it will be tantamount to reneging on the public promise they have made, by denying the most important democratic principle of the election system that “it should reflect public opinion.”
The JCP will fight against the move to cut the proportional representation seats by working with all political parties, organizations, and individuals against the adverse move so that the reactionary political plan will be defeated through a nationwide struggle.
The JCP will continue to demand the following: the single-seat constituency system be abolished and the election system be fundamentally changed to one centered on the proportional representation system; the government subsidy to political parties be abolished; the amounts of deposits candidates are required to make to run for office be lowered to the average international level; free and democratic election campaigns be guaranteed; and corporations and other organizations be immediately prohibited from making political donations. In promoting reform in the election system, reinstating the mid-size constituency system, which elects 3 - 5 members from each constituency as was the practice before, is also a desirable option.
Apart from questions that have direct bearings on the DPJ, we will now state our position regarding the role of the mass media. The business sector-led effort for a “two-party system” has continued in Japan for more than 10 years, and the main currents of the mass media have consistently praised the move and assisted in its promotion. We need to look at how this extraordinary structure actually works.
There is a group called “Forum for New Japan” or “21st Century Rincho.” It comprises business leaders, academics, media people, and some prefectural governors and mayors. Its predecessor started in 1992 as “Private Sector 21st Century Political Rincho,” which played a crucial role in introducing the single-seat constituency system and was later reorganized into the “Forum for New Japan” or “21st Century Rincho” in 1999. Since the reorganization, it has been engaging in activities as a movement aiming to “restructure the nation” and “pursue its unfinished agenda for political reform” as the “two wheels of one cart.” In fact, this group has all along been calling for a single-seat constituency system, the general election to choose a government, and the establishment of the leadership of the cabinet led by the prime minister.
The 21st Century Rincho’s pamphlet entitled “Story of 21st Century Rincho” illustrating its activities praised the policy proposal published in October 2002 by the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) by stating that Keizai Doyukai is “the first business organization to call in a clear form that the cycle of party politics must be restructured by political parties drafting their Manifestos.” Thus the 21st Century Rincho and Keizai Doyukai share the goal of building a state exercising power politics. In dealing with the agenda of parliamentary reform promoted by the DPJ, a group of academics within the 21st Century Rincho offered their analyses to the DPJ, thus playing the role of a brain trust for the ruling party.
We must particularly take a serious look at the fact that the 155 members of the 21st Century Rincho steering committee include 73 media people (as of November 2009). The “Story of 21st Century Rincho” proclaims itself as a “movement for reform first and foremost” and promises not only to publish its policy proposals but also to lead public opinion via the mass media on a day-to-day basis, putting the emphasis on the effort to formulate concrete reform plans and achieve them. This is nothing but a crude declaration that they intend to use the media to lead public opinion in a direction favorable to themselves. It is the very structure being constructed to promote the major campaign to establish a “two-party system.”
The Code of Ethics for Newspapers states that newspapers must be “accurate and fair” and “independent and generous.” The Broadcast Law requires broadcasters to be “politically impartial” and to make clear points at issue from as many angles as possible in dealing with questions over which public opinion may be divided. In the light of the code of ethics for journalism, how can so many media people be allowed to participate in such a group set up for a movement calling for the peculiar cause of creating an authoritarian state as well as a “two-party system” under the initiative of the business circles with the aim of influencing public opinion? Isn’t this tantamount to throwing away the principles of impartiality, fairness and independence in journalism? The JCP candidly points this out, and demands that the mass media become aware of their responsibility to the public and change the way they operate, while cooperating with many conscientious mass media workers.
The important task is for the JCP to prevent the situation from turning reactionary, defend and develop the constitutional principles of peace and democracy.
In the present transitional political situation, the JCP will exert efforts to fulfill the three tasks: (1) moving politics forward in response to the demands of the public; (2) forming a national consensus on the need for reform to put an end to the two aberrations; and (3) preventing the political situation from turning reactionary. We will also help develop power among the people to help take Japanese politics out of the two aberrations. If the JCP successfully fulfills these tasks, Japanese politics can positively find a progressive way out of the present political situation of transitional character and pave the way for conditions for establishing a democratic coalition government, a democratic government under which the people will be the key players.
The JCP’s goal of democratic change “will be achieved by the force of a united front movement which consists of all people, including workers, working citizens, farmers, fishers, small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs, intellectuals, women, youth, and students, who aspire to achieve national independence, democracy, peace, and better living conditions for all.” (JCP Program)
It is important to note that under the new situation emerging in the aftermath of the recent House of Representatives general election, conditions began to prevail in which the vision of the JCP Program is in accord with what the public badly needs. A dramatic change is also taking place among people who have been regarded as conservatives, including officials of the agricultural cooperative unions, medical associations, dental associations, and people involved in municipal governments. These are organizations and business groups that had previously played key roles in the conservative support base. They are now considering withdrawing their support from the LDP and trying to build an “omni-directional” relationship with all political parties. This is a welcome development. Taking full advantage of the major changes emerging among the public as well as of new conditions coming up, and based on a broadened perspective, the JCP pushes ahead with its pursuit of the further development of joint national struggles and the further growth of the united front movement.
In the labor movement, cooperation based on common demands among unions of different national center affiliations is advancing in various fields. In order to promote such cooperation to realize the demands of workers, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) leadership is called on to overcome its two main weaknesses: support for a particular political party and labor-management collaboration. In advancing workers’ common action based on their demands, the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), which is now celebrating the 20th anniversary of its founding, has to play an even bigger role, and its further development holds much promise.
The Association for a Peaceful, Democratic and Progressive Japan (Kakushinkon) marks its 30th anniversary in 2010, which was established in response to the call of the JCP in 1980. It continues to grow today and at present has 801 grassroots associations in local communities and workplaces, and among youth, with 4.5 million people participating. The Kakushinkon movement is entering a new phase to take another step forward by inviting a wide range of people, including intellectuals, cultural, economic and religious figures as well as conservatives and people with no political affiliation.
The cause of increased interest in the vigorous and attractive Kakushinkon movement comes from various grassroots activities based on people’s demands. The movement at the same time has boldly called for fundamental change in politics with its “three common objectives” of peace, democracy, and better living standards. It has consistently made efforts to invite every political party, organization, and individual who expresses support for its three objectives in order to form the majority consensus needed for such major political change. The Kakushinkon movement is the only united front movement under the banner of progressive change in national politics, and its role has become even more meaningful amid the recent political developments emerging in the wake of the general election. The JCP recognizes the importance of the Kakushinkon movement as a movement in line with the JCP strategic tasks based on its Program, and the JCP uses all its wisdom and energy as a strong “advocate” of the movement to help further its advance.
That the JCP acquires sophisticated political and theoretical abilities, to reach out to a wide range of people of all social strata, to enhance its organizational strength, and to increase its political weight in both national and local politics, provides a decisive condition for developing a coming together of national struggles and the united front movement toward a new stage of political development. In this Congress being held in 2010 at a critical juncture, we renew our determination to dedicate ourselves to making this decade a historic turning point for JCP progress.
Based on its Program, the JCP 24th Congress Resolution provided a multi-faceted analysis of recent developments in the U.S. polity. It stated that the Bush administration in the second term still consistently maintained its position of unilateralism to establish global hegemony in total disregard of its failure and isolation from the rest of the world that were clearly illustrated by the quagmire it found itself in in Iraq. The Resolution also pointed out, ‘‘As the United States is faced with situations that cannot be dealt with by military means alone, the U.S. administration is beginning to seek diplomatic solutions to international questions.’’
