On the JCP Central Committee 4th Plenum
JCP Central Committee Secretariat
Executive Committee Report
SHII Kazuo, JCP Executive Committee Chair
SHII Kazuo, JCP Executive Committee Chair
The Japanese Communist Party Central Committee held its 4th Plenum on June 5th and 6th at the JCP head office.
Chair SHII Kazuo gave the Executive Committee report, which consisted of three main items: (1) major issues in the political situations at home and abroad; (2) lessons of the United Efforts to increase JCP membership and Akahata readership, and policies for party building efforts and activities to ensure JCP victory in elections; and (3) To make major JCP advances as we observe the 80th founding anniversary of the JCP.
Referring to the failure of Koizumi politics and the Liberal Democratic Party's inability to govern as well as the role the JCP has played, Chair Shii demanded that the House of Representatives be dissolved immediately for a general election. Analyzing the three bills under discussion on contingency legislation, Chair Shii called for a struggle to prevent Japan from dispatching Japanese troops abroad. After pointing out the dangerous nature of U.S. hegemonic policy, the fact that Israel (which supports the U.S. logic) constitutes the worst adverse current against Middle East peace, and the reckless U.S. actions receiving international criticism, Chair Shii referred to the dispute between India and Pakistan which is feared may develop into a full-scale war, he called on both countries to achieve a peaceful settlement on the basis of the great cause of the nonaligned movement.
The Executive Committee Report touched upon the results and lessons of the "United Efforts," and emphasized the importance of having these lessons shared by all JCP members as their common conviction.
The report called for setting electoral success as the main goal and setting the wheels of the membership/readership drive in full motion with prospects for the 21st century in mind, and set out points to note in day-to-day activities and key electoral activities that would ensure JCP victory.
Chair Shii concluded the Executive Committee Report by calling for the whole party to register a new JCP advance in the JCP membership/Akahata readership drive and in the elections in the year of the 80th anniversary of the JCP , showing from various angles that the JCP's struggles in the last 80 years are valuable assets for the 21st century.
At the beginning of the second day session of the Plenum, Central Committee Chair FUWA Tetsuzo spoke. Referring to the recent JCP experiences in its international activities, he discussed the general characteristics of the 21st century and prospects for it, the driving force for social progress in the international arena, and the significance of what the JCP has achieved in the last 80 years since its founding. He expounded on the role and tasks of the JCP in the new century in a broader perspective.
In the two-day Plenum, 43 members spoke, making the discussion fruitful.
The discussion by Central Committee members was followed by the concluding remarks by Chair Shii. Referring to the Diet session which was being held in parallel with the JCP CC 4th Plenum, Chair Shii called for an increased struggle to foil all undemocratic bills, including the three bills on contingency legislation. In emphasizing the need to challenge the new task of continuously increasing the membership/Akahata readership drive, Chair Shii expounded on the importance of carrying out discussions with the public, which is the basis of all JCP activities. In the end, referring to the significance of CC Chair Fuwa's remarks, Shii called on the whole party to make every effort to achieve a JCP advance in party building efforts as well as in the general and local elections.
The CC Plenum unanimously adopted the Executive Committee Report and Shii's concluding remarks, and reaffirmed Fuwa's speech. (End)
Good morning everyone. I want to extend my greetings to all those who are watching this Central Committee Plenum via communication satellite.
I will now make the Executive Committee report to the JCP Central Committee 4th Plenum.
We are meeting at this Plenum while the parliamentary session is taking place in the midst of a major political turmoil, and I would like to focus on several immediate issues.
Since the Central Committee met for the 3rd Plenum, especially after February, support rates for the Koizumi Cabinet have sharply dropped, causing a major political turmoil.
The Koizumi Cabinet started in April 2001 and kept enjoying extraordinarily high support rates of 80 to 90 percent, and this high popularity was dubbed as the "Koizumi whirlwind." But today, most opinion polls show non-support rates are higher than support rates, a clear sign that Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro's cabinet has lost the people's confidence.
The steep decline in the Koizumi Cabinet's support rates was triggered by a series of problems: the dismissal of Foreign Minister TANAKA Makiko; extensive corruption scandals, including those involving SUZUKI Muneo and KATO Koichi; and inability to properly manage economic or foreign policies. These problems have helped many to realize the truth that the Koizumi Cabinet's "reform" is a fake and that it is nothing less than a continuation of outdated, corrupt and dangerous Liberal Democratic Party politics. "The true colors of the Koizumi reform' have been uncovered," which was a slogan the JCP put up on one of its posters, is being embraced by a majority of the Japanese people.
To begin with, the LDP president had to publicly promise to "change" or even "destroy" the LDP to hold on to public support and survive. This in itself was a consequence of LDP politics, which has reached an impasse. And this tactic for survival is in a state of miserable disarray.
These developments are further deepening the crisis of LDP politics and at the same time leading Japanese politics to a new tumultuous stage.
Looking back on the past year of the Koizumi Cabinet, everyone will realize that the LDP is losing its capability to govern in any field.
LDP has no ability to cleanse itself of its habit of clinging to vested interests and corruption
Firstly, the pursuit of vested interests and corruption.
A series of allegations of graft and corruption have come to light, including those involving SUZUKI Muneo (House of Representatives member), former LDP Secretary General KATO Koichi (who resigned from the Diet), and former President of the House of Councilors INOUE Yutaka. These scandals are testimony to the fact that the LDP is mired in corruption.
The fact of the cabinet's secret fund, which the JCP exposed, has brought to light the profoundly disturbing political corruption of the LDP which shows no shame in deliberately misusing tax money for partisan or personal purposes.
However, the prime minister and the ruling coalition parties have tried hard to hush up the scandals and even to disclaim all their responsibilities for what they have done, showing no sign of a self-cleansing ability to ascertain the truth about those scandals.
Historically, the LDP has been involved in many scandals that are derived from plutocracy and political corruption: the Lockheed scandal; the Recruit Co. scandal; and scandals involving large contractor construction companies. The LDP used to show a willingness to investigate scandals involving its members causing suspicions among the people. But it has no sense or awareness of responsibility for the scandals. From a moral point of view, this shows the height of corruption.
