June 9 -10, 1999



JCP Central Committee Secretariat

June 10, 1999

The Japanese Communist Party 4th Central Committee Plenum was held on June 9 and 10 at the party head office in Tokyo.

Chair Tetsuzo Fuwa gave a Presidium Report consisting of the following five items: (1) summary of the simultaneous local elections and tasks for the future struggle; (2) the question of peace in Japan and the rest of Asia with the enactment of the War Laws; (3) efforts to overcome the economic recession and defend the people's livelihoods; (4) tasks for a JCP advance in the general election; and (5) a proposal on a major campaign to prepare to achieve a JCP advance in the general election.

In summing up the simultaneous local elections, Fuwa discussed the significance of the JCP having become the number one party by a large margin in the total number of local assembly seats, using data that show changes or standings of other parties' seats during the 1990s. In referring to the struggle against the anti-communist attack from the Komei Party, he stressed the importance of repelling such attacks. Fuwa called attention to the specific need for the party to earnestly examine the weaknesses especially after the JCP has achieved a major advance, and in this spirit reviewed the problems of political confrontation, plural candidacies, day-to-day activity in local assemblies, political activity and the link between the first half and the second half of the simultaneous local elections. On the Hinomaru flag and the song "Kimigayo," he referred to the JCP activity on this question including the publishing of an extra issue of Newspaper Akahata. He called for the JCP to take the lead in national discussions and in countering the government argument for legislation to designate them as the national flag and national anthem.

On the question of peace in Japan and the rest of Asia at this new stage of the Japan-U.S. military alliance following the enactment of the War Laws, Fuwa proposed tackling the task of winning a popular majority in opposition to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, as well as the struggle for abolishing the War Laws. Fuwa elucidated various tasks facing the JCP following the enactment of the War Laws and emphasized the need to make extraordinary efforts to develop a broad-based movement focused on the single task of defending the Constitution. He also stressed the importance of the question about establishing a democratic government that defends the Constitution and disallows invocation of the War Laws. He also called for opposition to the U.S. strategy of intervention and preemptive strikes, and for increased international activity aimed at a world order of peace.

On the question of overcoming the economic recession and safeguarding the people's livelihood, Fuwa proposed giving importance to the task of job creation, against the government welcoming and even encouraging corporate restructuring which ends up in worker dismissals. He also made clear that the nursing insurance system, which will be implemented in 10 months' time is very detrimental, and proposed 4 points including the postponement of collecting insurance premiums as an emergency measure. Fuwa said the JCP was to officially make a comprehensive proposal after the 4th CC Plenum.

On the general election to come, Fuwa pointed out that a great JCP advance holds the key to building an opposition front that will directly confront LDP politics, taking into consideration both the partnership between the LDP, the Liberal Party and the Komei Party and the present circumstances concerning the opposition. For election targets, Fuwa proposed getting more votes than the set targets in their ratio to all voters, winning as many extra seats as possible in the proportional representation, putting up candidates in all the single-seat constituencies and a bold challenge to a seat in these constituencies. He said a single-seat constituency would be a basic unit for running the JCP's election campaigns for both the proportional representation and the single-seat constituencies. Fuwa said setting up the leadership for an election campaign to meet the actual conditions should be done without delay.

On the "Great Movement for a Major JCP Advance in Preparation for the General Election," Fuwa said that party strength does not match the present situation in which the JCP got the record number of votes. Based on this recognition he stressed the importance of this "Great Movement" for a major JCP advance in the coming general election and in preparation for the 21st century.

For this "Great Movement" to be carried out until the end of December 1999, Fuwa proposed the following three goals: 1. To develop mass Movements in all JCP branches; 2. To win more JCP supporters; and 3. to increase JCP membership and Akahata readership.

He stressed that the success of the Movement hinges on all branches setting their own targets and adhering to the idea that "the JCP branches are the key players of JCP activity." He added that special efforts should be made to increase JCP members among the younger generation.

During the discussion, on the Presidium report 38 CC members spoke.

Following the discussion, Fuwa on behalf of the Presidium made the concluding statement. He said that some 6,000 JCP members throughout Japan listened to the plenum discussion on TV screens sent via a communications satellite and about 700 of them gave their reactions to the plenum.

He said that both the discussion and the impressions show for the most part that the core of his proposals were embraced.

Many viewers said they now understood how they should see the situation. On this, Fuwa pointed out the need to pay attention to two different aspects of the present situation: bad politics, as represented by the enactment of the Guidelines-related bills in the Diet, is actually destroying the political foundations of the forces which are responsible for those politics. He said that conditions are maturing for getting a drastic change of the political power balance with a major JCP advance.

He said that most CC members who spoke in the discussion and JCP members in their reactions welcomed the proposal for the "Great Movement," and that this movement will be an opportunity for the JCP to tackle some specific issues related to party building which have been left untouched. On the questions of establishing JCP branches composed of youth members, he appreciated the favorable responses to this proposal and in reply to some questions explained how the JCP Constitution should be interpreted regarding this matter.

Fuwa said that it is important for all JCP branches to review what the JCP did in the simultaneous local elections including common problems pointed out by the Central Committee. He said that the JCP will announce the first list of candidates for the coming general election by the end of June, and called on all CC members to make a vigorous effort and discharge their responsibilities in the "Great Movement" and the general election.

The 4th CC Plenum unanimously adopted the Presidium Report and Fuwa's concluding remarks.

The 4th CC Plenum elected Toshio Ueki and Zensaku Ota, CC members, as Presidium members. The Presidium meeting, which was held prior to the 4th CC Plenum, appointed CC member Toshio Ueki as a member of the Secretariat and removed CC member Seiji Dohi from the Secretariat. (Dohi will work with the JCP Tokyo Metropolitan Committee.)