The Resolution also clarified that the demand for an international order of peace based on the U.N. Charter was increasing worldwide to overcome the order plagued by wars and oppression.
Looking back on the past four years, it is obvious that despite various twists and turns, the world is rapidly and vigorously moving toward peace and social progress, a direction that the JCP Program and the 24th Congress decision anticipated.
This also verified that the JCP’s struggles to achieve social and economic justice in Japan go hand in hand with similar efforts worldwide.
In the light of the JCP Program, it has become increasingly important to grasp, with a broadened perspective and a factual grasp of reality, the most recent developments in the U.S. polity with the change in its administration.
In 2008, Barack Obama, who severely criticized the Bush administration’s foreign and security policies, including the Iraq War, won the U.S. presidential election. At the time of the inauguration of the new administration, the JCP issued a statement, saying, “We hope that Barack Obama's taking the office as the 44th president of the United States and the first African-American president, which is an historic event in and of itself, will make it possible for U.S. society to exert its democratic dynamism.” The JCP also pointed out that all the challenges and contradictions facing the United States were connected to accumulated errors of its own policies that gave an exclusive priority to U.S. interests. Since then, we have been paying attention to how the new president is attempting to change course. As regards the Japan-U.S. relationship, we suggested that we should turn the present unequal relation based on domination-subordination to one of equal footing. Even a year into its administration, the military and foreign policies of the Obama administration have not yet been made clear, but we can recognize the following facts:
The Bush administration’s insistence on unilateralism to establish global hegemony resulted in a serious failure and has caused a certain change in its policy of unilateralism that disregards the United Nations. Admitting the failure of the Iraq War, the Obama administration is pushing ahead with the process of U.S. troops withdrawal under an agreement between the United States and Iraq.
Positive changes in regard to the elimination of nuclear weapons, a major global political issue, are taking place. In his speech delivered in April 2009 in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, Barack Obama declared the elimination of nuclear weapons to be a national goal (the first time for a standing U.S. president to do so), and made clear that dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has a bearing on the question of human morals. Based on that position, he admitted that the United States has a responsibility to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons. In September 2009, the U.N. Security Council meeting at the level of heads of State and government adopted a resolution which clearly states, ‘‘resolving … to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.’’ Throughout this process, President Obama played an important role. Overall, a series of steps taken by the Obama administration on the nuclear weapons issue should be welcomed as a positive change despite some problems and limitations.
It is world public opinion expressed through global peace movements that has influenced the United States to work for positive changes. In particular, we want to emphasize that progress in the nuclear weapons issue has been facilitated by the long-standing struggle in Japan led by Hibakusha calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, U.S. persistence in maintaining military hegemony is deep-rooted. Under the Obama administration, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan will be tripled in the early part of 2010, swelling to some 100,000. However, the Afghanistan situation seems to be increasingly bogged down. A vicious circle is apparent where the presence of foreign troops itself causes resentment among local people and indiscriminate military operations increase the number of civilian victims, resulting in retaliatory acts of terrorism and the expansion of the Taliban insurgency. Furthermore, the Obama administration has been intensifying cross-border attacks into Pakistan by unmanned aerial vehicles and is putting pressure on the Pakistani government to attack pro-Taliban groups. In Pakistan, these U.S. activities not only have been regarded as interference in its domestic affairs, but have also provoked retaliatory terrorist acts in major cities, making the Pakistani situation far less stable.
The JCP resolutely opposes the Obama administration’s policy of increasing its military intervention in Afghanistan. Resolving problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan urgently requires a shift from the current policy centered on military retaliation to a diplomatic approach for peace.
With regard to the Japan-U.S. relationship, the Obama administration does not seem to intend to change its traditional policy of seeking hegemonic domination over Japan. This is partly due to the fact that the Japanese government does not appear to be making a fundamental policy change from its subservient approach to one in support of an equal relationship between the two countries. At the same time, we need to point out that the United States, under the Obama administration, still maintains its basic policy to move forward with the global realignment plan for U.S. forces to militarily interfere or intervene on a global scale, and to position Japan as a significant strategic forward base for interventions. President Obama said, “the United States and Japan are equal partners.” If this statement is true, the aberrant Japan-U.S. relationship with Japan as a subordinate ally should swiftly be redressed. It is our firm belief that only with the establishment of a truly equal relationship will we be able to build cordial and friendly relations between Japan and the United States.
The JCP, welcoming the positive changes in the United States promoted by global struggles for peace and social progress, takes the position to work to further facilitate these changes. At the same time, we will severely criticize various signs of U.S. hegemonism, calling for fundamental changes.
With the U.S. policy of unilateralism aspiring for global hegemony nearing a state of bankruptcy, moves are growing worldwide toward establishing an international order of peace based on the U.N. Charter. It is of great significance that the bearers of such an order, namely regional communities of nations promoting peace, are expanding throughout the world.
In Asia, regional communities of nations have been making continuous advances such as the establishment of the Charter of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN Charter; December 2008), progress toward creating an ASEAN Community, and a large increase in the number of signatories of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC). With the accession of the European Union (EU) and the United States, the TAC will be joined by 52 countries representing 68 percent of the world’s total population. It has developed into an important worldwide current encompassing a number of countries of the Eurasian continent, Oceanian countries, and the United States. It is also worth noting that a multilayered framework for diverse regional cooperation has come into being, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
The sea change taking place in Latin America is dramatic with a number of countries undergoing democratic transformation. Following the official inauguration of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in May 2008, a summit meeting is scheduled to be held in 2010 with a view to establishing the “Organization of Latin American and Caribbean States” consisting of all 33 nations in South and Central America and the Caribbean. The declaration at the summit meeting held in preparation for inaugurating the organization proclaimed a commitment to “a fairer, more equitable and harmonious international order,” based on respect for the principles of the U.N. Charter, including peaceful resolution of disputes and respect for territorial integrity, regardless of differences in political systems.
The significance of the communities of nations for peace in Latin America is demonstrated by their effectiveness in maintaining peace and stability in the region. Such communities of nations played an important role in the peaceful resolutions of both the recent Colombian Army's cross-border offensive against neighboring Ecuador and the long-standing territorial dispute between Paraguay and Bolivia which had continued for 73 years. They are making an important qualitative advance toward a regional setup for collective security.
Against the backdrop of these developments, the Organization of American States (OAS), hitherto used as a tool for U.S. domination of Latin America, adopted a resolution to rescind its past decision to exclude Cuba, at its General Assembly in April 2009 by consensus, including the United States, at the request of all Latin American states. The resolution of 1962 to exclude Cuba was passed using the argument that “adherence by any member of the Organization of American States to Marxism-Leninism is incompatible with the inter-American system.” That the 50-year-old resolution was made invalid symbolizes the ongoing momentous change in the Americas. Also at the U.N. General Assembly, a resolution against the economic blockade of Cuba was adopted with an unprecedented margin, i.e. 187 states in favor and only three the United States, Israel, and Palau against.
These recent developments in the world underline the important relevance of the position of the JCP Program to “champion the international order for peace as defined by the U.N. Charter and oppose any hegemonic attempts to violate or destroy it.”
We are witnessing in the world a pursuit of a new international economic order.
The international economic crisis that has deepened since 2008 has made it clear to everyone that the existing international economic order is incompatible with the ongoing structural changes in the world. The crisis has greatly accelerated the move toward an equitable and democratic international economic order in which not just a handful of developed capitalist countries but also emerging or developing countries can take part with equal rights.
The Summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) in Pittsburgh, in September 2009 “designated the G20 to be the premier forum for our international economic cooperation” and it was decided by all parties to hold regular meetings. The Summit statement is a testimony to the fact that the traditional economic order represented by Group of Eight (G8) major powers cannot properly address the present financial and economic crisis.
A document adopted at the Pittsburgh Summit, “Core Values for Sustainable Economic Activity,” stipulated: “We recognize that there are different approaches to economic development and prosperity, and that strategies to achieve these goals may vary according to countries’ circumstances.” Emerging and developing countries in pursuit of economic development with their “different approaches” carry significant weight in the G20, and this first ever enunciation of such a position in a G20 document is worthy of attention.
The global economic crisis was met with strong international criticism and dealt a fatal blow to the neoliberal policy dubbed the “Washington Consensus” imposed on the world by the U.S. government along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The failure of this policy is admitted by the statements of the central players of major countries: “The old Washington consensus is over” (British Prime Minister Gordon Brown) and “there was an artificial complacency about the dangers of markets going off the rails” (U.S. President Barack Obama).
It is also worth noting that the limitation of the G20 itself has already been pointed out. The Commission of Experts (Stiglitz Commission) set up at the initiative of Rev. Miguel d’Escoto, then president of the U.N. General Assembly, asserted in its 2009 report that “the decisions concerning necessary reforms in global institutional arrangements must be made” by the United Nations, “the only institution that has this broad legitimacy.” While praising the initiatives of the G20, the report thus made a case for “G192,” a framework in which all the member states of the United Nations can participate as equals.
The old economic order that has dominated the world, with the U.S. government, the IMF and the World Bank in the “control tower,” and with the G8 as the major political platform, has been struck by contradictions and now crumbling amid the global economic crisis. The world is thus pushing for an end to the old economic order and taking significant steps forward in creating a new democratic international economic order.
The JCP Program boldly takes on the task to “check economic hegemony by the great powers and seek to establish a democratic international economic order based on respect for the economic sovereignty of every nation with the establishment of fair and equitable relations.” This is now on the international political agenda.
Recently we have witnessed major developments in international politics in the direction of creating a nuclear weapon-free world. Following U.S. President Obama’s speech for a “world without nuclear weapons” in Prague, April 2009, the first U.N. Security Council Summit on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Disarmament was held in September. The resolution adopted unanimously by this meeting, including the five nuclear weapons states, states in its preamble, “Resolving to seek a safer world for all and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons,” and pursuant to Article VI of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), calls for negotiations toward nuclear arms reduction and disarmament. At the same time, the resolution in its preamble states that the outcomes of the 2000 NPT Review Conference must be recalled, by which the signatories agreed on the “unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear weapons States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.”
Thus, the pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons has now gained overwhelming global public support, including within the nuclear weapons states. The point at issue is how humanity can achieve this goal. There are two core tasks in bringing the abolition of nuclear weapons into reality.
The first task is to swiftly start international negotiations aiming directly at the abolition of nuclear weapons in combination with advancing specific nuclear disarmament measures.
Each of the specific nuclear disarmament measures has a positive significance: concluding a new U.S.-Russia Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START); ratifying and putting into effect the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); pursuing a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT); and spreading nuclear weapon-free zones in different parts of the world.
However, the entire postwar diplomatic history in regard to nuclear weapons has demonstrated that the mere accumulation of such partial measures cannot achieve a world without nuclear weapons. The door to such a world can be opened only by starting international negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons, combined with working on specific nuclear disarmament measures. Launching the negotiations will, in turn, have the most powerful impact on promoting these specific measures.
In this sense, the NPT Review Conference in May 2010 will be highly significant. The 2000 NPT Review Conference agreed on the 13 “practical steps,” including the “unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.” There, though based on the “principle of undiminished security for all,” it called for “the engagement as soon as appropriate of all the nuclear-weapon States in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons.” This agreement must be reconfirmed in the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and we urge all the nuclear weapons states to take the first step in the actual process to achieve abolition of nuclear weapons.
The second task is to discredit the “nuclear deterrence” theory. “Nuclear deterrence” is the concept used to justify protecting one’s own “security” by threatening others with the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary. This strategy makes sense only when it is premised on the actual intent to use nuclear weapons. “Nuclear umbrella” or “extended deterrence” is the concept used to ensure one’s own security by using another country’s nuclear weapons as a threat. Whether such weapons are possessed by a country or by its ally, as long as the theory is based on the possible use of nuclear weapons and relying on the threat of the actual use of these weapons, both theories are similar. Both the “nuclear deterrence” and “nuclear umbrella” theories are posing the greatest obstacle toward achieving a nuclear weapon-free world. The international community, especially Japan as the country to have suffered an A-bomb attack, is strongly required to denounce the continued adherence to these wrong theories.
Powerful voices have already been raised in the international community to move away from the “nuclear deterrence” theory. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stressed in his address to the annual meeting of U.N. NGOs held in September 2009: “Nuclear weapons are immoral and should not be accorded any military value,” and added, “Leaders must recognize that the doctrine of nuclear deterrence has proven wrong and even contagious spreading from country to country in the belief that it will provide a security guarantee and ultimate defense.”
Former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz said, “Nuclear weapons are immoral. Who on earth can press the button to launch nuclear weapons? No one can drop nuclear bombs while being aware that hundreds of thousands or millions of people would be killed. No leader of civilized countries can use nuclear weapons. If they cannot be used, they cannot act as a deterrence” (Interview with Kyodo News, January 2008).
Thus, nuclear arms are “immoral” and “unethical” weapons which cannot be used by any civilized country in the 21st century world. If they cannot be used, they cannot have any “deterrent” effect. If a country tries to defend its security against another country by “nuclear deterrence,” the latter will seek to possess nuclear weapons based on the same logic. This flawed rationale will become contagious, spreading from country to country, into an uncontrolled process of nuclear proliferation. There we can find sharp criticisms on the very nature of “nuclear deterrence” theory.
As a political party whose Program states its mission to “prevent nuclear war and abolish nuclear weapons as a vital task for the survival of humankind,” the JCP has taken every opportunity for bringing a “nuclear weapon-free world” into reality. In April 2009, the JCP sent a letter to U.S. President Obama urging him to take concrete actions toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. In the 5th International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) held in Astana, Kazakhstan in September 2009, the JCP delegation made an important contribution to have included in the Astana Declaration the goal of achieving a world without nuclear weapons.
The World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs has made significant progress over the years with the greatly increased participation of overseas delegates, including representatives of national governments, the United Nations, and various NGOs. In solidarity with this movement, the JCP is committed to making every effort in Japan, as the country bombed with nuclear weapons, to help increase world public demand for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Also in the arena of international politics, the JCP will continue to exert its wisdom and energy toward strengthening this current.
The U.N. Climate Change Conference 2009 (COP15) was held in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The agreement reached there contained at least some positive aspects in that it provided for financial assistance to developing countries, but it was far from adequate with no mention of the global target of 50 percent reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 or aggressive mid- or long-term reduction targets by developed countries required to achieve this global target.
The following steps are important in tackling the task:
1. Based on the principle of the “common but differentiated responsibility,” developed countries, historically responsible for global warming, are required to undertake “dual responsibilities” such as:
a) taking the initiative in setting up aggressive, binding, mid- and long-term emission reduction targets, and implementing them on their own regardless of what other countries might or might not do;
b) showing developing countries a viable path of economic growth different from the one developed countries have followed, and providing appropriate assistance in both expertise and resources, thus fulfilling their dual responsibility.