Foreign policy that failed as the consequence of the many years of submission to the United States in its diplomacy
Secondly, the serious breakdown of foreign relations.
The past year has shown how the government's irresponsible diplomatic stance devoid of sovereign independence will imperil Japan's national course and even impair national interests.
Chief Cabinet Secretary FUKUDA Yasuo suggested that the ban of Japan's possession of nuclear weapons may be altered in future. This means that the government of Japan, the only atomic bombed country, is carrying out resistance, in the worst form, to the increasing international call for the swift elimination of nuclear weapons. This is outrageous. The JCP demands that Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda be dismissed immediately.
Past LDP governments have repeatedly affirmed the Three Non-nuclear Principles as a national policy and promised in parliament that these principles will be defended into the future by any government. The principles have been endorsed by a parliamentary resolution. The problem now is that a politician who is in the nerve center of the Koizumi Cabinet does not hesitate to trample on a national policy that was established on the indescribable tragedy experienced by the Japanese people and that the prime minister dismissed this as not being worthy of serious discussion. This attitude is tantamount to throwing away the minimum of policies of the atomic-bombed country and calls into question the qualification of Prime Minister Koizumi as the head of government.
The Japan-Russia territorial talks have reached an impasse with no breakthrough in sight. To begin with, it's fallacious for the Japanese government to demand that the four Russian-held islands be returned, regarding Kunashiri and Etorofu islands as not part of the Chishima Islands. What's more, the secret discussion Lower House member SUZUKI Muneo had with the Russians in collusion with some Foreign Ministry officials shows a substantial retreat from the government's official position by seeking to settle the dispute through the return of two islands Habomai and Shikotan islands. This amounts to abandoning the territorial talks with Russia and distorting Japan's diplomacy. The failure in the territorial talks with Russia is a consequence of diplomacy without universally accepted reason. The government is called upon to make a fundamental critical review of what it has been doing.
The recent incident at the Japanese Consulate General in Shingyang, China was an affair that called the credibility of Japan"s diplomacy into question. The JCP sought to get at the truth of this incident in the belief that reasoned diplomacy is only possible based on the truth. However, the Japanese government's attitude was one of trying to adapt itself to the conclusion that the "consulate's sovereignty was violated," a conclusion which the Japanese side had drawn. It was natural that contradictions followed.
In any field, the LDP government is no more qualified or capable to carry out Japan's diplomacy. The lack of sovereign independence in Japan's diplomacy is fundamentally due to the fact that Japan has been submissive to the United States for many years.
An influential expert with a think tank affiliated with a Japanese business group said, "It is impossible to ask Japanese diplomats to be well aware of sovereign rights while allowing the United States to maintain its military bases on Okinawa." Submission to the United States in diplomacy has made the Japanese government irresponsible and insensitive concerning the need to maintain sovereignty.
Inability to manage the economy with policies
Thirdly, the inability to manage the nation's economy.
The failure of Prime Minister KOIZUMI Jun'ichiro's "structural reform" is confirmed by the present state of affairs that has arisen from the policy of "complete write-offs of non-performing loans" which was the major selling point of the "structural reform."
On May 24, the major bank groups released their annual financial reports, which showed a 49 percent increase in bad loans to 26.8 trillion yen from 18 trillion yen a year ago .
The JCP's warning of a year ago was right. This policy of disposing of bad loans forced many small- and medium-sized companies out of business and bankrupted many financial institutions such as credit banks that have long been main supporters of regional economies, further slowing down business and producing more bad loans, a vicious circle.
The Koizumi government's economic management during the past year has only helped to undermine the people's lives and business activities, and contracted the economy. This is confirmed by an unprecedented rise in the unemployment rate, an increase in the number of bankruptcies, and declines in incomes and personal consumption.
The government's "Monthly Economic Report" for May stated that the nation's economy bottomed out on the grounds that there was an upturn in industrial production. However, the increase in industrial production was only helped by exports and was still weak. Economic recovery needs an increase in domestic demand, but personal consumption and capital investments in the private sector are still declining.
This is the economic situation in which the government is planning to carry out a substantial increase in the consumer burden of medical expenditure, a higher consumption tax rate, and other anti-popular policies. We do remember that the Hashimoto government in 1997 forced the public to shoulder an extra burden of nine trillion yen. The present government plans will not only ask the people to endure increasingly unbearable burdens but weaken the Japanese economy even further.
The so-called "structural reform" was set forward after the failure to boost the economy through two measures adopted in the 1990s: major funding for additional public works projects for rescuing general contractor construction companies from financial difficulty; and the monetary easing policy for bailing out major banks. But the failure of the "structural reform" is evident, and the LDP no longer is able to find any effective measures to run the nation's economy.
At no time in the past has a change in economic policy been called for so acutely as today, from one of serving the best interests of large corporations to one of safeguarding the people's living conditions.
The JCP played a significant role in exposing the true colors of the Koizumi government before the people, cornering the government, and calling for solving the problem constructively.
The toughest opponent of Koizumi politics
The JCP has always been the toughest opponent of Koizumi politics.
The JCP suffered a setback in the 2001 House of Councilors election campaign, which took place in a difficult condition marked by the "Koizumi whirlwind." On the election result, the JCP Standing Executive Committee issued a statement which stated as follows:
"It is regrettable that the JCP failed to maintain its previous position, even though it put up a good fight against the 'Koizumi whirlwind.'
"The JCP believes that the political statements it made during the election campaign will prove to be valuable assets in future political discussions.
"The JCP was the only party that courageously and openly criticized Prime Minister Koizumi's 'structural reform'plans as schemes that will shift unbearable burdens onto the people and invite the failure of Japan's economy. All the other parties were in favor of them.
"We are sure that the JCP's politics and arguments are in the interests of the Japanese people and reasonable enough to carry the future of Japan. They will play an important role in the future development of politics and the economy. "
This is what we stated about a year ago, and I believe that it has been corroborated by the facts.
JCP wields influence on actual politics by condemning political corruption and vested interests
This year has seen a series of political corruption scandals, and the JCP has been in the forefront of the parliamentary effort to find the facts and played an important role in influencing real politics.
