At the 3rd International Conference of Asian Political Parties in Beijing on September 4, 2004, Fuwa Tetsuzo, Japanese Communist Party Central Committee chair, spoke on "Quest for an Asia and world without war". The following is a translation of his statement as prepared for delivery:
On behalf of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), I would like to celebrate and to sincerely welcome the opening of the Third International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP). Here, in this conference, we have representatives from almost every political party all over Asia, both ruling and opposition. I think the conference is of special significance because the participants will discuss Asia's security problems and other important challenges facing the Continent and because we will discuss as well prospects for solutions, seeking ways for dialogue and cooperation.
This conference started in Manila four years ago, followed by one in Bangkok, then one in Beijing this year. These steps already have found a place in history as the first comprehensive meetings of all political parties in Asia. I am confident that developing this Continent, which has been full of hostilities, wars, ruptures, invasions, colonizations, and other historical events, into one shining with peace, sovereignty, friendship and cooperation and that establishing an "Asia without wars," are the common aspirations of all the delegates to this conference representing their respective countries.
The JCP is most proud of the fact that throughout its 82-year history it has been consistent in its position supporting peace and renouncing war. During World War II and in the preceding period, the JCP opposed the war of aggression and colonial rule caused by Japanese militarism, and the JCP fought in solidarity with the other Asian peoples in spite of experiencing all kinds of persecution and sacrificing greatly. After World War II, it resolutely opposed unjust wars of aggression that violated the UN Charter, including the U.S. war of aggression against Vietnam, the Soviet Union's war of aggression against Afghanistan, and the current war against Iraq.
When we ponder peace in Asia, I think it necessary to pay attention to the following: it has become a common and urgent task for the people of the whole world to establish a "world without wars," namely, an international order which guarantees peace.
Looking back on history, when World War II ended with the victory of the anti-fascist allies and when the United Nations was founded in 1945, broad currents aiming for a "world without wars" overwhelmed the world. The UN Charter providing for rules to prevent war, never allowing arbitrary wars by any country except for "self-defense," was born of these currents. But the currents were forced to a halt as the situation, in which cooperation among the five big powers, once expected to be the greatest support for the order for peace, was discontinued and the "U.S.-Soviet confrontation" became decisive.
I would like to attract your attention to the fact that now, at the early part of the 21st century, currents aiming for a "world without wars" based on a new international order for peace with the United Nations at the center, are developing with strength, under new circumstances different from those half a century ago.
The course of events up to the war against Iraq is its best proof. At one point, some argued for the "powerless United Nations" because people could not prevent the war. But it was unprecedented in history that the legality of the war was seriously debated in the UN Security Council even before the war started. As many as an estimated 30 million people throughout the world organized gatherings and demonstrations, expressing their opposition to the war. In this movement, the slogan "defend the international order for peace based on the UN Charter" was shared by these people, which was also unprecedented in history.
Developments in the Iraqi situation after the war started are also important. This shows that even the United States, the world's self-avowed only "superpower," cannot determine the course of world affairs as it likes and cannot bring other nations to their knees by its massive military power alone.
Today, great changes have taken place within the forces which will establish and defend an international order for peace. During the past half century, the people of the world took a great stride toward multipolarity. As regards the war against Iraq, so-called major powers also raised strong voices against the war. What transformed the global opposition to the war into the majority was the voice of the overwhelming majority of the people and countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America calling for peace and opposing the war.
Let me give you some examples. According to our counting, out of 191 UN member countries, 49 countries supported the war with an aggregate population of 1.2 billion, while 142 countries either opposed or did not support the war with an aggregate population of some 5 billion. Underlying this was a structural change in world politics in the wake of the collapse of the colonial system, a big change in which many nations, once left out of world politics, began to carry significant weight in world politics as independent countries with full sovereignty.
In establishing a "world without wars," the role to be played by the Asian nations is very important. On the task of establishing a world order for peace, we are reminded that a pioneering role has been played by the Asian nations as recorded in history. The 1955 "Bandung Declaration," issued at the Asia and Africa Conference held in Indonesia, proposed principles for supporting a world order for peace under the new circumstances in which many nations gained independence one after another. The declaration's principles are attaining greater splendor in the present situation.
On regional security, I attach importance to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) concluded by the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1976, and to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone concluded in 1995. Asia has suffered from remitting wars and conflicts and has been afflicted with the existence of military bases and foreign troops. But these treaties are turning this region into one of friendship and peace dedicated to cooperation among sovereign states and to a nuclear-free region. Signatories to the treaties are reaching out to Northeast Asia and to South Asia, and their peaceful influence is further growing.
