July 21, 2011
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in his lecture on the JCP Program given at the JCP head office on July 19 referred to the movements demanding democratic change taking place in Tunisia, Egypt and in other Middle East countries. Looking at the development of movements throughout the world demanding democracy and respect for human rights, Shii suggested viewing the emerging change in the Middle East from three perspectives.
First, Shii stated that the JCP heartily welcomes the change because it is carried out by the people themselves calling for human rights, freedom, dignity, and democracy, even though we have to admit that the ultimate direction of change is unpredictable.
He said that an ex-government official of Egypt had told Shii that even the Nile River seemed to be rejoicing and excited, with the pyramids looking proud of the revival of freedom and dignity. Citing him as saying that democracy is the cradle of peace to Egypt, to the Middle East, and to the world, Shii said that human rights and freedom are universal values, and should go forward based on the people’s struggle. Shii called for sharing this conviction firmly.
Secondly, Shii said we need to understand the history of each country, such as Tunisia and Egypt, countries which have gone through their own process of developing human rights and freedom. Shii took a look at the modern history of Egypt in which the “free officers’ corps” led by Abdel Nasser rose in a revolution in 1952 and won full independence from British colonial rule. Shii admitted that trials and errors and sometimes backward steps took place later in Egypt, but called for the need to grasp the entire picture of the history of the nation, in which the country won independence from colonization, moved on an individual road of historical development, and has reached the ongoing democratic revolution.
Thirdly, Shii said that the positive role which these countries have been playing in international politics will be able to go further through the change for democracy. Shii said, “The JCP has been aware of the role of Egypt and Tunisia in the Non-Aligned Movement and the movement to eliminate nuclear weapons, and we have been promoting diplomatic exchanges with them as a Japanese opposition party. The JCP hopes that the relationship will develop further.”
In this context, Shii referred to the new Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed el-Orabi’s speech at the ministerial conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Indonesia in May that Egypt’s role as the NAM chair has been strengthened by the January revolution and that his country is determined to contribute more to the development of the Non-Aligned Movement. Thus, the Egyptian foreign minister stressed Egypt’s resolve to share greater responsibility in achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons. Shii also pointed out that the Egyptian minister agreed with JCP Vice Chair Ogata Yasuo at the international conference to increase exchanges and cooperation between the Egyptian government and the JCP as well as in the movement against A&H bombs.
Shii then referred to ex-Tunisian Ambassador to Japan Noureddine Hached, who resigned the post before the fall of the government, saying that he would join with the people in revolt. Shii said that the ex-Tunisian ambassador asked that the JCP in the future continue to develop friendly relations with the new government of Tunisia and its embassy. Shii added that JCP Vice Chair Ogata during the NAM ministerial meeting had talks with Tunisia’s new foreign minister Mohamed Mouldi Kefi and agreed on developing strengthened relations with the new Tunisia. Shii concluded that the change in the Middle East represents a major historical change which we should all welcome.