On the suspicions of Lower House member SUZUKI Muneo, the JCP has exposed his improper activities on the basis of its investigation. In particular, we used the Foreign Ministry's internal documents to raise the suspicion that he may have intervened in the bidding for what was later called the "Muneo House." This effort of the JCP proved to be greatly effective in searching for the truth of the scandal. It pushed the Diet and public opinion into condemning corrupt politics and went so far as to get prosecutors to begin investigation. This is how political evils are being driven into a corner.
We revealed an internal statement of expenditure of the Cabinet Office's special secret funds. This came as a shock to many politicians. The government continues to be reluctant to find out the truth, but undoubtedly this revelation will be of great significance in future efforts to solve the problem and carry out reform on this question.
The JCP has been able to play such a role because it is a party that refuses to accept corporate donations and had nothing to do with the Cabinet Office's secret funds. Fundamentally, this has been made possible by the JCP's steadfast financial efforts that rely on cooperation with people at the grassroots level.
Playing an activist role in organizing grassroots struggles throughout the country
Playing the activist role in organizing grassroots struggles in many parts of the country in conjunction with the parliamentary struggle, the JCP has made the pioneering efforts to defend the living standards of the people and peace.
In many localities, organized struggles against arbitrary corporate restructuring and for the defense of employment and business are beginning to develop as a social counter-offensive. At Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. Wakayama Works, workers turned down forced retirement or transfer of employment as being illegal. At the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Itami plant, workers succeeded in ending the practice of unpaid overtime work. These are two examples of the valuable achievements of these struggles. A national meeting was held to exchange experiences on the struggle against arbitrary corporate restructuring. This was an occasion to clarify the new characteristics of corporate restructuring and the tasks of the struggle against it, thus helping develop the struggle in this field throughout the country.
In the struggle against the adverse revision of the medical insurance system, a broader coalition of social welfare organizations, medical institutions, and regional medical associations has been built up. The movement has collected more than 25 million signatures calling for the bill to be scrapped, and is developing powerfully in many ways.
We are now at an important juncture in the struggle against the contingency legislation. Recently, trade unions of different national affiliations, including ground, air and maritime transport workers' unions, together with people of religious faiths held a national rally attended by more than 40 thousand people. This shows that the struggle against the contingency legislation is increasing rapidly. Many prefectural governors and municipal heads are expressing opposition or calling for the legislation to be discussed sufficiently. Never in the past have so many local assemblies adopted a resolution in opposition to the wartime legislation.
At a time when "food safety" is one of the major public concerns due to a series of scandals, including the outbreak of BSE (mad cow disease), false labeling, and the use of illegal additives, a joint struggle by consumers and producers is influencing the government.
In the JCP Central Committee 3rd Plenum, we decided that the JCP will play an activist role in organizing struggles. This was a call to start a long-term effort to establish a society in which illegal and unjustifiable attacks would be repelled by the people's struggles against them. We will further develop this policy in all fields to keep on striving hand in hand with the broadest possible sections of the people in the workplace, residential areas, and campuses to support the lives and defend the Constitution and peace.
The government must be held responsible for deceiving the people and we call for Lower House to be dissolved without delay and a general election to be held
No one can deny that Koizumi politics is in a state of disarray and is being abandoned by the people. The Koizumi Cabinet's most serious crime is that it has betrayed many people's expectations for the LDP to be changed in accordance with the pledge Koizumi made during the House of Councilors election campaign.
The past year has witnessed the Koizumi Cabinet's resistance or opposition to any attempt to change the existing political framework of LDP government in connection with the pursuit of vested interests, political corruption, foreign relations, and the economy. It is a very serious matter that the Koizumi Cabinet deceived the people by using the "reform" slogans as a cover.
The JCP demands that the people be allowed to pass judgment on the Koizumi government in a general election that will follow the dissolution of the House of Representatives.
The JCP will do all it can to bring together parliamentary and extra-parliamentary struggles against the Koizumi Cabinet's misgovernment and force the cabinet to accept the dissolution of the House of Representatives. The JCP will do its utmost to enable the people to pass severe judgment on the coalition government of the Liberal Democratic, Komei, and New Conservative parties in the next House of Representatives general election.
At the same time, we will let people know that a JCP advance will be the best way to deal a heavy blow to LDP politics that will lead to political change.
The JCP is and will be trying in earnest to develop joint struggle by opposition parties in parliament for objectives agreed upon. However, it is also a fact that differences persist between the JCP and the other opposition parties on key issues, including "structural reform" and "contingency legislation." We do not think that a change of political power without the basic objective of changing away from LDP politics will do.
The need is to achieve a major JCP advance in future elections because the JCP is the only party that puts forward the most viable course for changing LDP politics in its "Remaking Japan" proposal. I want to appeal to the people that this is the only way to save Japan's politics from the crisis of decline and safeguard the people's living standards and peace.
The Koizumi Cabinet is ready to extend the current session if necessary to railroad through the four bad bills (the three contingency bills, the bills to adversely revise the medical insurance system, the bills to protect personal information, and the postal service-related bills). The JCP is opposed to using an extended Diet session for railroading through the bad bills and will do all it can to block these undemocratic bills.
In this report, I will focus on the three contingency bills: the Bill to Respond to Armed Attacks, the Bill to Amend the Law on the Establishment of the Self-Defense Forces, and the Bill to Amend the Law on the Establishment of the Security Council of Japan. The Diet debates have brought out two serious questions that contravene the Constitution.
Bills are aimed at creating mechanisms to allow the SDF to use force abroad
First, the three contingency bills, if enacted, will for the first time in history allow the SDF to use force abroad
The Bill to Respond to Armed Attacks uses a concept called "situations related to armed attacks" to justify the SDF's "use of force" in "response" to such situations. This concept embraces three cases: "outbreak of armed attacks," "perceived threats" or armed attacks, and "predicted armed attacks."
The term "our emergency" is the crux here. According to the government's interpretation, "our country" not only means Japan's territory but covers SDF ships operating in the high seas in support of U.S. forces. The SDF fleet currently dispatched to the Indian Ocean under the "Antiterrorism Special Measures Law" will be part of "our country" as well as the ones that will be dispatched to various places in Asia when the Law on Measures to Deal with Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan" is invoked. In short, any place at sea can be regarded as "our country."
