At the opening of the 25th Congress of the Japanese Communist Party on January 13, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo gave the Central Committee Report on the draft Resolution. The main points of the report are as follows:
Concerning Part 1 of the draft Resolution, “New period in Japanese politics and the power that created it,” Shii explained the meaning of the term “transitional situation” and pointed out that the people’s hope for a change in political direction has an ongoing impact on the situation after the House of Representatives general election conducted in last August. He stressed the importance of understanding the political situation in connection with what people are aiming for instead of narrowing the perspective and seeing it just based on what the government is doing now.
In Part 2 entitled, “JCP’s tasks under ‘transient situation’,” Shii stated that in carrying out activities the party should not impose its views on the public but maintain the position of starting activities from the people’s demands and exploring new policies together with them.
In regard to the burning issues in national politics, U.S. bases and the Japan-U.S. security structure as well as the economic crisis, the JCP chair explained the current situation and proposed the direction toward their fundamental solution. He emphasized the significance of an unconditional removal of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Base in Okinawa and the need to make the call for the abrogation of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty a voice of the majority of the Japanese this year, the 50th anniversary of its revision. He called for launching a nationwide struggle for an Okinawa and a Japan without U.S. bases.
Shii proposed the way to break the present economic crisis through building an economy governed by rules is an urgent and fundamental prescription.
Introducing the fact that among OECD member states from 1997 to 2007, workers’ wages had fallen only in Japan, he urged major corporations to return a part of their internal reserves to implement measures to help create jobs, financially support small- and medium-sized companies, and revitalize society. He also called for the unequal taxation system to be corrected and social services to be improved.
Concerning the government’s response to the economic issue, Shii warned that some cabinet members have indicated an intention to raise the consumption tax rate and stressed the need to fight against the tax increase. Concerning the task of preventing the introduction of reactionary policies, he called for a struggle to block the move to reduce the number of proportional representation seats.
In the task of creating national cooperation, Shii made the following three points regarding the present state and prospects of the labor movement: Labor unions need to further develop cooperation for common demands regardless of their difference of national center affiliations; the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) leadership is called upon to overcome its two main weaknesses, its support for a particular political party and its labor-management collaboration policy, and take part in common action with other unions from other currents; and the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) has a bigger role in advancing workers’ joint action based on demands.
In his report on Part 3 of the draft Resolution, Shii explained the JCP’s position on the U.S. Obama administration from two angles, namely positive changes taking place and the hegemony it persists in maintaining without change.
Elucidating “problems and limitations” which President Obama should overcome to achieve a “world without nuclear weapons”, Shii warned that if nuclear superpowers justify their nuclear strategy under the name of “nuclear deterrence”, “we will be living in a horrifyingly unstable world order with the diffusion of nuclear weapons”, and said that it is urgent that nuclear superpowers break away from the “nuclear deterrence” argument.
Regarding the issue that President Obama in his lecture delivered in November 2009 in Tokyo when he said that Japan and U.S. have a “completely equal partnership”, Shii pointed out some problems.
The first problem is the dangerous situation of U.S. bases in Japan that would be completely unacceptable in their own country. In the U.S., Federal Aviation Regulations require, regardless of civilian or military use, setting ‘‘Clear Zones’’ for safety. Although the regulations oblige U.S. military airports abroad to establish “Clear Zones,” the U.S. military in Japan avoids doing so. Night-landing practices (NLP) and low-altitude flight training exercises over populated areas are carried out in Japan although prohibited or severely regulated in the U.S.
The second problem is the prerogatives given to the U.S. forces under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), namely virtual extraterritorial rights. The Japan-U.S. SOFA causes arrogant behavior by the U.S. military and creates a breeding ground for incidents, accidents, and crimes committed by U.S. soldiers.
The third problem is the U.S. pressure for constitutional revision. U.S. high officials repeatedly demand revision of Japan’s Constitution, especially Article 9, labeling it as an “obstacle.” Is this a normal relationship between two sovereign countries?
Shii said, “If the term ‘equal partners,’ a phrase used by President Obama, is used in the true sense of the term, shouldn’t this abnormal relationship of domination-subservience be immediately rectified?”
Regarding the issue of international questions, based on the result of the 15th Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15) held in Copenhagen, Denmark from 7 to 19 December 2009, Shii pointed out concrete tasks for tackling the issue of global warming.
In Part 4 of the draft Resolution, Shii emphasized that depending on the JCP election campaign, conditions and possibilities to produce a major positive change in the existing power balance are to be found in the House of Councilors election.
Explaining the new political configuration, Shii said that if all party members fully convey the true nature of the JCP to a wide range of people, including those who used to support other parties or had no party to support at all, conditions to change the power balance drastically and achieve a major JCP advance can be created.
Regarding an action policy, Shii put an emphasis on the importance of holding fast to the position: “proportional representation is the axis.” Shii stated that all party organizations across the country are equally responsible for the victory of all the 5 proportional representation candidates of the House of Councilors election, and called on all party members to achieve the victory of all the 5 candidates based on the principle, the “whole nation is one constituency.”
Shii also stated that engaging in dialogue with the “majority of voters” as proposed in the draft Resolution will help meet the needs of the current situation, and that for us to fully exploit the emerging conditions for a JCP advance in the new situation and bring the possibility into reality, it is essential to fight the election on the flood tide of the party’s growth in strength.
Shii reported on the reasons for proposing the “growth and development targets” based on a mid-term vision and the need to strengthen party activities at workplaces and among students and young people.
Regarding Part 5, Shii said, “The point of emphasis is the fact that the JCP can generate a breakthrough by clarifying the means needed to solve pressing problems by utilizing a broad perspective and vision because the party has an unambiguous outlook for the future.”
Shii called on all party members to achieve great advances in the upcoming House of Councilors election, and to make the 2010s a historic period for JCP’s great advances.
- Akahata, January 14, 2010