Jan. 13, 2004

JCP 23rd Congress opens

The Japanese Communist Party 23rd Congress opened in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, on January 13, with 1,013 delegates plus 85 non-voting observers attending from throughout the country.

The congress began with the opening speech by Fuwa Tetsuzo, JCP Central Committee chair, followed by two main reports, one on the revision of the JCP Program and the other on the Resolution of the 23rd Congress.

Fuwa reports on new JCP Program

In presenting the draft new JCP Program, Fuwa stated that the JCP can be prepared to face all difficult problems of the 21st century by equipping itself with policies for democratic changes aimed at meeting the immediate needs and with a JCP Program that sets forth the prospects of a future society that overcomes capitalism. The Japanese Communist Party's name is linked to the history of its indomitable struggle and pride in its vision for a future society, he said.

Issues dealt with by the Fuwa report included: the definition of the Japanese situation focusing on Japan’s subordination to the United States; the definition of domination of the Japanese people by large corporations and business circles; the definition of "countries striving to achieve socialism"; the struggle over the choice between two world orders; the basic tasks of democratic change; the question of the emperor system and the Self-Defense Forces; the question of terminology "communism/socialism” for a future society; and the “socialization of the means of production" as the key word for a future society.

Shii presents draft Resolution

Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo's report on the draft Resolution focused on the party's political strategy and activities in preparation for the House of Councilors election due to be held in July. Referring to the election, he said, "The vital task is for the JCP to win at least five seats in the proportional representation constituency." He also said that to achieve this goal, "The JCP must receive more than 1.3 times the votes it obtained in the recent House of Representatives general election."

International guests

Twenty-four foreign guests from 14 countries, including representatives of various parties, attended the congress.

Parties represented were: Communist Party, USA; Communist Refoundation Party, Italy; Communist Party of India; Communist Party of India (Marxist); Communist Party of Cuba; Communist Party of China; The Democratic Constitutional Rally, Tunisia; Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, Czech Republic; German Communist Party; Party of Democratic Socialism, Germany; Sandinista National Liberation Front, Nicaragua; Hungarian Workers Party; French Communist Party; Communist Party of Vietnam; Party of the Democratic Revolution, Mexico; and Lao People's Revolutionary Party.

The first-day session was also attended by 15 foreign ambassadors and other diplomats from Angola, Indonesia, Ukraine, Cuba, Thailand, China, Tunisia, Palestine, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Venezuela, Laos, Libya, and Russia.

Mentioning the presence of international guests in his opening speech, Fuwa Tetsuzo, JCP Central Committee chair, said, "We attach importance to not only foreign visits but also to our diplomatic activity to promote day-to-day dialogues and exchanges with foreign countries via their embassies in Japan. That is why I do hope that the JCP 23rd Congress will be an opportunity to help further develop our dialogue and exchange."

First-time participants account for 56.6% of the delegates to the JCP 23rd Congress. More than 11% of delegates are teenagers and those in their 20s. Women delegates account for 24.2%. (end)

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