The government in parliament admitted that this law would be invoked when SDF troops supporting U.S. forces overseas come under an "armed attack" and give SDF units the green light to the "use of force" in response to enemy attacks.
In addition, the proposed laws have no provision to prevent the "use of force" in response to "perceived threat of" or "predicted" armed attacks. Even a provision on the "observance of international law," which is stipulated in the SDF Establishment Law, is missing.
The government and the ruling parties always describe the contingency legislation as a measure to protect the lives of Japanese citizens from "emergencies." But they cannot deny the fact that there is no such country that has the capacity or intention to carry out a full-scale invasion of Japan.
The real danger is that the three contingency laws are designed to create a mechanism that will allow the SDF, to be ready to "use force" to participate in U.S. wars outside Japan.
Present U.S. strategy is one of expanding the retaliatory war throughout the world in the name of combating terrorism. U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa have been mobilized for military operations in the Philippines. Okinawa is now used as a forward base for the "antiterrorism war."
In addition, the U.S. strategy does not exclude a first-strike against Iraq or other nations it has labeled as part of an "axis of evil." We must not overlook the possibility that SDF units currently assisting the U.S. forces in the Indian Ocean could be dragged into military operations against Iraq.
Japan's participation in such lawless interventionist wars is the real danger posed by the contingency legislation. It is important to make this fact known to as many people as possible.
The aim is to establish a wartime system that enables the government to mobilize the people for U.S. wars
Secondly, the contingency legislation is aimed at establishing a wartime system to mobilize the people for U.S. wars by suppressing citizens' human rights and freedom.
Every citizen will be obligated to cooperate with war. Civilians engaged in medical services, civil engineering and construction, and transportation will be mobilized by occupational orders. Storage of goods will be ordered and violators will face punishments that include imprisonment. The national government will be authorized to mobilize local governments and designated public institutions and can override their disobedience by taking direct action. All this will create a wartime regime that reminds us of the pre-war National Mobilization Law.
The government tries to justify restricting basic human rights and civil freedoms in the name of "public well-being." But how can cooperation with U.S. interventionist war be defined as "public well-being"?
It is no wonder that individuals of a broad spectrum, including local governments and other public bodies, express criticism of the possible flagrant violation of civil rights.
The Defense Agency has been found to have engaged in collecting, listing, and even circulating information on the ideology and other aspects of individuals who sought information from the agency. The JCP strongly demands that the Defense Agency director general take responsibility for the organized crime of the agency. If the contingency legislation is enacted, the Defense Agency and the SDF, which are not ashamed of violating citizens rights and freedom, would be the key agencies that enforce the undemocratic laws. We must remind the public of this danger.
With the JCP exposing the dangerous nature of the three bills on contingency legislation and the popular opposition movement developing throughout the country, the government schedule for railroading through the bills has been upset and the warmongers are being isolated. To begin with, the chief cabinet secretary and the Defense Agency director general, who are responsible for the bills, have lost the capacity for fulfilling their duties under public condemnation. But they are still hoping they can railroad through the bills by using the force of majority. The outcome of this parliamentary struggle is unclear.
The JCP will do its utmost to scrap the bills by informing the people that the real objective of the proposed laws is to allow the SDF to use force abroad and mobilize the people for war.
The attempt to legitimize Japan as a nation that sends its troops abroad is not something new. An effort to create a joint Japan-U.S. operational setup based on the Japan-U.S. military alliance has been under way in accordance with the 1996 "Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security" and the 1997 new "Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation." Let's take a look at the three contingency bills in historical context.
The Law on Measures to Deal with Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan, enacted in 1999, was the first legislation to give the green light to the Japanese Self-Defense Forces' participation in joint military operations with U.S forces. The JCP characterized it as "war laws," because it allows the SDF to provide U.S. forces with logistical support that can be regarded as part of the use of force under international law, no matter what sophistry the government may use to justify it. Dangerous as it is, the "War Laws" clearly provide, if only formally, that the SDF can only engage in activities that "do not involve use of force" and therefore can only carry out logistical support in rear areas, or safe areas where combat does not take place. Regarding mobilization of the private sector and local governments, the government explained that it will "seek" or "request" cooperation from them, instead of forcing them into cooperation.
The three contingency bills, including the "Bill to Respond to Armed Attacks," are aimed at removing these restrictions in short order acceding to U.S. pressure. Clearly, the use of force abroad, now prohibited by the "Law on Measures to Deal with Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan," will become legal if the "Bill to Respond to Armed Attacks" is enacted. Compulsory mobilization of private companies and local governments is also clearly stipulated. All this demonstrates that these bills qualitatively heighten the danger of Japan becoming a country that sends troops abroad.
In addition, the "Bill to Respond to Armed Attacks" will be the basis for making laws within two years to establish more specific measures that will give flesh and bones to Japan as a country ready to send its troops abroad. These laws are expected to include a law that restricts citizens' freedoms and rights in times of "armed attacks" from outside. These new laws for supporting the U.S. forces would allow Japan to invoke a right of "collective self-defense," thus paving the way for Japan's participation in collective interventionist wars. We must be on full alert for this danger.
The most deceptive argument used by the government to impose the three contingency bills lies in the pretension that they're seriously concerned about possible "emergencies for Japan," although in reality they are preparing for Japan's participation in wars that involve "emergencies for the U.S. forces."
These bills, once enacted into laws, will give the government new groundwork on which to bring the construction of the country that dispatches troops abroad to a more dangerous and practical stage.
Let's take this Plenum as an opportunity to reaffirm our resolution to block the passage of these bills no matter what the circumstances may be.
Now, on to international issues.
The Resolution of the JCP Central Committee 3rd Plenum made it clear that clearly that retaliatory war is not the way for eliminating international terrorism. It called for a switch to U.N.-led measures and justice, strongly warning that the on-going war of retaliation is seriously threatening world peace. Subsequent developments have proved that the analysis of the resolution was accurate.
The U.S. Bush administration has embarked on what may be described as "the flagrant pursuit of hegemony," following the international terrorist attacks and the retaliatory war.