2. Given that the task is important for the entire human race, developing nations are also required to take action. In so doing, we should definitively guarantee the “right to development” for developing countries to achieve a development level as per developed countries. It is indispensable for developed countries to provide increased assistance to developing countries so that they can work out their path of development with decreased emissions, as opposed to the developed nations’ past course of development accompanied by massive greenhouse gas emissions. Premised on such efforts on the part of developed countries, developing countries are expected to proactively join in an internationally binding reduction framework.
3. The Japanese government should establish a firm position to discharge, without conditions and regardless of whatever positions other countries may take, its responsibility for its mid-term target of 25 percent emission cut by 2020, a commitment it expressed at the United Nations. The government is strongly urged to develop comprehensive policies on this issue, including binding agreements with industries, for measures to achieve the mid-term target.
In October 2010, the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) will be held in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. As global warming intensifies, rare species of living organisms are increasingly threatened with extinction. To maintain biodiversity, we must curb global warming, and Japan has an important role to play as the chair of the conference.
The JCP’s opposition party diplomacy has made significant advances in both breadth and substance over the last four years since the previous Congress. Exchanges have been further promoted with China, South Korea, Vietnam, South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, African countries, and the Islamic world. Through the exchange of letters with the U.S. president on the nuclear weapons issue, a channel for official dialogue with the U.S. government has been established.
Since the previous Congress, a JCP delegation attended the 4th International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP in Seoul, the Republic of Korea) as well as the 5th ICAPP (Astana, Kazakhstan), and made important contributions to their success. JCP representatives also attended the 14th and 15th Non-Aligned Summit meetings as observers.
In carrying out our opposition party diplomacy, we saw clearly that the line of the JCP Program is in concert with the currents working for progressive change in the world. The Program showed true strength during exchanges with political parties and governments from across the world, with such calls as: establishing true friendship based on a soul-searching reflection on Japan's wars of aggression and colonial rule; establishing an international order of peace based on the U.N. Charter; pursuing the elimination of nuclear weapons on a global scale; and seeking an "economy governed by rules." We also recognized the vitality of the history of the JCP that always opposed wars of aggression, and has consistently maintained its sovereign independence as a political party. These exchanges with people of other countries have also enriched and deepened our understanding of the world.
We want to stress, in particular, the importance of the following statement in the JCP Program: "Exert efforts to establish peaceful coexistence among countries with different social systems and establish dialogue as well as relations of coexistence among various civilizations with different values." This is not only important in exchanges between civilizations with different values, including the Islamic world, Christianity and Buddhism, but is also important in understanding the internal logic and process of the development of each country with respect given to each other's positions, and in working for mutual understanding and cooperation through sincere dialogue without passing any judgment based on a predefined set of rules, preconceived notions, or by seeing only a part of the whole. This is because every country has its own history and way of development, its own particular points reached in its development, and its own social systems and values which are different from other countries. The JCP will continue to develop opposition party diplomacy by maintaining these positions in dealing with any government or political party.
During the past four years, theoretical exchanges between the JCP and the Communist Party of China (CPC) and between the JCP and the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) have developed further. This is a new form of exchange with foreign political parties. Both the CPC and the CPV highly regard the significance of the exchanges and express their willingness to continue and expand them. Both parties are ruling parties in their countries that are expected to play an important role internationally for years to come, and theoretical exchanges with them also have great significance for the JCP.
In the past theoretical exchanges, the JCP achieved notable results because it had to develop its own theoretical orientation in response to questions raised by its counterparts. Each communist party has its own history and intrinsic features even in defining and interpreting scientific socialism (Marxism). The theoretical exchanges may have a unique significance as a forum for those parties to come closer to understanding each other through the process of identifying and addressing international issues of mutual interest. We will make further efforts to develop these exchanges.
A JCP advance in the House of Councilors election that will be held in six months has great significance both for Japanese politics and the JCP’s future development. The election will take place amid what we call the transitional situation. We would like to explain about the conditions for our advance and its significance from three aspects.
First, it will be the first national election under the new government led by the Democratic Party of Japan; it will take place under a totally new political configuration. The people will examine and evaluate the following political groups: the three ruling parties (the DPJ, the Social Democratic Party, and the People’s New Party) which make up the new government, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komei Party on which the people passed a judgment to step down, and the JCP, an “opposition party engaging constructively with the new government.”
The DPJ was able to win the last general election by merely calling for a “change of government.” In the past political configuration in which the DPJ was the largest opposition party and the JCP the second, the bulk of the votes of those who were critical to or discontent with the LDP went to the DPJ, expecting it to be “at least better than the LDP even with its own problems.” That won’t work anymore in the coming House of Councilors election. The DPJ’s performance in the first year as a ruling party will be brought into question as well as its concrete policies for the future. The LDP and the Komei Party suffered so severe a judgment by the people that a thorough review and reflection on their past policies is unavoidable. Otherwise, they will never regain the public trust no matter what policy they may set forth. Under such a political configuration, there will emerge new conditions for the JCP to bring into sharp relief its true value as an “opposition party of constructive engagement.” This is the situation that will affect the coming election.
Second, by the time the election takes place, people’s experiences under the new government for about one year will have brought about some progress in their quest for a new politics. As the traditional support bases of the LDP have fallen apart, those who have considered themselves to be conservative will be searching for a political party to which they can entrust their urgent demands.
Recently a JCP representative was invited for the first time to the national convention of JA-ZENCHU (Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives), and the general meeting of the National Federation of Forest Owners’ Cooperative Associations (Zenmoriren), and his speeches were warmly received. We now see a situation in which many organizations, now free from the pro-LDP framework, are examining and comparing without prejudice the policies of all the parties and are finding that the JCP’s policies best address their demands. Most of those who voted for the DPJ in the last general election did so as a first step in their quest for a change from the old politics. They are now in the process of further developing their political understanding through their own recent experiences.
Under this unstable situation with rapid changes taking place in the political bases of support, there exist conducive conditions that, if we employ proper strategies, can increase JCP supporters on a large scale among those who used to support other parties or had no party to support at all, and can change the power balance to our advantage in the next national election.
Third, while we have maintained our base of support throughout the last several national elections thanks to the struggle by the whole party under the most trying circumstances with the unrelenting call for a “two-party system,” we cannot be content with the result of 9 seats won as in the last three general elections, or receiving 4 million-vote level as in both Houses elections. In the next election, we must move beyond our present strength and gain an advance.
A JCP victory will provide the people with the momentum to increase their involvement in the pursuit of a new politics, and advance forward the transitional situation. We will do everything we can to win a major advance in the coming House of Councilors election, in cooperation with our supporters, including JCP Supporters Associations.
In the House of Councilors election, we set a goal of winning 5 seats as the absolute minimum with 6.5 million or more votes in the proportional representation section, by holding fast to the position: “proportional representation is the axis” and the “whole nation is one constituency.” In the proportional representation section, we call on the people to vote by the party name, “the Japanese Communist Party.” It is crucial for the whole party to be conscious that all party organizations around the country share in the responsibility to get all five of its candidates elected, and achieve this goal with the united effort of the whole party.
In the local constituency section, we will aim at putting up a candidate and win a seat in every constituency, and not fail to win in the Tokyo constituency. We should also be aggressive in such prefectures as Hokkaido, Saitama, Kanagawa, Aichi, Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo, the constituencies where we used to have seats. Even in fighting in the local constituency elections, we must hold fast to the position of focusing on proportional representation seats and call on voters to choose between political parties. By so doing, we will create surges for JCP advances in the proportional representation elections, and synergistically seek victories in the local constituencies.