The Northeast Asian region was most behind the time on this point. We welcome, as significant progress for both Japan and this region, the start of the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue, a joint effort to solve the problem. If the North Korean nuclear issue is solved in this framework, it will certainly be epoch-making in establishing a stable, peaceful relationship among countries in this region. We also hope that the framework of the six-party talks will develop into an organization, or at least a step toward one, to jointly deal with issues concerning security and peace in this region.
The JCP is not a ruling party. But from a position working for peace in Asia and in the world, it has placed emphasis on international diplomatic activities. Taking this opportunity, I would like to give you a glimpse of our diplomatic activities.
The JCP in its 1997 Congress put forth a policy to attach importance to diplomatic activities in Asian countries. The JCP's relations with the Communist Party of China, the host party of the Third ICAPP, had been severed for 32 years because of historical reasons, but they were normalized in 1998. For the last several years, JCP delegations have been visiting many countries in Asia and Africa, including Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Tunisia, and have been holding talks with government representatives to encourage useful exchanges of opinion on peace issues.
We also have close ties with the Conference of the Non-Aligned Countries and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). As regards the CNAC, the JCP participated as a guest in both its Summit Conference in February 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and its Foreign Ministers' Conference in August 2004 in Durban, South Africa. As for the OIC, the JCP was invited as a guest to its Summit Conference in October 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, and participated in it.
In these activities, what deeply impressed us is the fact that many governments, parties and peoples in the Asian countries fervently hope that Japan will develop an independent peace diplomacy based on its position as an Asian country.
In our view, regrettably, the diplomatic activities carried out by the Japanese government do not live up to their expectations in many respects. We consider it to be our important responsibility as an opposition party working in Japan's politics, to make efforts to bring Japan's diplomatic course in line with the world's currents for peace.
We made an extensive revision of the JCP Program at our Congress in January this year. In the new Program we set forth the direction we aim for as the policy of peace diplomacy Japan should seek. The JCP's fundamental position toward international politics was specified in some of its clauses. Allow me to introduce the major points.
- Attach importance to promoting friendships and exchanges with Asian countries on the premise that Japan expresses remorse for the history of its war of aggression and colonization.
- Champion the international order for peace as established by the UN Charter and oppose any hegemonic attempts to violate or to destroy it.
- Exert efforts to establish peaceful coexistence among countries with different social systems and to establish dialogue as well as relations of coexistence among various civilizations with different values.
The JCP is of a view that in order for Japan to contribute to peace in Asia and in the world we should thoroughly defend Article 9 of Japan's Constitution which provides for the renunciation of war and for the maintenance of no war potential. Further, by employing a diplomacy of peace based on the above, Japan should deal with all kinds of problems taking place in the world. Accordingly, the JCP is opposed to all attempts to revise the Constitution. As the only A-bomb victim nation in the world, Japan should make active efforts for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. This is also one of the points we stress as the international responsibility of the Japanese people to fulfill.
The JCP, basing its activities on these policies, will continue to work to develop relations of dialogue and of cooperation with other political parties in Asia.
Finally, taking advantage of this opportunity in which brothers and sisters from Asian parties have gathered together, I would like to make a proposal to the Chairperson, with the hope of further developing such fora for exchanges in multi-faceted ways.
Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, of the founding of the United Nations as well as of the establishment of the UN Charter, in addition to being the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference. In commemoration of this year carrying great significance for peace in the world and for its governing rules, I would like to propose that the ICAPP take some initiative as the combination of Asian political parties.
Sixty percent of the population of the whole world lives in Asia. There is no doubt that Asia will carry more significant weight in the 21st century in the world both economically and politically. The rich cultural achievements since ancient times as well as the scars of wars and of devastation from colonial rule are inscribed on its history. It is also one of the typical regions in the world in terms of diversity of cultural and religious values. In this respect, it has an important role to play in addressing the urgent challenge facing the world, the "coexistence of various civilizations with different values." If this Asia strives, aiming for an "Asia without wars," to establish stability in the region and an international order for peace, and to send out a message of its common will for establishing an international order for peace, it will be a befitting undertaking for the historic year 2005.
I would like to conclude my speech by expressing our determination that the JCP will make the utmost to promote international cooperation toward the direction I have referred to. Thank you for listening. (end)