The Standing Presidium appointed Tadayoshi Ichida, Standing Presidium member and House of Councilors member as Election Bureau head, Haruo Arima, Standing Presidium member as Election Bureau acting-head, and Michifumi Hayashi, Standing Presidium member as Party Building Commission vice-chair. (Akahata June 11, 1999)




By Tetsuzo Fuwa

(Presidium Chairman)

June 9, 1999

Summary of Simultaneous Local Elections and Our Future Tasks

(1) Proving the Trend of Great Advances Both in Number of Seats and Votes

4,403 seats in total: Consolidating the status as the most popular political party

The JCP on the whole achieved a great advance in the recent local elections.

Successful JCP candidates numbered 2,412, up 278 from the previous elections. In the first half of the elections the JCP won an increase of 82 seats: 54 in prefectural assemblies and 28 in ordinance-designated city assemblies. In the second half of the elections, we achieved an increase of 196 seats in city, town and village assemblies.

The number of JCP votes compared with the 1995 elections increased by 74% in prefectural assemblies, 47% in ordinance-designated city assemblies, 23% in metropolitan ward assemblies, 23% in general city assemblies and 24% in town and village assemblies. These results showed overall a trend of major advance.

The total number of JCP seats following the simultaneous local elections, was 4,403 which enhanced the JCP position as number one in terms of number of local assembly members.

JCP's leap in number of women assembly members is a contribution to democracy in Japan

The remarkable advance of women was what characterized this year's simultaneous local elections. A total of 2,381 women candidates were elected and the JCP stood highest with 740 members or 31% of the total. This number well exceeds the total number of 586 seats held by women in the other 5 political parties combined.

The total number of JCP women assembly members is now 1,251 (including those who were not up for reelection in April), further enhancing the JCP position as number one. In particular, in the prefectural assemblies 70 out of 155 women assembly members are JCP.

These local elections were thus characterized by a major advance of women in which the role of the JCP was outstanding; a contribution to the advancement of democracy in Japan.

Significance of JCP advance is clear in the context of the 1990s

Look at these election results within the overall context of the 1990s clearly reveals the significance of the JCP advance.

In local assemblies at the beginning of the 1990s, the Liberal Democratic Party was first with 4,548 seats while the JCP ranked second with 3,941 seats. The three national political parties at that time, the Socialist Party, Komei Party, and Democratic Socialist Party together held 7,739 seats.

After the three simultaneous local elections of 1991, 1995 and 1999, the JCP won 460 extra seats and reached the 4,400 level.

By contrast, during the same period the LDP suffered a decrease of about 1,000 seats and it now holds the 3,500 level, thus the JCP now ranks first with a margin of 800 to 900 seats. As for the other national political parties, we can only give a gross number due to the frequent break-ups and mergers taking place among themselves during these years. In total, they have lost 2,200 seats, receding to the 5,500 level combined.

The JCP has thus made a remarkable advance in the total number of local assembly members elected into office during the 1990s, and I want to emphasize that this represents the present overall trend in Japanese politics.

Prefectural assembly elections: Achieving seats matching on a par with other opposition parties

Examining the results of the last local assembly elections at each level, it is particularly noteworthy that our party is now on a par with other opposition parties in the number of seats in prefectural assemblies (Komei Party - 194 seats; Democratic Party - 187; JCP - 185). In ordinance-designated city elections, we reached 130 seats to become the third strongest party, overtaking the Democratic Party. In Kawasaki City, the JCP increased its number of seats from 9 to 14 seats to become the second largest party.

According to a Ministry of Home Affairs survey last year, the JCP was No. 1 in the number of city assembly members, as well as No. 1 in town and village assemblies. Through the recent elections, we have gone surpassed the LDP in city assemblies.

The number of JCP assembly members' groups that are large enough to have the right to propose bills has increased from 390 to 460. They include the four prefectures of Tokyo, Kyoto, Hyogo and Kochi, and 8 ordinance-designated cities of Sapporo, Kawasaki, Chiba, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and Kita Kyushu.

The JCP 21st Congress Resolution, in stressing the significance of the JCP advance in local assembly elections said, "It is especially important to bring about a drastic change in the balance of power in the local assemblies in which we have few seats, i.e., prefectural assemblies, ordinance-designated city assemblies, and city and ward assemblies." We can say that we have almost fulfilled this task.

(2) We Have Laid the Political Groundwork for a great Advance in Next General Elections

What does our recent major advance signify? Following the successive advances in the 1996 general elections, the 1997 Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election and the 1998 House of Councilors' Election, the result of the recent nationwide local elections has laid the political groundwork for another JCP advance in the forthcoming general elections.

Growing expectations of the JCP and deepening contradictions between the people and LDP politics underlie the JCP advance

Underlying this JCP advance was the deepening contradictions between the people and LDP politics, as well as the growing expectations of the JCP. Also, it is important to note that an increasing number of people are recognizing the JCP as the only political party with a capacity to confront LDP politics.

In local politics, this found its expression in the criticism of development project-oriented LDP politics and the earnest desire of the public for residents-oriented politics worthy of local self-government.

Day-to-day JCP activities are carried out by 26,000 branches organized throughout the country. Branches are the key players. It is important to note that the JCP is a political party which is demonstrating its grassroots power based on its close links with the people.

In the ever-frequent changes of alliance among political parties it is often the case that despite their having fairly a large number of Dietmembers, they only have a small number of local assembly members. The JCP's ability to demonstrate the intrinsic grassroots strength of a political party can be taken as an important factor in considering the future of Japan and political parties.

(3) Anti-communist Attacks Had to be Repelled to Enable JCP Advance

Characteristic of and weaknesses in Komei Party's anti-communist attacks

One of the characteristics of the recent local elections was the fierce anti-communist attacks which we had to defeat in order to make a JCP advance. Most political parties resorted to anti-communist attacks, but the Komei Party's were the fiercest.

Throughout the election campaigns, it was apparent that the points which were made in the Komei Party's anti-communist attacks in localities were all "provided" by the Komei Party center, and not based on facts of politics in each locality. And this was their weakness demonstrated in their attacks.

By and large there were two main issues. One was the anti-JCP attacks against on the JCP over the question of the local **merchandise coupons (*). Komei Party center took the initiative in releasing the fabricated, sheer groundless criticism, saying, "The JCP is propagating the merchandise coupons as its own achievement", and this slander all over Japan.