It openly declares a first-strike strategy in defiance of the U.N. Charter. In his State of the Union address in January, U.S. President George W. Bush stated that the United States will not hesitate to attack countries which it unilaterally identifies as an "axis of evil," alleging that they are "sponsoring terrorism" or "developing weapons of mass destruction." In his article published in May, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld avowed that "defending the United States requires prevention and sometimes preemption." The United States has been consistent in firmly maintaining first-strike strategy but has never been so blatant in publicly stating the position as this.
In its nuclear weapons policy, the Bush administration is about to adopt a very dangerous strategy that includes the unilateral use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries. The "Nuclear Posture Review" (NPR), submitted to the U.S. Congress in January, cites terrorism or weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for calling for plans to use nuclear weapons against not only Russia and China which are nuclear weapon states, but five non-nuclear countries: North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya.
In addition, the United States makes clear that it will continue with nuclear tests with the aim of developing "nuclear weapons for practical use" to counter terrorism or to destroy weapons of mass destruction stored deep underground.
Past U.S. administrations have always maintained a nuclear first-strike policy. At the same time they have avowed commitment to refrain from making a unilateral nuclear attack against non-nuclear countries by stating that they will not make nuclear attacks except when the need is to respond to nuclear attacks or armed attacks from countries that are in alliance with nuclear weapon states. The "Nuclear Posture Review" even abandons what it has explained as an official U.S. policy.
We need to pay close attention to the fact that the reckless U.S. assertion of hegemony is endangering the world's peace order based on the U.N. Charter, and is the major threat to the international community in that its aim is to establish an order of war and oppression in which the United States can prevail.
The Bush administration's logic that justifies everything as possible in the name of counterterrorism has been used by Israel's Sharon government and created the worst ever setback in the Palestinian question.
The Israeli government declared that "the Palestinian Authority is a terrorist-sponsoring organization" and that "Chairman Arafat is an enemy," and invaded the Palestinian-controlled territory, took control of the residents and the refugee camps, destroyed houses, hospitals and schools. There's even a grave suspicion of indiscriminate massacre.
Israel's brutality came under harsh criticism from the international community. The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the invaded areas. The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the Israeli attacks against Palestinian cities and called for the immediate implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolution.
Although Israel was compelled to pull out its forces from the invaded areas on May 10, it is repeatedly invading the Palestinian-controlled areas. Due to this, coupled with Palestinian suicide bomb attacks, the critical situation persists. The Sharon government has not changed its position of rejecting talks with the Palestinian Authority which it regards as an "enemy."
The JCP has long pointed out that terrorist attacks killing and wounding civilians indiscriminately will spoil the great cause of the Palestinian people's right to self-determination. However, the Israeli government's unilateral act of war has put the question of Palestine in a crisis. This act cannot be justified as a measure necessary to combat terrorism. We assert that the Israeli government is not qualified to condemn terrorism as long as they keep acting the way they do now.
The JCP has been and will be consistent in emphatically calling for the need to lay the groundwork for Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace by abandoning the position of destroying each other through mutual recognition of the right to exist.
On May 11 a peace rally was held in Tel Aviv in Israel with 100,000 people attending to call for a "withdrawal from the occupied territories and resumption of peace talks." We are convinced that the JCP position accords with rational voices throughout the world, including those of Israeli people, calling for a just peace to be established in the Middle East.
In the international scene, it is characteristic that the rampant U.S. pursuit of hegemony has given rise to international criticism in many countries, including those which were forced to refrain from criticizing or which even cooperated with the United States during the retaliatory war against Afghanistan. Thus, the U.S. is getting more and more isolated and antagonistic with the rest of the world.
Criticism of the "axis of evil" threat even comes from U.S. allies in Europe. Chris Patten, the European Union commissioner in charge of Europe's international relations, has warned against the United States' "unilateralist overdrive." An EU-Latin America & the Caribbean Summit held in mid-May adopted a political declaration expressing its firm rejection of "all measures of unilateral character and with extraterritorial effect."
It is particularly important to note that the Non-Aligned Movement, which comprises 77% of the world population (115 member countries and 15 observer countries) expressed its rejection of the "axis of evil" argument in harsh words in a communiqué adopted by its Ministerial Meeting of the Co-ordinating Bureau held in South Africa's Durban, in late April. The communiqué said:
"The term 'axis of evil' voiced by a certain state to target other countries under the pretext of combating terrorism is totally rejected. It is a form of psychological and political terrorism."
The communiqué expressed "serious concern that the development of new types of nuclear weapons are being considered and the provision of new types of nuclear weapons against Non-Nuclear Weapon States is in contravention of the negative security assurances that have been provided by the Nuclear Weapons States."
The communiqué also stated that "economic under-development, poverty and social injustice constitute a source of frustration and a cause of new conflicts and that democracy, stability, security, and peace cannot be consolidated without rectifying the growing international inequalities."
These are voices arising from the nonaligned countries that represent 77% of the world population harshly condemning U.S. hegemony, its policy of using nuclear weapons, and exploitation of the developing countries in the name of "globalization."
In stark contrast with these movements, the Japanese government shows its "understanding" of the U.S. first-strike strategy, continues to obstruct the international community's efforts to achieve the swift elimination of nuclear weapons despite its being the only A-bombed country, and even suggests that the Three Non-nuclear Principles may be reviewed. How shameless it is for the Japanese government to try to go against the international trend.
The world in the 21st century will in no way allow the United States to continue to be so arbitrary. U.S. hegemonism and the handful of its followers have absolutely no future.
JCP will make every effort to promote international solidarity and cooperation for a peaceful international order based on the U.N. Charter, the swift elimination of nuclear weapons, and the establishment of a new, democratic international economic order.
The dispute between India and Pakistan is in a very serious state.
Tension has persisted between the two countries due to the their historical dispute over the Kashmir region. This is a territorial dispute that has persisted as a major issue between the two countries since their independence from Great Britain in August 1947. Both countries have claimed their sovereignty over the region. After three India-Pakistan wars, a U.N. mediated cease-fire line known as the Line of Control (LoC) was drawn. But armed clashes have continued across the line.
In May, when the conflict was intensifying, Pakistani armed terrorists carried out incursions into India and artillery and mortar fire increased day by day, causing many casualties among soldiers and civilians on both sides and generating concern that these clashes may lead to an all-out war.