Every party organization and branch should carry on a campaign with its own target number of votes corresponding to the national goal of “6.5 million or more.” The important point is for the branches to engage in election campaigning as key players based on the “Four Basic Points*,” firmly establishing the target number of votes in their “policy and plan.” In particular, we should focus on the following points in the campaign:
* Four Basic Points for election campaigning: (1) To work constantly among the people and represent people’s demands with the aim of increasing party’s influence; (2) to carry on mass publicity campaign and dialogue with the aim of increasing support for the party; (3) to explain to the people the role of Akahata and increase the Akahata readership; and (4) to work in various movements and organizations, develop relationships of cooperation with them, and increase JCP supporters’ associations.
Of the four basic points, we should attach greater importance, as the fundamental task, to the activities based on our ties with the people and our understanding of their demands. We should shed light on all the connections party members have with others in everyday life, always seeking new connections and making the most of these new connections in new activities. We should catch any signals of distress by people around us and spare no effort to help alleviate their sufferings. We should promote many-sided activities, including consultations about everyday life, working conditions and employment, survey activities by using questionnaires that ask about people’s livelihoods and other issues, and signature collection campaigns.
We should carry on mass publicity campaigns and dialogue with the aim of increasing JCP supporters to the level required by the current situation. We should drastically strengthen grassroots activity on a daily basis to spread information about JCP policies among the people. In particular, our campaign should reach the younger generations. We should strengthen the following activities: well-organized street campaigns with speeches using hand microphones; propaganda activities in front of workplaces or universities and colleges; the periodic publication of political papers in residential areas and workplaces. We should attach greater importance to utilizing the internet, and use it for information transmission and exchange.
As regards dialogue and the activity of increasing supporters, we should stress the importance of expanding dialogue from the position that “the breadth and depth of dialogue will decide the outcome of the election,” in addition to increasing the number of supporters. Dialogue is an activity everyone can engage in if you set your mind to “listen to others’ thoughts and opinions regarding politics” or “explain to others what you like about the JCP.” This is an activity everyone can enjoy rather casually and we need to work on this with the view of reaching out to the majority of voters.
We should carry on the election campaign with high spirits to increase the number of party members and the Akahata readership. We have drawn a lesson from the past several elections that we simply did not have enough party strength to overcome the odds. We are determined not to repeat the same mistake in the House of Councilors election. Along with a major advance in the number of party members, we will work for a 30 percent increase in Akahata readership over the last House of Councilors election. In order to translate into reality the opportunity brought about in the new political situation, we must fight the election amid the rising tide of party strength. It is not an easy task, but is essential.
We should work on developing the JCP supporters’ association as a cornerstone of a daily election campaign. We will build networks, with members totaling over 3.8 million, based on daily connections and cooperation. By making use of newsletters published by JCP supporters’ associations, we will further increase members of supporters’ associations, commensurate with the target vote. We should make a breakthrough in the current situation in which 28 percent of the district-based and 66 percent of the workplace-based JCP branches have no corresponding supporters associations. We will aim at establishing “one association for every JCP branch in districts, workplaces and campuses.” We should reinforce JCP supporters associations on sectoral issues capable of expanding activities based on common demands.
We will stage a branch-based “major campaign to discuss the JCP Program and Japan’s future” and hold “gatherings” with a total of one million participants in the run-up to the House of Councilors election. We should regard this activity as a main driving force for advancing the entire election campaign. The gatherings played an important part in the last general election campaign and will be all the more important because a growing number of people have their awareness raised about politics as they step up their quest for a new politics under the new circumstances created by the last general election.
We will decide as soon as possible on political goals and candidates for the simultaneous local elections due in April 2011 so that assembly members and candidates can start working together for the forthcoming House of Councilors election campaign.
In the wake of the substantial decrease in the number of local assembly seats as a result of the forced mergers of municipalities, the share of seats has been the criterion used to evaluate the goal and outcome of local assembly elections in past years. However, we will put more emphasis on obtaining an increase in the number of seats in the coming simultaneous local elections and local by-elections in the future. In each election, we will work for an advance with three objectives in mind: to increase the share of seats, to win the number of seats required to propose bills, and to win seats in the local assemblies where the JCP has no seats at present. We will exert our utmost efforts to achieve these objectives, setting an appropriate target for the number of seats and votes to obtain.
As regards the simultaneous local elections, we will attach importance to elections in prefectural assemblies, ordinance-designated city assemblies, ward assemblies, prefectural capital assemblies and major local city assemblies in order to change the power balance between political parties at these levels. While maintaining the current seats held, we place particular importance on winning in the four prefectural assemblies without JCP seats (Gunma, Fukui, Aichi and Kumamoto), on winning prefectural assembly seats in the ordinance-designated cities (10 out of 18 ordinance-designated cities), and on recovering the seats lost in the last elections.
Under the new political situation following the demise of the LDP-Komei Party government, major changes are under way in local politics. Freed from the traditional pressure of LDP rule, local assemblies are adopting written opinions and resolutions one after another in the interests of residents. We have established cooperative relationships and dialogue with heads of local governments who are set free from the yoke of conservative rule. Making the best of the new situation in local politics as seen in the emergence of movements in support of residents’ demands, we will take on the task of strengthening the ties of cooperation with various movement activists and establishing municipalities as “institutions to protect residents’ welfare” with renewed commitment.
In local politics, contradictions caused by the “all-are-ruling-parties regime” have so intensified that such regimes are in a process of disintegration. Thirty out of 47 prefectures still maintain the regime, but the demise of the LDP-Komei Party government brought into question its viability. The DPJ is caught in a state of serious confusion because while speaking about “cleaning up wasteful expenditures” or “the people’s livelihoods first” at the national level, it has not changed its stance in most local assemblies; it agrees on large-scale development projects including useless dams and “local reforms” that cut down social welfare.
We will do everything in our power to ensure victory and advance in each local election by trying to change the “upside-down” politics trampling on people’s livelihoods which has been promoted by “all-are-ruling-parties” forces, and by highlighting the value of the JCP with its commitment to the democratic reinstatement of local autonomy. It is important, however, that we recognize the harsh reality and difficult struggles in upcoming local elections. The DPJ is trying to field a large number of candidates with the view to expanding its political influence in local communities, while the LDP and the Komei Party are desperate in their efforts to survive. A victory in each election will be possible only when we do everything we need to do: decide on candidates early, systematically carry on daily activities for elections, and organize ourselves better than other parties.
As regards elections for heads of local governments, we will make efforts to strengthen progressive and democratic local governments which have been established and developed by the joint efforts of the JCP and non-party people.
We want here to put forth a new proposal: all party bodies and the district-, workplace- and campus-based party branches should decide on their own “growth and development targets” that can change the power balance in national elections while doing their utmost for victory in the forthcoming House of Councilors election.
In an effort to realize the goals and objectives of the JCP Program, every party organization should systematically work on the following “growth and development targets” based on a mid-term vision:
The “growth and development targets” aims for the party to be capable of obtaining “10 percent or more votes” in national elections in every prefecture and municipality, while some advanced party organizations will set their vote ratio targets at between 20 and 30 percent. It is also important to quickly overcome the situation in which some prefectural party organizations only obtain less than 5 percent of votes.
Some party organizations have already achieved the target of 10 percent or more of votes cast. For some others, the 10 percent target corresponds to what is required of them to obtain the “6.5 million or more votes” target in the forthcoming House of Councilors election. For many party organizations, however, this is a goal that can be attained only through strenuous efforts over several national elections. Although the levels achieved vary from one party organization to another, we propose that we set the target of “10 percent or more votes” in the “growth and development targets” as a hurdle we must clear in every prefecture and municipality in order to actually realize the JCP Program.
