May 16, 2013
A Korean language version of a book of the Japanese Communist Party is to be published in South Korea on May 20 for the first time ever.
The book was written by JCP Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo and originally titled, "Nihon-kyousan-tou towa donna tou ka (What kind of political party the Japanese Communist Party is)".
The description on the Korean version's inside cover states, "Is there a communist party in Japan? In point of fact, the Japanese Communist Party has 316,000 members in over 20,000 branches, 1.3 million subscribers to the party organ, and more than 2,700 local assembly members. It is the most successful communist party of the opposition force in Asian countries and the most powerful grassroots political organization in Japan. The chair of the party talks about the nearly-100-year-old party that fights against conservative politics."
Hong Sanghyun, a Korean journalist who translated the book and worked for its publication, in his afterword explains how the project started;
He was first interested in the JCP when he watched Shii on a Japanese TV program in August 2005. It was a one-on-one debate between Shii and Abe Shinzo of the Liberal Democratic Party, and Shii was attacking Abe's historical recognition that justifies Japan's past war of aggression.
In February 2011, asked by a broadcasting station, Hong Sanghyun visited JCP headquarters in Tokyo to have an exclusive interview with Shii. The chair told him how JCP members had fought against Japanese imperialism in solidarity with the people of Korea struggling under Japanese rule before and during WWII. "That was when I decided to put out a book in Korean in order to make this political party known to South Koreans," Hong said.
The Korean version (ISBN 979-11-5531-002-1) of the book will be published by Imagine Publishing in Seoul, and the original Japanese version (ISBN 978-44-0605-018-0) was printed by Shin-Nihon Syuppansha in Tokyo in January 2007.