October 23, 2012
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on October 22 held talks with Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko and clarified for him the way to solve issues on the Senkaku Islands, a raping of a Japanese woman by U.S. sailors, and the deployment of crash-prone Ospreys to Okinawa.
Handing a JCP proposal on settling territorial disputes and the text of what he said at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan to Prime Minister Noda, Shii stated that Japan's claim to the Senkaku Islands is legitimate in terms of history and international law.
Shii pointed out, "Japan is falling into a trap set by itself by insisting 'there is no territorial dispute'," and suggested that the government change this attitude and convince China of the legitimacy of Japan's right to sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands.
Prime Minister Noda in reply said, "The government should move away from its previous position and proclaim the legitimacy of Japan's claim at home and abroad."
"It is an important step forward for the government to recognize its past policy failings, and I recommend that you seriously consider our party's proposal," stated Shii.
He then called for diplomatic negotiations in a calm manner, adding, "Both Japan and China should refrain from military responses as they will only escalate the tension."
Shii gave Noda a copy of the letter the JCP sent to U.S. President Barack Obama, protesting the recent rape of a Japanese woman by U.S. servicemen and demanding the removal of all U.S. bases from Japan.
He said, "The U.S. has never been able to prevent heinous crimes by its soldiers stationed here despite always speaking of 'tougher discipline' and 'recurrence prevention'. The U.S. administration must be held responsible for this neglect." He demanded the complete withdrawal of the U.S. military from Japan because "as long as U.S. military bases exist in Japan, crimes by soldiers will not diminish."
Pointing out the fact that, "MV-22 Ospreys are flying and hovering over densely-populated areas, ignoring safety measures agreed on between the U.S. and Japan," Shii demanded the cancellation of the Osprey deployment in Japan along with the unconditional closure of the U.S. Futenma base.
Apart from the Senkakus, U.S. rape incident, and Osprey topics, the two figures also discussed the timing for a snap election. Shii stated, "At the extraordinary session of the Diet, we must discuss such key issues as the consumption tax, the economy, nuclear power generation, the TPP issue, MV-22s, U.S. military bases, and the territorial issue in order to clarify the points at issue. Then, you should call a snap election to ask for the people's verdict."
Regarding yakuza-linked Minister of Justice Tanaka Keishu, Shii said, "He should immediately be dismissed. The JCP will continue to point to your responsibility for appointing such a man as a Cabinet minister and demand a full accounting of his connection with the organized crime syndicate."
JCP Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi and DPJ General Secretary Koshiishi Azuma were also present at the meeting of the two party heads.