The outlook of the conflict is all the more ominous because both countries have nuclear weapons. They have repeatedly conducted nuclear test explosions and nuclear capable missile tests. It is estimated that, should the nightmare of nuclear war between the two nuclear states come about, millions of people will be killed and that vast areas beyond the two countries would be endangered. We must prevent such a catastrophe at any cost.
The Non-Alignment Movement, in which India and Pakistan occupy important positions, is playing an important role in the international community by standing firmly for the principle of the peaceful settlement of international conflicts and calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons within a set time frame. Should the two countries throw away the principle of peaceful settlement of the conflict and rush into an all-out war, it will not only cause immeasurable damage to both peoples but pose a serious threat to world peace, seriously harming the great cause of the Non-Alignment Movement.
The JCP urges the Indian and Pakistani governments to reaffirm the great cause of the Non-Alignment Movement: the peaceful settlement of international disputes, the prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons and their abolition, and do their utmost to solve all questions pending between their two countries, including the dispute over Kashmir. Specifically, we recommend that the two countries take the following three steps:
(1) Immediately end all armed hostilities, including cross-border incursions by armed terrorist forces;
(2) Resume talks between the two countries to seek a peaceful settlement; and
(3) Promise to the international community that the two countries will not resort to the use of nuclear weapons, which cannot be justified by any reason whatsoever.
We waged a six-month "United Efforts" (membership and Akahata readership drive) from immediately after the 3rd Central Committee Plenum in October to April.
We produced valuable results in the United Efforts
In the membership drive, the JCP received more than 12,000 new members, reaching the level of a membership of 400,000.
At the time of the JCP 20th Congress in 1994, our membership had declined to under 360,000. This was partly because we were unable to diffuse ideological attacks from the forces of reaction or the effect of international turmoil that included the collapse of the former Soviet Union and changes in East European countries, and partly because we solved the problem of JCP members who had become nonexistent. The latest result of the United Efforts has been made possible by the participation of all JCP members in the drive. This is very significant.
In the readership drive we received 30,000 extra Akahata subscribers.
Reports from around the country say members are more confident in and satisfied with their purposeful participation in membership drive
In the United Efforts, about 30 percent of the JCP branches received new members and 72 percent received new Akahata subscribers. Almost all branches participated in the membership/readership drive.
Many JCP members have engaged in the drive with the awareness that "the membership drive is for members to talk about their purpose of life as JCP members and the Akahata readership drive is for them to let others know how attractive Akahata is and that we are not asking others to do anything impossible but trying to seize the opportunity to call on them to live a better life."
Making advances through multifarious activities have provided us with foothold for building a movement with the potential for developing further
A variety of branch-based activities, including discussions, were organized, the aim being to meet the needs of all strata of the people. In response to a call of the 3rd Central Committee Plenum, these activities took up wide-ranging issues, from employment, social services, and peace to local needs. Also, many branches have been active in calling on broad sections of the people to join us in struggles related to the tumultuous political situation. These efforts have given the JCP fresh vitality that has contributed to propelling the party membership/Akahata readership drive
It is very important that initial progress has been made in the branch effort to hold its weekly meeting under the slogan "Quality as well as quantity."
We have also developed new methods of learning from each other in what we call "interactive and circular activities." More JCP branches than ever have participated in meetings to exchange experiences. Assistance to individual branches with difficulty has been strengthened in the spirit of solving problems together. The Central Committee has joined with local body members in the United Efforts and learned a great deal from the experiences of local JCP organizations and members.
Expectations expressed by learned experts
Build a party capable of breaking through the political turmoil to secure JCP advances in the next general election and the simultaneous local elections
Building on the results of the recent United Efforts, we will do our utmost by understanding the significance of making constant progress in the party building effort and placing this task at the center of party activities. We will maintain the following two standpoints:
First, in order to achieve a major advance in the House of Representatives general election and the simultaneous local elections, it is imperative to build a stronger JCP capable of breaking through the present tumultuous situation by offering a constructive solution.
Drawing practical lessons from midterm election results
Since the 3rd Plenum, midterm regular elections have been held in 146 local bodies. The overall result for the JCP was a loss of 19 seats (+13, -32). In addition, 18 JCP candidates were elected in by-elections. The JCP votes increased in 31 percent of these elections.
Of course, the JCP gained outstanding experiences in some successful elections.
In Yuzawa City in Akita Prefecture, a JCP member was elected as mayor. In the Tokushima prefectural gubernatorial election, a democratic candidate backed by the JCP and some other parties was elected.
However, overall, we must not fail to acknowledge the fact that the JCP has still way to go before getting the needed fresh impetus to achieve JCP advances in midterm local elections. This year's midterm elections are for the reelection of those seats filled four years ago. In the latter half of the 1950s, the JCP made steady advances. We have not yet restored that impetus. One of the major factors for that is that the present state of our membership drive is still under the level necessary for securing a strong JCP victory.
JCP Icinomiya-Bihoku District Committee's success in membership drive holding fast to the effort to lay foundation for a party capable of leading the struggle in the 21st century
Secondly, I want to stress the importance of affirming the political significance and objectives of the drive to increase the JCP membership. In this regard we should make clear what the JCP should do in the workplace, communities, and schools in connection with the longer perspective of laying the foundation for a JCP capable of leading the struggle in the 21st century, and running a democratic government.
At the JCP Ichinomiya-Bihoku District Committee in Aichi Prefecture, 73 percent of its branches produced results in the membership drive during the United Efforts. The total number of new members who joined the JCP during this period was 161, which exceeded the target number. Also in the drive to increase the Akahata readership, every branch produced results and the district committee got a total of 260 new Akahata subscribers.
The major factor for this success was the fact that the district committee and its branches maintained their awareness of the JCP's national goal of building a 500,000-strong JCP by 2005.
The district committee attached importance to building a JCP with a membership of more than 0.4 percent of the region's population. In tackling this goal, JCP members talk about what the JCP could do if they attain this goal.