In the proportional representation section of the last general election, we obtained “10 percent or more” votes only in three prefectures (Kyoto, Kochi and Osaka), 44 districts of ordinance-designated cities, 9 special wards of Tokyo, 45 cities, and 56 towns and villages, totaling 157 prefectures and municipalities (7.87 percent of all the prefectures and municipalities).
We obtained less than 5 percent in 12 prefectures, 6 districts of ordinance-designated cities, 278 cities, and 526 towns and villages, totaling 822 prefectures and municipalities (41.22 percent of all prefectures and municipalities).
Set against this actual situation, the target of “10 percent or more” in all prefectures and municipalities is an ambitious goal that will literally bring about a fundamental change in the power balance. It means that we will be capable of fielding candidates in every single-seat constituency in general elections without financial difficulties. It also means that we will aim for the highest number of votes than ever in national elections. In the House of Councilors election in 1998, we obtained a total of 8.2 million votes or 14.6 percent in the proportional representation section of the election with the record of “10 percent or more votes” in 37 prefectures. If we achieve the “10 percent or more” target in all prefectures and municipalities, we may be in a position to obtain close to a 20 percent vote ratio on a national average or 10 million or more votes. This will definitely change the power balance between political parties. The JCP will establish itself as the third largest party in many places, and even as the first or second largest in some areas. This will create a decisive force to move forward Japanese politics from the current transitional situation.
At the Party Congress being held in the first year of the 2010s, we propose that the whole party should adopt the ambitious “growth and development targets” and make organized efforts for their realization, with a view to making the 2010s a period of historical leap for the party. Let us confirm the target of “6.5 million votes or more” in the proportional representation section of the coming House of Councilors election as the first step toward reaching that goal and do everything we can to make it happen.
We should set the target ratio of party members and Akahata readership per voter required to achieve this goal, and will engage in utmost efforts to achieve this. The result of the last general election shows us that the party organizations that obtained more than 10 percent of the votes had, roughly speaking, more than 0.5 percent party members and daily Akahata readers, and more than 2 percent Sunday Akahata readers per voter. Therefore, in order to make a breakthrough in the vote ratio, aggressive and systematic efforts are essential to drastically increase party members and Akahata readers. At the same time, aiming for building a strong and heartwarming party where members can join in activities in accordance with their own conditions, we have to improve on the following objectives: to significantly increase the number of JCP members who finish reading and study the JCP Program, and make progress in the three basic principles in the party life, namely to attend regular branch meetings, read the daily Akahata, and pay party dues.
In tackling these activities, we should give special emphasis to the carrying on of party activities by the younger generations while making full use of the energy and vitality of all generations. Many elder members are engaged in party activities with vigor and are playing an important role, making full use of their knowledge and their rich experiences in party activities. This is an invaluable asset for the party. But at the same time, in view of the age composition of party members, it is extremely important to recruit younger people to the party to achieve generational succession. With this in mind, the party as a whole should take on the following activities with carefully considered organization: to give strength to activities at workplace party branches, mobilize younger people, establish and strengthen youth and student party branches, and rebuild and develop district committees of the Democratic Youth League of Japan.
Looking ahead to the next general election, we should develop a sound political strategy to change the power balance and guarantee an increase in the JCP seats in each proportional representation block. We will make steady efforts based on this strategy. At the same time, we should carry out well-organized daily activities based on the mid-term vision, and work to create constituencies across the country where we can win in single-seat elections based on the “growth and development targets.”
As we work to move the transitional situation forward in the wake of the recent general election and to increase the capabilities of the public to get rid of the two aberrations in Japanese politics, the decisive task is for the JCP to establish close cooperation with the public and grow into a strong party both in its theory and organization. We will do our utmost to mark historic JCP advances in the 2010s also in the area of party building.
The basic direction of our party building efforts was set out fully in the JCP Constitution revised at the JCP 22nd Congress, and the decisions of its 22nd, 23rd and 24th Congresses. Based on these decisions, we put emphasis on the following points:
Since the JCP 24th Congress, we have worked hard to establish the organizational method in which the branches are the main players. Diverse activities have been organized at many party branches in response to the demands of the public. Seventy percent of the party branches have engaged in the branch-based “major campaign to discuss the JCP Program and Japan’s future” as well as other “gatherings” to reach out to the public. The JCP twice held a seminar on workplace activities. Based on this experience, JCP branches at workplaces are making continuous advances in their activities, including the recruitment of new party members. These activities have produced many valuable results in various fields. During these past years, the percentage of branches that established policies and work plans increased from 52 percent to 82 percent.
We have come only halfway to fulfilling this task. The JCP Central Committee 9th Plenum pointed out that just 50-60 percent of party members in total took part in general election-related activities and that only 20 percent took part in daily activities even in the midst of the election campaign period. The underlying cause of this low rate of party member participation in activities is that the everyday effort to build a JCP in which branches should be the key players is still far from being satisfactory.
The party will put even more energy in the “major campaign to discuss the JCP Program and Japan’s future” and “gatherings” to reach out to the public, while helping branches and party members to acquire increased political vitality and vision. We will help branches hold regular meetings and try to grasp the specific situation of each branch, listen to party members’ concerns and help address their problems. The key to success in our effort to build a strong JCP is whether we can develop these party activities with all members taking part by having an overwhelming majority of the party branches practice the principle that the branches are the key players.
We will increase branch efforts to hold public gatherings to explain about the JCP Program as part of their day-to-day activity. This is the key to putting into practice the principle that the “branches are the key players.” We stress that this kind of activity should be carried out on a day-to-day basis in order to achieve the party goals stated in the JCP Program.
In the JCP Central Committee 9th Plenum, we confirmed that we had been unable to achieve the set goal in the general election due to the fact that we “waged the struggle while in the process of increasing our organizational strength.” We then emphasized as follows: “We must build a strong JCP capable of making advances under any difficult circumstances that force us to wage an uphill battle. This is an important lesson we drew from the House of Representatives general election.”
Based on this lesson, we have made efforts to increase party strength in preparation for the 25th Party Congress by setting up a “special campaign period” to work toward achieving the following goals: all JCP branches will recruit more members; all party organizations will achieve the goals set in their “policies and plans” and “comprehensive plans for party building” for the recruitment of party members; the party at all levels prefecture, district, and branch will increase Akahata readership by the 25th Congress to a level higher than that of the previous JCP Congress with a view to waging the next House of Councilors election campaign with a far stronger position than that of the previous House of Councilors election. We have added over 34,000 new members in the last four years since the last JCP Congress, with total membership reaching 406,000, larger than at the time of the previous Congress. As regards increasing Akahata readership, when the Congress started, the Ishikawa Prefectural Committee as well as four district committees had increased readership for both the daily and the Sunday editions from the number of readers they had at the previous Congress, but as a whole we are short of reaching the readership level of the previous Congress.
As we prepare ourselves for the House of Councilors election, we will set more aggressive goals for the recruitment of party members by building on achievements we make during the present special campaign period. Equally, we will wage the upcoming House of Councilors election fight by increasing Akahata readership by 30 percent from the time of the previous House of Councilors election to 350,000 daily Akahata and 1.6 million Sunday Akahata subscribers. We will also set target numbers for our membership / readership per voter, based on our mid-term vision, commensurate with the “growth and development targets.”