Naturally, our party refuted their argument based on facts. After all, throughout the election campaign period and even up till now, the Komei Party has been unable to show any fact to support its allegation that the JCP claimed the credit for the coupons.

In the other attack, the Komei Party claimed, "'Crumbling public schools' is a lie". But it is now a commonly recognized reality nationwide that public schools are so under-funded both in their facilities and operations that, though with varying degrees, children and their parents are suffering from the devastation of schools resulting from such situations. In some local assemblies, the Komei Party itself has joined in passing an opinion note calling for urgent measures to deal with the situation.

All that Komei Party could say in response was that "the JCP is a liar." Consequently, the more fiercely the Komei Party attacked the JCP, the more clearly it proved to be the defender of misgovernment in localities.

We paid attention to making counterarguments to make ourselves understood by supporters of our opponents

Bearing these distorted misrepresentations in mind, we made the necessary counterattacks. In doing so, we made a special effort to develop a counterargument that could be understood even by supporters of the other party in order to avoid devolving into emotional exchanges and unsubstantiated attacks. Our efforts drove them into a situation in which they could not make a proper refutation. This is a point we should keep in mind in our future struggle to counter various anti-communist attacks.

Also, in these latest elections, anti-communist attacks took the form of disruption of election campaigns in violation of the elementary rules of democracy, such as physical interference with our legitimate publicity campaigns or distribution of flyers of political slander and misrepresentation. We must remain vigilant for these kinds of moves in future elections.

Outrageous attacks may occur when the JCP is advancing and opponents are falling into decline

Generally, an anti-communist campaign is waged when the JCP is making advances and its opponents are in decline, and also when there is a movement toward achieving a democratic government. This represents the dialectics of a political struggle which we have pointed out for some time. As clear from the post-election developments, how to stop the great advance of the JCP is the major concern of the political forces which are promoting misgovernment. This is confirmed by comments and remarks some key leaders of the ruling LDP make on the post-election political situation.

In making exact counterattacks against their ruthless attacks, we must correctly grasp the new features in the present political situation in which the JCP advance is a focal point, and take advantage of this condition for our further success.

(4) Serious Review is Important after Successful Election

In an election like this latest one in which we made a significant advance it is important to seriously analyze any weaknesses in our campaign.

I spoke about our remarkable progress which featured our campaign in general, but when it comes to particularities there were numerous failures. For example, we won extra numbers of seats in 373 assemblies: 25 prefectures, 10 ordinance-designated cities and 338 cities, wards, towns and villages. However, we suffered setbacks in the number of seats in 138 local assemblies: 2 prefectures and 136 cities, wards, towns and villages.

Contradictions between local residents and LDP politics take on different features depending on local or regional conditions

Let me cite several major problems. First, the political battle. The failure of LDP-centered local politics was evident and its contradictions with local citizens far-reaching, so the JCP put toward a clear political alternative which is resident-first. We took advantage of this sharp contrast in our political campaigns everywhere which was a major characteristic common throughout the country. This point has proved very effective and powerful.

The point here is that the confrontation between LDP politics and people-oriented politics is common throughout Japan in terms of the general political setting, and each expression of this trend has specific features in each locality and region. Also, our policy making must start with identifying the most pressing and earnest demands of the people under the current circumstances of misgovernment. Why are such and such urgent demands of residents not brought up in local politics? What are the political errors and waste of resources that are blocking the way for solutions? In our political struggle it is crucial to analyze in specific terms these situations, and grasp the very point at issue so that we can fully convince the broadest possible range of voters that we offer a viable alternative. Once we arrive at that point, JCP policies can not only become substantial enough to be presented in campaign speeches and in extra issues of Akahata and other campaign literature, but also be effective in our organizational activities in the election campaigns to address the needs and concerns of all the voters.

In the first half of the recent simultaneous local elections some said "I have never felt the effectiveness of our being engaged in policy debates." This was what local activists said in many different districts. And the common recognition was that "the more intensive our policy debate becomes, the greater the voters' support for the JCP."

This is a very important point that should be translated into strength in future election campaigns but there is something else we should pay attention to.

In the second half of the simultaneous local elections, there was a tendency in some localities to mechanically adapt the JCP's national policy to local conditions and the attempt to find some local materials to serve that purpose. For example, in criticizing development-oriented politics, our work should start with a close scrutiny of each project to defend the interests and demands of the people so we can find out whether that project is a wasteful large-scale development project which conflicts with the interests of residents or a project necessary to meet the residents' needs. In some localities, the JCP failed to do this necessary work, and only looked at the scale of the projects which turned out to be misdirected criticisms. In other cases, unable to grasp the essence of the residents' demands, our publicity campaign failed to get on the same wavelength with the people's feelings.

Such weaknesses can be cited as reasons for the fact that the increase of votes in the second half of the elections was lower than that in the first half.

In the first half of the simultaneous local elections where prefectural assembly elections, ordinance-designated city assembly elections, and the elections of prefectural governors and ordinance-designated city mayors took place, a major part of our political campaigns were undertaken by JCP prefectural committees. In the second half, this task was borne basically by JCP district committees. The JCP 21st Congress stressed the following as the major tasks for party building: "We must stress the importance of political activity and mass activity through which the JCP is represented in every region and locality and we need to develop the skill for conducting and leading election campaigns." We will place special emphasis on the effort to enhance the ability of JCP district committees in this domain.

For this, district committees should hold discussions with local JCP assembly member groups regularly, work on local political issues, respond to people's demands, and make continuous effort to acquire knowledge and accumulate experiences, so as to play a proper leadership role in these fields in the future.

On plural-JCP candidate constituencies: Failure of both candidates going under

Second, the question of standing more than one JCP candidate in one constituency.

It is now a long time ago that we last worked aggressively nationwide to increase JCP seats in assemblies. As I showed in statistics, our recent experiences included many failures as well as dramatic successes.