Concerning target numbers of membership/Akahata readership drive
How to improve JCP workplace branches and strengthen JCP activities among youth and students
Learning many lessons that could be used for future development of JCP workplace branches
Pay more attention to young people and listen to their demands and complaints
Direction of continual efforts to increase membership and Akahata readership by learning lessons from the United Efforts
Need to overcome passivity to broaden our perspective for the membership drive
How to synchronize the readership drive with the effort to make advances in JCP activities with the branches as the key players
Need to establish a trait of learning, secure the weekly branch meeting, and improve leadership capacity of JCP bodies in order to improve quality while increasing quantity
Establish branch trait encouraging study and give priority to the swift completion of new JCP members' education
Strengthen guidance by JCP bodies relying on inner urge to achieve JCP advances.
Establish campaign setup and complete the selection of candidates without delay
We will create an upswing in the JCP in midterm elections
The JCP will observe its 80th founding anniversary on July 15.
The JCP history makes us very confident that what the JCP has achieved in its 80-year history in the 20th century provides a great potential for the course Japan and the world will take in 21st century.
In the 20th century, Japan's greatest political change was its transition from autocracy to democracy, which meant an end to sovereign power resting in the emperor and the establishment of people's sovereignty. This was a milestone. The principle that sovereign power resides with the people is now the major principle of Japanese politics; it will be further enlivened in the 21st century.
This principle was made possible by the JCP's unyielding struggle. The founding in 1922 of the JCP meant the establishment of the first Japanese political party to oppose the autocracy under the absolutist Tenno (the emperor) and call for the firm establishment of sovereign power resting in the people and democracy. The JCP's struggle in defiance of all brutal repression had to make sacrifice, but bore fruit when the principle of people's sovereignty was written down clearly in the postwar Constitution of Japan.
The struggle against autocracy was inseparable from the struggle against the war of aggression and colonization. This struggle has been proven correct in the light of the constitutional principle of lasting peace.
The JCP's indomitable struggle in the prewar days has a significant bearing on the 21st century. We all know that the LDP government since the end of the war has never shown its true remorse for the war of aggression, even a half century after the war's end. What's more, LDP governments have always tried to distort and back-pedal on history. In contrast, the JCP's struggle in the prewar days is remembered as one that is very significant for establishing heart-to-heart relations for peace and friendship with other Asian peoples.
The constitutional principles of peace and democracy that include people's sovereignty, national sovereignty, basic human rights, parliamentary democracy, and local autonomy are increasingly valuable as the compass that shows the course for the 21st century.
In the post-WWII period, the JCP, after the bitter experience with the so-called "1950 problem," decided to reject any outside interference, including imposition of an armed struggle line, leading to the establishment of a position of sovereign independence and a programmatic line. We have always been steadfast in maintaining this position in developing theories and carrying out practical activities.
We successfully frustrated the hegemonic interference by the former Soviet Union and China's Mao Zedong group. This struggle not only defended the JCP and Japan's democratic movements, but defended the great cause and ideals of socialism, an important contribution to the movement of scientific socialism in the 20th century.
The significance of this struggle is great in the prospect for true democracy in the 21st century. Throughout this struggle, the JCP established its basic stance in its diplomatic activities as a political party, a position of repudiating any interference by any outside forces. Our position is that we will have exchanges with any country, or any political party on an equal footing as far as this principle of non-interference is observed. In dealing with problems that have important bearings on the Japanese people's interests or world peace, we will be unreserved in stating our views based on internationally acceptable ways.
This is the position on which the JCP has staged active diplomacy and is beginning to get results, particularly in its relations with Asian countries. This JCP position will be firmly maintained int any future democratic government which the JCP takes part in.
The struggle that led to defeat foreign interference and establish the position of sovereign independence is such that would provide the historical and theoretical basis for us to discuss the prospect for scientific socialism in the 21st century.
Throughout the long struggle against the former Soviet Union's interference, the JCP made clear that what existed in the former Soviet Union society had nothing in common with socialism in all its aspects (political, economic and social) and that in a future socialism, we will not tolerate a Soviet-type political, economic and social system to be imposed on us in the name of socialism.
Firmly standing by this position, the JCP has been able to state its prospect for a community that offers truly equal and free relations between people .
Global capitalism in the 21st century is plagued by sharp contradictions arising from economic panic, unemployment, the north-south problem, and environmental destruction, none of which will be solved within the narrow profit-first framework. People of different views are beginning to explore possibilities of "post-capitalism." Amidst a global turmoil that could involve progress toward a new social system that replaces capitalism, it is very significant that the JCP has entered the 21st century with an unshakable theory on socialism.
The greatest achievement the JCP has made in its 80-year-history has been the establishment of its programmatic line and the JCP's growth based on it.
The JCP established its programmatic line at the JCP 8th Congress in 1961. It shows the course for "democratic change within the framework of capitalism. The JCP Program has stood the test in its 40-year history and exerts power as a program for Japan's true change in the 21st century. It is well meshed with real politics today.
In the last 40 years, LDP governments have totally dedicated themselves to strengthening the military alliance as dictated to by the United States and giving priority to helping large corporations earn as much profits as possible, and as a result, the LDP has reached a serious impasse.
The JCP's programmatic line shows the avenue toward rescuing Japan from this impasse. In the 1990s, we put forward the "Remaking Japan" proposal as a practical application of the JCP programmatic line in real politics. It calls for shifting away from "capitalism without rules" to impose democratic control over large corporations and changing the "upside-down" fiscal policy to redirect expenditure for social services to be maintained into the future. It proposes immediate measures to achieve a democratic change in Japan's foreign policy, while maintaining the basic call for the abrogation of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. It makes clear that the Self-Defense Forces should be dissolved by a phased approach so that the Constitution's Article 9 will be implemented fully. All this shows that the JCP programmatic line has vitality into the 21st century.
Regarding the issue of the U.S.-led"globalization" process, the JCP at its congress decided to call for the establishment of a democratic international economic order imposing democratic control over multinational corporations on a global scale, instead of simply calling for opposition to globalization. This shows that the JCP Program is applicable to these international issues.
Throughout its 80 year history, the JCP has made steadfast efforts to build a strong party by establishing broad connections with the people based on the present political line and secured its solid positions in national and local politics. This, along with the JCP's political and theoretical achievements, forms a significant part of assets to be developed in the 21st century.