There are three district committees (Tokatsu district committee in Chiba Prefecture, Kanazawa district committee in Ishikawa Prefecture, and Hokubu district committee in Nagasaki Prefecture) which already achieved, as of November 2009, their goals of exceeding the number of Akahata readers they had at the time of the 24th Congress for both the daily and the Sunday editions. These three district committees offer us the following lessons:
They are persistent in reaching their target numbers of votes in Diet elections and in local elections and are making specific efforts on this particular task within the context of their overall activities. They have increased the number of party branches that set numerical targets for the expansion of party strength every month to 50-60 percent of all branches. With active members as the driving force, 40-50 percent of the branches have increased subscribers every month.
They put importance on political discussions at the district committee and branch levels based on the Party Program, decisions, and the daily Akahata, and make an effort to help all branch members understand the role of Akahata and the meaning of reaching the target, and take specific steps for increasing the readership of the daily Akahata.
As a result of these efforts by the district committees, 70-80 percent of the branches established systems of Akahata delivery and collection of its subscriptions based on the principle that the branches are the key players. They have succeeded in reducing the burden on full-time activists and party members of local assemblies by setting up the organ paper section with part-time branch staff participating.
About 60 percent of branches under these district committees have new party members who bring in fresh energy to their branches, and those branches’ membership / readership drives developed in a synergistic manner.
We sincerely call on all party members to tackle the task of increasing the Akahata readership with energy and enthusiasm by learning lessons from these successful experiences.
Many media have been taken in by forces promoting the establishment of a “two-party system,” and most of the mainstream media are praising or even promoting this move. Under these unusual circumstances, the task is for us to increase the readership of Akahata so that it will grow into a national media that can influence public opinion. This is a vitally important task for the sound development of Japanese politics and society. Akahata is a newspaper that provides the public with information that incorporates an alternative perspective on how the present-day world is changing and what is going on in Japanese politics, and it presents a vision for resolving the current problems. It is a newspaper that informs of “the truth without being bound by taboo.” It is also a “newspaper for people’s solidarity” that unites people for the cause of peace, democracy, and improvement of living conditions. In the light of mass media’s fundamental weaknesses, the effort to increase the readership of Akahata, which stands for Japan’s social and political conscience, is significant to achieve success in our struggle to change Japanese society in a democratic manner.
We will also work to increase the readership of magazines and journals published by the JCP.
The JCP 24th Congress decision pointed out that one major weakness of the JCP lies in the fact that only 34.2 percent of party members have actually read the JCP Program, and called for the study of the JCP Program to be given priority in party building. However, the party has not fundamentally solved this problem, and the rate still remains around 40 percent. Although our initiative to hold branch-based gatherings to discuss the Program has been largely successful, we need still another kind of specific effort to encourage party members to study the JCP Program. We must admit that the Central Committee has had a weakness in taking systemic initiatives in this effort.
The JCP will drastically strengthen its effort to encourage its members to study and finish reading the Program as its major task after the 25th Congress. We will launch a new party education system to give a “course on the JCP Program” on the responsibility of district committees and the branch leadership. In the “course,” participants will read the JCP Program followed by a question and answer session to help better understand the Program. This will also help encourage members to reread the Program so they can better understand the current political situation and the party’s tasks based on the analysis provided in the Program.
We will also increase our effort to strengthen our conviction of the validity of scientific socialism, which is the theoretical foundation of the JCP Program. The party encourages its members to study the classics of scientific socialism.
As part of the implementation of the decision of the 24th Congress, we held a seminar twice for workplace activists to share experiences, pursuing the new course of development in this field. What we discussed in these seminars showed us that the course of advances in party activities in workplaces is in conformity with the law of development. We will encourage all workplace branches to learn lessons from this, and continue to hold seminars and establish a system to support workplace branches. We will thus use all our wisdom and power to build an indomitable party among workers.
We have taken a major step forward in the struggle for the rights of contingent workers. We have exposed the tyrannical treatment of temporary workers at major corporations and demanded the establishment of regulations ensuring that workers can work with dignity. This has had a major impact on society and changed the current in the labor law from one of relaxing regulations to one of strengthening them. It is significant that many workers have displayed courage by taking part in the struggle against the unlawful dismissals of temporary workers. They came to participate in union activities or establish their own unions. Some of them have joined the JCP and establish new JCP branches. The struggle is the driving force to help establish work rules as well as the source of the growth of class consciousness on the part of the workers. Workplace branches have long experienced difficult struggles to defend the party in defiance of severe persecution and have continued tenacious activities in solidarity with contingent workers. Their efforts have contributed to developing workers’ struggles as a whole.
The JCP will carry out activities in support of and in solidarity with the workers’ struggle for jobs with dignity, which is gaining momentum, and will strive to achieve its further development. We will make efforts to make the party stronger through these struggles. We will take on the challenges of developing workers’ struggles and party building among them with new passion and an invigorated pioneering spirit so that we can achieve significant progress.
The growth of the National Youth Rally reflects the increasing struggles of young people. They are developing their struggles for jobs. They are displaying their energy in the movement for peace through participating in the World Conference against A and H Bombs. They are taking part in actions calling for tuitions to be made affordable. These efforts of the youth to overcome various obstacles to build solidarity and develop activities to defend living conditions and peace offer Japan great hope. The JCP should drastically strengthen its activities in support of and solidarity with their struggles.
In order to mobilize a wide range of young people, we should do our utmost to pay close attention to their demands and issues of concern, help find a place for them to share ideas and strengthen their solidarity, and help develop their struggles to realize their urgent needs. It is also important to take advantage of young people’s intellectual curiosity and political awakening that influence them to become attracted to the JCP and scientific socialism, and help them become familiar with what the JCP Program envisages in order to solve the various problems facing them as well as introduce them to scientific socialism’s world outlook and social outlook. We should strengthen our effort to help them hold workshops to discuss the JCP and scientific socialism on university campuses.
Since the 24th Party Congress, the Democratic Youth League of Japan (DYLJ) has reestablished its 37 district committees, bringing the total number of reestablished DYLJ district committees to 65. The party should continue to work together with the DYLJ to reestablish more DYLJ district committees. We should continue to pay close attention as an adviser to the DYLJ regarding its conditions, demands, efforts and problems, and improve and strengthen our assistance.
We request that party bodies not leave the activity among the youth and students to those sections and people in charge, but that they should regard it as one of the central tasks in party activity and party building because it is the question bearing upon the future of the party and the revolutionary movement. Party bodies are requested to make utmost efforts to steadily explore the ways to challenge the task. While giving close assistance to the DYLJ, we should recognize the strategic importance of our activity among students, and tackle with a pioneering spirit the revolutionary mobilization of students.
In implementing the party plan to develop its activities with the “branches as the key players,” the Central Committee at its 2nd, 3rd, and 8th plenums adopted decisions regarding how the party leading bodies should provide guidance.
We particularly attach importance to the effort to strengthen the structure and activities of the district committees as the key to this effort. In order to enhance the political and organizational capabilities of district committee chairpersons, the Central Committee will hold workshops for them.
Responding to the proposal by the JCP 24th Congress for strengthening the leading capabilities of district committees, we have set up 665 auxiliary leading bodies (accounting for 54.6 percent of target municipalities), which are now playing an important role. We will continue this effort in order to establish auxiliary bodies in all target municipalities to help strengthen district committee activities.
In exercising leadership, party bodies should guide the whole party organization to help them accurately understand the JCP Program and party policies, and have the capability to listen attentively to the people. They have to sincerely listen to party branches and members, try to understand their conditions, anxieties and requests, and overcome difficulties together. Such an approach is essential in leadership.
Regarding our financial activity, the key to improving the present situation is to stop the declining tendency in party dues payments. It is a key to building a strong and heartwarming party that will encourage all party members to participate in party activities. The financial question is not a matter to be dealt with just by a person in charge of financial affairs. The prefectural and district committees should discuss financial issues so that all committee members will have a good understanding of the financial situation. The district committees should let branches know the financial situation of the district committee so that party organizations at all levels will strengthen their financial activities based on the “Four Principles*.”