Especially, it was serious that we suffered a large number of defeats in districts where the JCP stood two candidates in one electoral district. Characteristic cases were the prefectural assembly elections in Kanazawa and Kumamoto prefectures where the total JCP votes fell short of the number necessary to win both seats. In these prefectural assembly elections, the umber of votes obtained was lower than that in the proportional representation part of the 1998 House of Councilors Election. In such cases, it is important to analyze why they failed to reach the national average of JCP votes and avoid making a simplistic analysis that attributes their failures to standing two candidates in one constituency.

The major part of such failures was caused by the uneven number of votes obtained by each of the JCP candidates while the total number of votes cast for the JCP increased to the required level for both candidates to win. As a result, although one JCP candidate was elected with a large number of votes, the other lost by a slim margin. Detailed analysis of each of these failures proved that in many cases, very basic rules which had stood the tests through past election campaigns were ignored. And now it is important to not confine our analysis to a tactical or technical reflection on such problems as the inappropriate distribution of the constituency between our candidates.

In the present trend of major JCP advances while the number of votes cast for the JCP is increasing rapidly, the percentage of supporters with whom the JCP has no direct personal contact has become significantly large. The problem is that in the recent simultaneous elections distribution of the constituency between JCP candidates did not match the distribution of JCP supporters. And this problem was more serious than in previous elections.

All the more because of this, it is important for every JCP candidate to stage an attractive campaign. And in the district where that candidate is working it is important to upgrade the candidate's activity so that the supporters of the JCP should be encouraged to actually vote for him/her whether or not they were directly contacted by the JCP local activists.

Importance of daily local assembly activities and activities among the masses: Learning from Kobe and Tokushima

Third, our daily local assembly activities and political activities.

There are several localities where the JCP made an outstanding advance in the April elections. For example, in Hyogo Prefecture the JCP doubled its number of seats in the prefectural assembly from 7 to 14. The number of our members elected from the Kobe City constituencies increased fourfold from 2 to 8. In Kobe City, JCP candidates were returned in 8 of 9 constituencies including 3 two-seat constituencies.

Also, in the Kobe City Assembly election, we increased our representation from 10 to 13, winning one or more seats in all of the 9 constituencies.

Behind this great advance was intensive JCP activities to help the earthquake victims and work for the rehabilitation of local communities following the Great Hanshin Earthquake of January 1995. The JCP carried out earnest activities to achieve what the local people needed. Also, when a major popular referendum movement started over the question of a new airport in Kobe, the JCP took active part in the campaign and played an important role in it. Clearly, these activities contributed to a major JCP advance in Hyogo Prefecture and in Kobe City in particular.

Tokushima Prefecture was another example. There, the JCP had held one seat for many years in the prefectural assembly, and in the April election we won another seat. In the Tokushima City constituency where these two JCP candidates stood, we achieved a great success in winning first and second places. Also in the Tokushima City Assembly election held as a result of the second half of the simultaneous local elections, the number of JCP seats increased from 4 to 5 with all JCP candidates being elected.

In Tokushima, the JCP was very active in supporting the citizens' referendum on the plan to construct a movable dam on the Yoshino River which has caused grave concern because of possible environmental destruction and other problems. The JCP has worked on this problem for over 10 years. In the signature collection campaign calling for a referendum, all of the 20 JCP residential area branches in Tokushima City organized canvassers in charge of collecting signatures. With the JCP branches and groups in workplaces and mass movement groups also working with various organizations, literally the whole of the JCP in Tokushima City took part in this movement. Another big problem in Tokushima were the disruptive activities and corruption of the Buraku Liberation League. The JCP has long worked hard to expose and denounce their outrages and corruption. Also, we have opposed their proposal for what they call a "prefectural ordinance to abolish discrimination against the Buraku community"which would actually mean legitimizing their disruptive activities permanently, and formed a prefecture-wide liaison council to thwart this attempt. These activities contributed to producing good results in the election.

These experiences show how important it is for the JCP to play a greater role in citizens' movements, as well as in local assemblies where we take up a variety of citizens' demands. Especially, the party should actively participate in the movement residents have started voluntarily for their pressing demands, and try to contribute to the development of the movements.

There were some mistakes as well in this field. In one city where a large-scale development project was an issue, our local assembly members worked hard and drew a partial concession from the city administration. However, the JCP group in the local assembly voted for the city's proposal on account of the partial concession it achieved and lost its position in the election when this project was made an issue. There were some more examples which show the party's weaknesses: making no public report to the citizens on local assembly activities which should have been the most fundamental job of local assembly members; failing to let people know the JCP group's achievements in the assembly; and weakness in working with people in movements to realize their demands which should have served to strengthen the ties with them. When we faced a judgment by the people in the elections, these weaknesses proved to have very serious consequences.

In this sense, we need to pay close attention to the JCP's daily activities in local assemblies and the role of our assembly member groups and JCP organizations in mass movements as well as to the election campaigns.

Making good preparation for the second half of the elections while campaigning in the first half

Next, I want to discuss the relationship between the first half and the second half of the election campaigns.

In the simultaneous local elections, the elections of prefectural governors, mayors and assembly members of ordinance-designated cities in the first half, and the city, ward, town, and village assembly elections in the latter half. Our principle here is to fight with all our strength in the first half, and at the same time make good preparation for the second half. And whether the result of the first half of the elections is good or bad it is crucial to make it a springboard for progress in the second half.

In the movement, it is natural that we concentrate our energies on the campaign in the first half everywhere. But it is also necessary to do enough groundwork at the same time for the political battle in the second half. In the second half of the elections, only by putting all our energy based on such preparation can we make full use of the JCP advance achieved in the first half. This is a lesson to be learned all over the country for the future.

Special problem of Tokyo having only the gubernatorial election in the first half

In this regard, special mention should be made of the situation in Tokyo. Among all prefectures, Tokyo is in a very special situation in which only the gubernatorial election is held in the first half of the local elections without any local assembly elections where different political parties compete for people's support. Ever since progressive unity collapsed in Tokyo, we have had difficulty in the gubernatorial elections in achieving the result that reflected the full strength of the JCP. And the problem always is how to regain our enthusiasms following the election, and set up a firm structure within one week before the start of the second round of the elections.

