July 15, 1922 The JCP was founded on this day. At the time Japan was under the despotic rule of the Tenno (Emperor) system. Internally the Japanese people were deprived of all democratic rights, while externally Japan took the path of wars of aggression against other Asian countries and expansion of colonial rule over them.
Outlawed from the outset of its founding, the JCP suffered all kinds of oppression and persecution. It was the only political party in Japan that fought against the wars of aggression. Upholding the banner of freedom and human rights, the party fought for the liberation of Korea and Taiwan, colonies of Japanese imperialism, and for the full independence of other colonial and semi-colonial nations in Asia.
1945 The Pacific War ended with the defeat of Japanese imperialism. The JCP for the first time won legal status and conditions for activity, which marked the beginning of its new advances.
1947 The Constitution of Japan came into effect. It expresses the resolve of the Japanese people that "never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government" and declared that "sovereign power resides with the people." This proved the correctness of the longstanding position of the JCP that had consistently opposed wars of aggression and called for people’s sovereignty.
1950-1955 Repression by the U.S. occupation forces swept Japan, and the JCP was split by a group connected with the Soviet Union and China. The group worked to bring into Japan fallacious policies from abroad. This brought considerable difficulties to the JCP for the next several years (called the "1950 Question").
1958-1961 Two JCP Congresses fully resolved the problems related to the party split and restored party unity, establishing a new course as set out below:
1964 The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) began interference and attacks on the JCP.
1966 The Communist Party of China (CPC) started interference and attacks on the JCP.
1968 The JCP opposed the Soviet military intervention in Czechoslovakia.
1979 When the CPSU admitted that it had erred in interfering, JCP-CPSU relations were normalized.
1979 The JCP opposed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and squarely fought against it.
1998 JCP-CPC relations were normalized when the CPC made clear its attitude of "serious examination and rectification" about the error it had made by the past interference.
2004 At the 23rd Congress, the JCP revised its Program (see below for more detail).
The JCP Program (revised in January 2004) sets forth a perspective for a future society, overcoming capitalism and advancing to socialism/communism. The party advocates the position of a “step-by-step advance,” that any social change can only be made when people think such change is necessary and conditions for it are in place. The party is also based on the theory of “revolution by the majority” that any stage of social development will be brought about only after the majority of people have agreed and supported it.
From this position, the JCP is working to realize the following changes in Japanese politics for the immediate future, through “democratic change within the framework of capitalism”:
The JCP is working hard to establish a democratic coalition government in the early part of the 21st century on the basis of the majority in the Diet, and to shift Japan’s course towards the democratic and peaceful direction.
Cooperation among Opposition Parties
Recently Prime Minister Shinzo Abe changed the governmental interpretation of the Constitution of Japan to allow the nation to exercise the right to collective self-defense, and the governing coalition enacted new security laws which enable Japan to wage war overseas. This was a fundamental departure from the long-held security posture of Japan over the past five decades. The JCP, other opposition parties and citizens’ movements worked together for the first time in the national election in July 2016, demanding the repeal of the laws, a return to constitutionalism, and the resignation of the Abe cabinet. The result was successful; opposition’s unified candidates defeated ruling coalition’s candidates in 11 districts and the JCP itself added 3 seats.
The JCP attaches importance to respect for the right to national self-determination. It has strongly opposed any expression of hegemonism by any power to violate the sovereignty of other nations. It opposed the U.S. war of aggression against Vietnam, as well as former Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan.
It has maintained the position of sovereign independence, never allowing interference in the internal affairs of the Japanese movement by any big power. It had fought interference and attacks by the former Soviet Union and China’s Mao Zedong group, and eventually in both cases their sides acknowledged their wrongdoings and normalized relations with the JCP.
The JCP sets out in its Program the following basic points that a new Japan should seek in its peace diplomacy:
The JCP 24th Congress in January 2006 set forth the following 4-point proposal for Japan to shift its present diplomacy to one of opening its heart to other Asian peoples:
The JCP makes extensive efforts to establish friendship and exchanges with foreign political parties. Our basic position is that we will open our relations with any party if we share an interest in beginning mutual exchanges in accordance with the principles of sovereign independence, equal rights, and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, regardless of whether that party is conservative or progressive, and whether it is a ruling party or an opposition party. Wherever and whenever there are conditions for us to take common action, we would like to do so in the cause of peace in Asia and the rest of the world.
As for relations with foreign governments, the JCP is making efforts to develop exchanges with them on the issues of peace, global warming and progress.
From this position, the JCP in the past several years visited the following countries: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, China, the Republic of Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Tunisia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil, Germany, the U.K., EU, and the U.S. The JCP also attended the meetings of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties, the Summit Conference of the Non-Aligned Countries (guest) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (guest).