* “Four Principles” of the financial activities: income from party dues; subscriptions to party organ newspapers and magazines, other undertakings of the party; individual donations; and efforts for economizing and saving.
Through these efforts we must make sure that full-time party workers can be paid regularly and that they can keep in good health, while making even greater efforts to maintain and strengthen the necessary organizational structures.
We successfully held a special course twice at the Party School. Those who attended the special course are now playing active roles in various fields. They work as members of party bodies at various levels, as JCP candidates for national and local legislatures, or as activists involved in theoretical and policymaking endeavors. The Central Committee will continue to hold the special course. It is important to note that some prefectural committees hold their own special course in order to educate and raise young leaders.
We will implement a policy for raising future leaders by reviewing the composition of the Central Committee. We will make special efforts to cultivate alternate Central Committee members as successors to the present leadership members. To this end, we will encourage party bodies to select many new promising members, including young people and women for leadership roles.
Article 5 of the Party Constitution stipulates: “(Members have) the duty to respect civic morals and social ethics, and discharge their responsibilities toward society.” We should point out that some members have committed errors in regard to social morals. We will make efforts with party leading bodies to establish morals worthy of an organization struggling to promote social progress by fostering respect for the Party Constitution and making candid self- and mutual-criticism in order to establish a disciplined party life.
Viewing the 21st century world from a broader perspective, we realize that we have entered a period in which the capitalist system itself is being called into question. The topic of the limits to capitalism has been widely featured in news media at home and abroad. This reflects the deepening contradictions in capitalism worldwide.
As Karl Marx said, “The real barrier of capitalist production is capital itself,” i.e. contradictions and barriers within capitalism arise from its very motive and purpose of production to satisfy the greed for surplus value. Such a “profit-first principle” finds expression in the following social injustices and catastrophes in the contemporary world:
Poverty is spreading and the gap between rich and poor is widening in each country and on a worldwide level. The poverty rates in the United States and Japan have reached the highest levels in the developed capitalist countries. According to the 2005 “Human Development Report” published by the U.N. Development Program, lifting 1 billion people living under $1 a day above the extreme poverty level would require only 1.6 percent of the income of the richest 10 percent of the world's population. The gap has widened to that extent.
Capitalism cannot provide developing countries that achieved political independence with ways to achieve self-reliant development. The number of malnourished in the world was 842 million in 1990-1992. But in 2009, it is estimated to have increased to 1.02 billion.
The current financial crisis and the overproduction crisis have revealed that capitalism, no matter what measures it takes, is unable to resolve the overproduction crisis, i.e., capitalism’s “sickness unto death.” The world dealt with the economic crisis with tentative financial and fiscal measures through international cooperation. But the world has not yet got out of the overproduction crisis.
A report of the British government acknowledged that climate change is the greatest “market failure” ever seen, casting doubt upon the way capitalism functions. The destruction of the global environment raises the fundamental question whether capitalism is capable of sustaining life on earth or not. People involved in this issue in Europe, where the issue is being seriously addressed, pointed out that “global warming cannot be stopped if the profit-first principle continues to be maintained. A fundamental reform of the social system and rethinking of the economic system is necessary.”
How should we deal with these problems? What we should aim for first in Japan is democratic reforms within the framework of capitalism, namely a democratic change into an “economy governed by rules,” and internationally, “a democratic international economic order based on respect for the economic sovereignty of every nation with fair and equitable relations between all nations.” (JCP Program) However, even if we make every effort to pursue these reforms to the very limit within the framework of capitalism, the problems cannot be fundamentally resolved within the framework of the “profit-first principle”; conditions will mature for a new system that will overcome capitalism. This is our vision.
In November 2009, the BBC released the result of a global opinion poll conducted in 27 countries and commented, “Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, dissatisfaction with free market capitalism is widespread.” On free market capitalism, only 11 percent of respondents answered, “Capitalism works well and increased regulation will make it less efficient.” On the other hand, 51 percent answered, “Capitalism has problems that can be addressed through regulation and reform,” and 23 percent, “Capitalism is fatally flawed and a different economic system is needed (43 percent in France, 38 percent in Mexico and 35 percent in Brazil).” The fact that the national broadcasting station in the United Kingdom, the homeland of capitalism, conducted such a survey and that 23 percent of the respondents found it necessary to create “a new system” in the place of capitalism deserves our attention.
The slogan “Long live capitalism,” which was rampant after the collapse of the Soviet Union, is no longer being heard. Faced with the deepening contradictions of capitalism worldwide, anxiety and dissatisfaction in regard to the future of capitalism are spreading and many people throughout the world are searching for new forms of society to replace capitalism. An increasing number of people are giving attention to scientific socialism and the writings of Marx both in Japan and elsewhere, which is neither accidental nor a passing fad. This is partly due to the serious contradictions global capitalism is currently facing.
Against the backdrop of the sea changes confronting the 21st century world, we should pay attention to the various moves toward a future society that are taking shape.
Capitalism, emerging in the 16th century, developed as much as it dominated the whole world from the 19th through the 20th centuries. But during the first half of the 20th century, some countries broke away from capitalism and began a new quest for socialism. This was followed, in the latter half of the 20th century, by the collapse of the colonial system. Now at the beginning of the 21st century, the population of the developed capitalist countries has been reduced to only 13.6 percent of the world's population.
Countries aiming for socialism have been gaining weight year by year both in world politics and the world economy. China, in particular, is gathering momentum with its huge economy to move ahead of capitalist countries before long. Let’s look at the economic growth of various groups of countries in the world in the last 14 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union: that of developed capitalist countries rose by 1.8 times; countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America by 2.4 times; and countries aiming for socialism by 4.8 times. Countries aiming for socialism are still at the stage of developing countries in GDP per capita. We need continued and careful observation regarding the fact that this is in part at the basis of a number of “political and economic problems to solve” (JCP Program) in those countries.
As a matter of policy, countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America have a lot in common in regard to independence, peace, nonalignment and opposition to hegemony. Only a handful of countries in these areas succeeded in achieving economic development by taking the capitalist path. We now see moves in Latin America seeking a different path from capitalism, based in part on their national struggles during periods of dependency and lessons learned after the inauguration of left governments.
Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador call for “socialism in the 21st century” as a model for nation-building. It is worth noting that, with their own characteristics, they are promoting social changes through elections, making use of a market economy without depending only on nationalization, accepting diverse forms of ownership of the means of production, and attaching importance to the specific conditions of each country without following the social model of the former Soviet Union.
The JCP Program sets forth its outlook on world history in the 21st century as follows:
“Although there may be numerous ups and downs as well as temporary or long-term setbacks within the course of history, it will be inevitable in the long run for social development to be achieved through overcoming imperialism and capitalism and advancing toward socialism.”
“The 21st century world will be an era characterized by an increase in movements working to overcome capitalism and advancing to a new type of society. This will arise from sharpening economic and political contradictions as well as from the increase in popular movements in the developed capitalist countries; from efforts to explore different paths to socialism in countries that break away from capitalism; and from the popular movements in many countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America that are unable to find their path for future economic development within the framework of capitalism, even after achieving political independence.”
That the JCP is well aware of these prospects toward future society gives it the strength to make clear, utilizing a broad perspective, a path to create a breakthrough in solving urgent problems. Let us face the future with the deep conviction that the vision toward socialism and communism that is offered in the JCP Program is being realized in different ways in various countries throughout the world.