In this year's gubernatorial election, with our good fight and concerted effort, our candidate got a much greater number of votes than in the previous election. But, as he ended up in fifth place, it was quite hard work regaining the energy to overcome the feeling of disappointment despite the great advance in the number of votes the progressive candidate obtained. Since some questions have been raised over the result of the Tokyo gubernatorial election we would like to elaborate on this question.

The LDP's loss of ability to put up its own candidate to participate in the gubernatorial elections in Tokyo and Osaka is a major development. It followed that, in appearance, these elections were fought in the form of contests among all non-partisan candidates, although in Tokyo, the JCP supported Mr. Man Mikami and the Democratic Party supported Mr. Kunio Hatoyama. In an election where an LDP candidate and a candidate supported by the JCP are contesting, we can make a sharp criticism of the opponent in the legal election campaign flyers and publicize the policies of our camp and candidate in a way understandable for voters. But in a contest involving only non-party candidates, although we our legal flyers critiqued certain candidates, it is difficult to get voters to know whom we are talking about (because it is prohibited by law to mention the names of candidates in legal flyers). That is to say, in the important arena of extensive political publicity campaigns, it is almost impossible to conduct direct debates between candidates and they can be done only in campaign cars and publicity cars. A candidate and a registered campaign organization are allowed to run one campaign car each irrespective of whether the prefecture's population is less than 1 million or more than 12 million like that of Tokyo. This makes it very hard for us to appeal to the entire electorate in a massive publicity campaign. In such a condition, the election tends to degenerate into a mere competition among candidates with higher celebrity status, and the tendency of choosing the most visible candidate among them will prevail even among the one million people who voted for the JCP in the last House of Councilors' election.

Here is a special challenge which is derived from the peculiar character of the election campaign. Therefore, in Tokyo in particular, if those who are actually involved in the campaign struggle do not grasp this character of the gubernatorial election, they may continue to be unable to grasp the relations between the first half and second half of the elections. This point calls for further in-depth analysis.

(5) On Hinomaru and "Kimigayo"

The last point in this section is not just about local politics. It concerns the question of the Hinomaru flag and the song "Kimigayo" because this question was raised in the preceding period of the simultaneous local elections and we developed the debate over the issue during the same period.

The great advance of our party was achieved in large measure thanks to the people's trust and support for the JCP's attitude and policy regarding this controversial question.

JCP's proposal: Two ways for a democratic solution to the current problem

The government's unilateral imposition of the Hinomaru and "Kimigayo," on the Japanese people on the grounds that they are "firmly established in Japan's society" and in particular on places of public school education has caused serious social problems. It has given rise to a number of tragedies, including the suicide of a school principal in Hiroshima Prefecture and the more recent case of bodily injury to a school principal in Osaka.

The JCP has announced a policy proposal as a democratic solution to this problem which is composed of two aspects.

One is the proposal that a nationwide debate on this question should be held to seek a national consensus. And in formally deciding on the national flag and anthem through legislation, we must try to draw a conclusion based on a national consensus of the people reached only after broad and in-depth discussions on the problem have taken place. Our position on this national debate is clear. We oppose both designating "Kimigayo" as the national anthem and making "Hinomaru" the national flag and encourage the creation of a new national flag and anthem appropriate to the present Japan. We announced this position of ours very clearly and publicized it in an extra issue of Akahata that was delivered to almost every household in Japan.

The second is that the national flag and anthem must not be imposed on the people, especially on public school education. It is a principle in modern society that even if the national flag and anthem are established by law, there should be no public imposition of them because the kind of attitude one takes toward them involves the question of freedom of one's beliefs and principles. The most serious error and problem is found in the Japanese government propensity to force its views on the public which is a carry-over of the imposition of ideology on school education and people in general from the pre-war period to now. A standard or a principle should be established on this point.

Shattering the taboos, free debate of the people has begun

As this is a question which affects each and every one of the Japanese people, we have attached great importance to this issue and (as mentioned above) published an extra edition of Akahata on this question for distribution all over the country. So far, we have distributed 41.44 million copies, covering about 90% of the 46 million households in Japan. Since there are still a number of households left that have not received the extra issue, including those on remote islands, the party center is giving various kind of assistance to complete the extensive door-to-door distribution of this extra issue.

This extra has had enormous repercussions. Already opinions and comments from 1,200 people have been received by the JCP head office in the form of letters, postcards, telephone calls, fax and e-mail.

I believe that the important feature of the current situation is that, partly due to the JCP proposal, the tendency of treating the problem of the Hinomaru and "Kimigayo" as a non-problem (which was so prevalent in the mass media) has virtually been shattered, allowing for the development of significantly free debates among the people. It is important for us to contribute to the development of this debate in earnest.

Our most recent analysis of the mass media role has shown that, partly motivated by the editorials or articles that expressly stated the pro-government positions of newspaper companies, a greater number of contributions on the Hinomaru and "Kimigayo" question have appeared in their readers' columns. Reviewing these contributions carried in the 6 national newspapers, we found 80 opinions on the question. Among them, only 19, less than 1/4, were in favor of their legislation, supporting the government position. Some say, "Both are unacceptable" while others say "The Hinomaru is alright but 'Kimigayo' is not" or "Nationwide discussion is necessary." In one of today's newspapers, I found the opinion that said, "I used to think the legislation was OK but recently I began to have some doubt about it." Such a variety of opinions have begun to be expressed very frankly. And as we have pointed out, these opinions have shown the concerns and anxiety of many people over the contradictions with the principle of people's sovereignty, and over the lack of self-criticism of the Japanese government on its past wars of aggression.

We must not allow ruling parties to use their majority to steamroller the legislation through

It was revealed that Japanese embassies and consulates abroad have long distributed the document which translated "Kimigayo" as the "emperor's reign or rule." Though the government hurriedly recalled these documents, as far as the lyrics of "Kimigayo" are concerned, this explanation points to the very core of the issue. The withdrawal of the documents cannot erase the fact that such an explanation has been going on unchallenged so far.