At the time the JCP was founded in the prewar days, communist parties came into existence in many countries. In no G-7 country except Japan were communist parties banned and exposed to such harsh repression from the outset. In Europe, communist parties from the beginning occupied certain positions in parliament.
But today, with a membership of more than 400,000 and an Akahata readership of about 2,000,000, the JCP grew to be the largest of all communist parties of the G-7 countries. Throughout the 20th century, the JCP is the largest of all communist parties in the developed capitalist countries. In Europe, major communist parties lost strength mainly due to the weakness in their relations of subservience to the Soviet Union at the time. By contrast, we have been able to achieve the present position thanks to the tenacious grassroots efforts by JCP members throughout the country to constantly strengthen the JCP as a party closely connected with the people, along with its accurate political line of independence.
In particular, we have published the daily Akahata, supported by steadfast delivery and collection of subscriptions with increases in Akahata readership. The JCP has 25,000 branches throughout the country establishing close relations with the people at the grassroots level. This represents an advanced achievement which we take pride in.
A tumultuous political situation is developing globally at the beginning of the 21st century, holding out a huge possibility for social progress. A new movement is emerging from within the movement of nonaligned countries, which represents 77 percent of the world's population, mainly in developing countries, toward achieving social progress. Those countries seeking to become socialist countries are making to a magnificent attempt to achieve socialism through a market economy. The JCP stands out in the world as a force that strives for change in an advanced capitalist country. I believe that in the prospect for change in the 21st century, the JCP has a significant role to play in the world.
In the year of the 80th founding anniversary of the Japanese Communist Party, I want to call on all JCP members to do all they can to register a new JCP advance in party building efforts, including the membership drive and in elections by renewing their pride in JCP history.
With this, I conclude my report on behalf of the Executive Committee. (End)
During the discussion, a member said, "I had many emotions at the changes that have taken place since the 3rd Central Committee Plenum." We met for the previous plenum in the wake of a JCP setback to draw lessons from the unfortunate results and discuss ways to turn toward a new JCP advance. At the time, the so-called "Koizumi whirlwind" was blowing. And internationally, the U.S. retaliatory war was raging. The task of the 3rd Plenum was to decide how to translate our confidence in the role of the JCP into action to further develop our prioress.
Parliamentary discussion has shown how inconsistent and irresponsible the three contingency bills are, as are the advocates of the legislation. The government and the ruling parties are boxed in as the current Diet session is approaching its end.
We will not only foil all undemocratic bills, including the three contingency bills and the bills to adversely revise the medical insurance system, but develop the struggle to the point where the advocates of these undemocratic bills suffer a bitter blow because of these bills.
I draw your attention to the reports by members from Okinawa, Nagano, and Kochi prefectures, that various forms of joint struggle are developing to block the undemocratic bills in localities in concert with the parliamentary struggle and the national joint struggle.
Japan's politics is entering a new phase of turmoil due to the failure of Koizumi politics. I cannot tell you how this tumultuous political situation will evolve. But I'm sure that the crisis of the LDP is all the more serious because it has been triggered by the failure in the major operations aimed at the LDP's survival under the slogan, "Change the LDP."
Whether or not we can link the present turbulence with a switchover to a new democratic government depends on how the JCP carries out the struggle and increases its strength to win in local and general elections. Bearing this in mind, let us work harder.
In his speech concerning international questions yesterday, JCP Central Committee Chair Fuwa drew attention to the strenuous effort by OGATA Yasuo, JCP International Bureau director in the Asia-Pacific Round Table Meeting in Malaysia sponsored by the ASEAN Institute of Strategic and International Studies.
That was about Ogata's statement on the current dispute between India and Pakistan calling for a peaceful settlement based on the great cause of the Non-Aligned Movement. He urged the two governments to come to the negotiating table, and never to use nuclear weapons. Ogata's statement was followed by a positive discussion by participants, including representatives of India and Pakistan.
Under its basic position of sovereign independence, the JCP seeks to play an active role in international affairs. It is very important that this policy is put into practice in that roundtable precisely when we are meeting for the JCP 4th Central Committee Plenum.
Since the India-Pakistan dispute is a matter of grave concern in international politics, we will inform the Indian and Pakistani governments of the JCP position in a letter signed by CC Chair Fuwa and me as soon as the present Executive Committee Report is approved by this Central Committee Plenum.
We are now striving to increase JCP membership and the Akahata readersdhip. It is quite rare for the JCP to call for a continuous drive to increase party strength without setting up a specific campaign such as a "united effort" or "monthly drive." I want to emphasize that we are taking on a new challenge.
We must enhance JCP activities by making full use of the lessons we drew from our last "United Effort" without being content with what we have gained. To this end, we must grow out of where we stand and start making new effort with more awareness and creativity.
Discussions take place wherever people meet everyday. I believe they are the basis for developing JCP activities in all fields.
Every JCP member has conversations with their neighbors, colleagues in the workplace and so on everyday.
The thing is how we can develop such conversations into "discussions between JCP members and their neighbors." If we work on this with awareness, it will certainly be a springboard for advance.
One of the objectives of our effort to build JCP branches "as the key players" should be to establish branches in which members can encourage each other, so that every member can have dialogues using their daily connections.
What is leadership? To bring the JCP line and policy home to every member certainly is one of the important factors for leadership. At the same time, it is also important to ascertain members' desire to achieve each branch's advance, listen to what each JCP member wants and needs, and help branches exert their spontaneous strength to grow. I believe this is exactly the attitude the JCP's leading members at each level need to maintain so that they can make most branches work with awareness based on the principle that "branches are the key players."
Central Committee Chair Fuwa characterized the 21st century as an era of enormous social progress, elucidated the power that will propel social progress on the international arena in the 21st century, the significance of the achievements the JCP has made in its 80-year history, and what the role the JCP should play in the 21st century.
JCP history shows that those who stand for truth and reason will be victorious even though there may be setbacks along the way to victory.
Taking pride in the 80-year history of the JCP, the Central Committee will do its utmost in efforts to bring success to our political struggles, including the simultaneous local elections (Apr. 2003) as well as the House of Representatives general election as well as to party building and the membership/readership drive. (End)