In spite of that, the government persists in saying that the Hinomaru and "Kimigayo" are "socially established" and is now planning to enact them into law, refusing to recognize the need for any discussion. This attitude shows their fear of a critical debate by the people, and their attempt at an undemocratic imposition of the Hinomaru and "Kimigayo" without allowing for national discussion is taking advantage of the majority now held by the ruling parties in the current Diet session where it is said, "Anything can be done" are only aggravating these political climate in Japan.

I believe it is natural for national and local media to argue against what the government is attempting to do.

Call by 63 prominent personalities in various fields represents Japan's conscience

It is essential to further tackle this question in earnest by working together with many people. The key points are:

- Opposing the government's attempt to unilaterally legalize the Hinomaru and "Kimigayo" - the JCP will exert great effort in raising and developing national discussions

- Demanding the withdrawal of the pre-modern practice of imposing them on public school education

Recently, a group of nine prominent intellectuals and people of culture issued a statement calling for opposition to legislation of the Hinomaru and "Kimigayo." Their call received the support of 54 others and on June 7 they convened a press conference. The appeal made by these 63 prominent figures is very significant, and I want to stress that they symbolize the conscience of the Japanese people.


Peace in Japan , Asia and the Rest of the World

in Relation to the War Laws

The second main theme is the question of peace in Japan, Asia, and the rest of the world following the enactment of the War Laws.

(1) Mobilization of Japan to U.S. Wars - War Laws Reveals Offensive Nature of Military Alliance

The Guidelines-related War Laws were railroaded through the Diet. The JCP has pointed out their dangerous nature from various angles.

The Japan-U.S. military alliance had ostensibly been for the "defense of Japan" but now it has been totally transformed into a military alliance which is offensive and mobilizes Japan to participate in U.S. wars. The enactment of these War Laws means a flagrant violation of the Constitution. The preamble states, "We...resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government," and Article 9 states, "The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes." The fact that the War Laws were enacted without any public discussion by the people, makes them all the more dangerous.

The Japan-U.S. military alliance is about to be questioned

Discrepancies between this system which will mobilize Japan to participate in U.S. wars and the interests of the people represent the extent to which the contradictions have deepened between the Japan-U.S. military alliance and the people, and they will increase even more. At this stage the question really must be whether to maintain the Japan-U.S. military alliance even into the 21st Century or get out of it?

While strengthening the struggle to abolish the War Laws, we must tackle the task of getting a majority of the people to oppose the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty itself. We will place this as one of our major tasks.

This is the broad perspective from which we should tackle the concrete tasks facing us following the enactment of the War Laws.

(2) For Nationwide Struggle to Oppose War Laws and Reject War Cooperation

First, the struggle to increase public opposition to the War Laws.

The government hastened to put the War Bills to a vote in an attempt to ram them through the Diet before the people realize what they are really about. But wherever people have realized their real danger, an overwhelmingly majority expressed strong opposition.

On the eve of the enactment there was a big rally at Meiji Park with 50,000 people taking part. It took place at the call of religious leaders and 20 trade unions of land, sea, air transport and harbor workers. These sponsoring unions are diverse in terms of national affiliation. Some (like the seamen's union) are affiliated with the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) and some are neutral. Because they have different political views, there had been little contact with each other until the start of this campaign. The other day, representatives of these unions visited us to express thanks for our cooperation in the rally. They said they were so moved by the huge turnout and surprised to see their movement grow so quickly in less than three months after they issued an appeal. They also said that even after the laws were enacted in defiance of their opposition, they visited each other and found that nobody is discouraged from continuing the struggle. Unexpectedly, the common voice we hear is one of expressing a resolve to keep on struggling against the War Laws. This is a very important point to note.

This struggle has multifarious concrete tasks. The War Laws will only be effective with wartime legislation and related laws being enacted one after another. Concrete plans for cooperation from private sectors will include mobilization of land, sea, and air transportation workers and harbors workers who sponsored the rally. The 50,000 people rally on May 21 called for "rejection of war cooperation imposed by the War Laws." It is important to put forward the struggle to thwart the practical application of the War Laws as an urgent task, and continue to develop the common struggle in parallel.

In the Diet, the government tried to defend itself by saying, "These laws are not for Japan's automatic participation in wars. The government makes independent decisions for any action." To put it another way, in a "situation in areas surrounding Japan" the government will be entrusted with making a judgment about the need to invoke the War Laws. This being the case, the focus of the people's struggle must be shifted to preventing the War Laws from being invoked for dealing with "the situation in areas surrounding Japan."

In tackling these concrete tasks. we must have correct understanding that such challenges will face us in the course of the struggle; and we must envisage abolishing the War Laws as our goal without losing sight of the fundamental task of abrogating the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

(3) Extraordinary Efforts to Build-up a Broader Front in Defense of the Constitution

We will put special emphasis on the task of forming a front to defend of the Constitution. A blatant violation of Article 9 of the Constitution by the enactment of War Laws has been followed by moves within the LDP to form a faction with the aim of revising the Constitution by 2010. In the Diet, there is also a move to set up a Constitution research council and a proposal is being made to enact a law that establishes the procedure for the revision of the Constitution as a first step.

A dangerous move is developing now to take away all constitutional restrictions. Every effort should be made in and out of the Diet to establish a broader front against the revision of the Constitution and for the full implementation of its peace principles. Common action on this single purpose of all individuals and organizations that stand for peace and democracy is particularly important now.

(4) Our Struggle on Foreign Policy Issues

The struggle on foreign policy issues is also important. Outbreak of disputes is likely in the future in the Asia-Pacific region. Our call is for their peaceful resolution and our activity is to prevent the U.S. from invoking a preemptive strike strategy and launching an interventionist war. This activity is getting more significant as a practical application of JCP foreign policy.

We raised two proposals on relations with North Korea in Diet questioning, and the developments over the past six months

On the question of North Korea, I made two proposals in the Diet Plenary Session in January. One is that Japan should establish a negotiation channel with North Korea, and the other is that Japan should declare that it will not take part in any preemptive attack on North Korea. There are various problems involved, but I said that these two basic steps essential in breaking through the present vicious circle of increasing tension in relations with North Korea. I am sure that developments during half a year since then have corroborated our proposal.

Japan has been without any diplomatic channels to North Korea. The opinion is prevalent among neighboring countries that Japan should do something to get out of this stalemate. There is growing concern about Japan focusing only on a military solution to what they describe as a crisis and a conflict without a negotiation channel first being established.

South Korean mass media warn against War Laws

One more thing about the question of preemptive attack. I took note of the South Korean reaction to the passage of the new Guidelines bills through the House of Representatives. In a desperate attempt to enact these laws, the government often argued that it must not abandon South Korea in an emergency on the Korean Peninsula. However, the South Korean daily Hankyoreh on April 28 carried a commentary entitled "Problems of Japan's Laws on Measures to Deal with Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan." It said, "The enactment of the Guidelines Laws gives rise to a concern. Now that the U.S. secured Japan's firm logistic support, there is no guarantee that it will not unilaterally start a war which we don't want." That is, when there arose suspicions of North Korea developing nuclear weapons five years ago, the U.S. had to give up a preemptive attack on North Korea because support from Japan was not forthcoming, but with the Guideline-related Laws enacted, the U.S. may make preemptive attack on North Korea against the will of South Korean society and this danger is increasing. It was the mass media in South Korea that sounded the warning. This is a report which points out the grave aspect of the Guidelines.

With this in mind, in dealing with the question of Korea, we should step up diplomatic activities based on a clear view on what is the key to solving this question.

China question - military intervention in the Taiwan Straight is a dangerous interventionist attack

Military intervention in the Taiwan Straight is a dangerous interventionist attack. It is increasingly important for us to discuss this point extensively with a broad range of the people as a matter of principle in foreign relations. Bearing this in mind and based on the JCP Congress decision, we will attach greater importance to the struggle for peace in Japan and Asia in the diplomatic field.

(5) Aiming for a Government which Will Thwart Invocation of War Laws

I also would like to stress that the question of alternative government will become very important. The War Laws provide that the government is entrusted with the task of deciding on Japan's response to "situations in areas surrounding Japan." Under this system, whether or not to establish a democratic government which defends the Constitution and opposes the invocation of the War Laws is getting more decisive for peace in Japan and Asia. The War Laws are Japanese laws which don't represent any treaty obligation to the U.S. If a government which can make independent decisions is formed, it is possible for this government to reject U.S. requests and maintain Japan's constitutional position even with the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the War Laws in force.

It is in this context that the task of establishing a government which will protect and promote peace has even greater significance than ever for peace and the future of Japan and Asia.

We have long made clear that the question of government is likely to come up as the order of the day and that this question can be dealt with from various angles even before the emergence of a democratic coalition government which will abrogate the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. When we consider the question of government, regardless of the stage at which it is established and regardless of form, the attitude of the government toward the War Laws must be a criterion which defines the character of government. It is natural for the JCP to have this view as a political party which in all circumstances has opposed wars of aggression since pre-war days.

(6) Struggle against U.S. Intervention and Preemptive Attacks and for Protection of a World Order of Peace

To our future struggle at home, which I have just discussed, I would like to add the present international tasks.

We have repeatedly stressed that the root of the War Laws is the U.S. interventionist and preemptive strike strategy, and the War Laws represent their practical application in Asia and the Pacific.

"New Strategic Concept" of NATO - Embodiment of U.S. intervention strategy in Europe

We must pay attention to the fact that the U.S. has applied its interventionist and preemptive strike strategy to the new strategic policy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Europe. Around the time when the War Laws were passed through the House of Representatives, NATO adopted its new strategic policy referred to as the "new strategic concept" on April 24.

Article 5 of the NATO Treaty provides that if an armed attack against one or more NATO members occurs, NATO as a military alliance organization will counter it collectively. This has been conceived as NATO's military commitment. There have been attempts to change it, and the most recent one was the adoption of the New Strategic Concept which made an about-face in NATO policy by taking military action to deal with a "non-Article 5 crisis" - a crisis without any attack being made from other countries. An attack on NATO member states is not a question any more. The new concept allows NATO to take full-scale war actions as "crisis response operation" to deal with what happens outside the territory of NATO member states.

This is a practical application in Europe of the same U.S. strategic position which serves as the basis of Japan's War Laws, including the Law on Measures to Deal with "Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan."

No restriction like Japan's Constitution is imposed on NATO, so NATO is very candid in stating the heart of the matter far more clearly than in the Japanese War Laws. For example, it clearly defines what should constitute the "situation in the surrounding areas." That is "regional crises at the periphery of the Alliance." The periphery means "in and around the Euro-Atlantic area." Then, "regional crises" are described as "regional instability" led by "ethnic and religious rivalries, territorial disputes, inadequate or failed efforts at reform, the abuse of human rights and the dissolution of states." All of these "crises" concern the internal affairs of other nations. When NATO regards them as something which affect the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area, it will resort to military intervention. This is a very clear statement of war policy for NATO to make preemptive attack in case it predicts some danger in other countries, like interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

The U.S. has established preemptive strike strategy worldwide

Some time before this new policy was set out, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbot spoke in Bonn, Germany on February 4, 1999. He said, "We must be careful not to subordinate NATO to any other international body or compromise the integrity of its command structure." Here "other international body" is without doubt the United Nations. The point in this part of his speech is that "we never put ourselves under the U.N.; we don't want what we try to do to be hampered by the U.N." This is tantamount to a declaration that NATO will act in disregard of the U.N.

While putting this strategy into operation in Europe, the U.S. in Asia has forced Japan to enact the War Laws. This represents what U.S. strategy has achieved so far.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the prevalent view was one of acclaiming it as a good opportunity to free the world of the threat of U.S.-Soviet military confrontation. But the U.S. developed a "world police" strategy to dominate the world with its enormous military force and its military alliance network intact. But the U.S. could hardly find justification for this "world police" strategy. There was time when the "rogue states" theory was used. Now, using "response to regional crises" as a pretext, the U.S. is pursuing the new strategy to mobilize its allies for collective intervention and even preemptive attacks on other nations.

This strategy found expression in the Atlantic and Pacific regions. The New Strategic Concept covers the "Euro-Atlantic area" and Japan's War Laws concern the "Asia-Pacific region". These two setups cover all areas of the world except the continental U.S. The U.S. has thus developed this strategy and established a global system of intervention and preemptive attack.

This system completely conflicts with the order and rules of peace established in the U.N. Charter: Non-interference in each other's internal affairs; U.N. mandate required for international use of force; No unilateral military action by any country except for self-defense against aggression. This system was established as the basis of order and rules for world peace by the U.N. based on reflections of World War II aggression and atrocities. The U.S. is now reasserting its hegemony as the basic principle of the world order.

I would like to stress that here lies the greatest threat to world peace in the 21st Century and the struggle to defend peace from this threat of U.S. hegemony and protect and strengthen the world order of peace will be a central task of international struggle in the 21st Century.

Yugoslavia Problem - End of NATO bombing and active role of the U.N. are needed

The ongoing bombing of Yugoslavia is precisely an invocation of this strategy. The JCP has demanded that NATO immediately halt its air bombing and called on all governments in the world, including NATO member states, to work together for this purpose. We visited the embassies of more than 40 nations and delivered a formal letter from the JCP Central Committee. We also mailed it to the government of 80 other countries. We will place great importance on diplomatic activity backed by Japan's public opinion in favor of peace.

Thanks to the mediation effort by the governments of Russia and Finland there are moves going on for peaceful resolution. An equitable resolution first calls for a halt to the unlawful bombing which started in March. Second, the cease-fire agreement says that the U.N. decisions are required to settle the questions of stationing troops and setting up a provisional governing body in Kosovo. For the first time the U.N. has been given a role to play in spite of NATO's unilateral action of intervention in complete disregard of the U.N. Taking advantage of this, the U.N. should play a positive role, so that agreements in the U.N. provide an opportunity for the resolution of the problem.

We will keep on insisting on this, and the party will work for arousing world opinion and seeking a strengthened monitoring by international observers so that the way to peaceful resolution cannot be reversed by the interventionist strategy of the U.S. and NATO.

(7) For Development of Relations with Overseas Political Parties

Finally, relations with foreign political parties.

The JCP has developed relations with political parties of other countries based on the three principles of independence, equality and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. These principles were established as a norm governing relations with communist parties of other countries in the 1960s. They have been implemented and had positive significance in the struggle against hegemony and interference by the Soviet Union and China. Even when relations with the Communist Party of China were normalized last year, the JCP made clear that it would adhere to these three principles as criteria for the resolution of historical problems and as a basis for future relations between the two parties.

In its international activities, the party has also made effort to have friendly ties with a broader range of foreign political parties as well as with communist parties. The three principles have been applied to this effort as well.

In the JCP's foreign relations, we will put greater emphasis on exchanges, friendship and cooperation with political parties with different political and theoretical positions. In the present circumstances, we want to confirm again the three principles mentioned above as the party's standard for association with political parties overseas.

If any party that wants to have relations with the JCP, irrespective of ideology or position the party will, if it is also interested, try to have relations with them based on the principles of independence, equality, and non-interference in internal affairs. We will also exchange opinions straightforwardly and pursue possibilities to make joint effort for peace in Asia and the rest of the world.

A Way Out of Economic Recession and

Defense of People's Livelihood

Next, the domestic economy. The LDP-JCP confrontation has become increasingly manifest in the fields of Japan's economy and the people's quality of life. We will stay the course in the effort to solve the current problems facing Japan's economy, and in particular the recession. I now want to discuss several crucial points.

(1) Task of Increasing Employment is Important in Struggle to End Recession

First, the importance of the task of increasing employment in the struggle to overcome the economic recession

Unemployment is the worst since the times of chaos immediately after the Second World War

It is obvious that the protracted recession and the subsequent economic difficulties have been caused by the drastic decrease in personal consumption and the government's misdirected economic policies that ignore the people's livelihood. In this regard we should particularly note the fact that the decline in employment due to the 'restructuring' spree is emerging as a principal factor aggravating the current recession along with personal-consumption-depressing policies, including the increase in the consumption tax.

On June 1, the Management Coordination Agency published the unemployment statistics for April. The unemployment rate stood at 4.8%, the same as in March and a post-war high for two consecutive months. The number of unemployed increased from 3.39 million in March to 3.42 million in April.

The Obuchi Cabinet welcomes and assists in 'restructuring' schemes that exacerbate unemployment

Despite all this, the government's policy of welcoming, encouraging and even helping major corporate "restructuring" is the biggest cause of the massive unemployment, ostensibly to enhance international competitiveness of the major corporations.

When the unemployment statistics for March were published on April 30, Prime Minister Obuchi, who was visiting the United States held a discussion with American students at Chicago University. His position was one of accepting the high unemployment rate as inevitable. He said: "Unfortunately, the unemployment rate must rise further for enterprises to become competitive." This is how literally he welcomed and encouraged "restructuring."

He is said to be preparing to introduce to the extraordinary Diet session in autumn a bill to substantiate this position. The content is still unknown, its slogan "an end to 'surplus equipment' and 'over-employment'" clearly indicates that its basic direction will be one of meeting the request of business circles such as the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations which have been calling on the government to assist them with "restructuring" ostensibly to 'enhance international competitiveness.'

In Japan, restrictions on massive dismissals and job protection are not sufficiently enforced by law, and there is much danger of a major setback in current protective mechanisms.

Three keys to job security and creation

In addition to reduction of the consumption tax rate and protection of small- and medium-sized enterprises, and job security and job creation called for by the workers, there are national tasks necessary to overcome the current recession. There are several measures that are key to achieve these tasks.

Reduce worktime to increase employment

First, shorter working hours. It is now essential to structurally increase employment by reducing working hours as institutional measures which include restrictions on overtime work.

On May 26, the Social and Economic Productivity Center, an organization supported by business circles made a noteworthy report on this question: If overtime work is abolished completely, 2.6 million new jobs will be created; just by abolishing unpaid overtime work, 0.9 million jobs will be created. Even an institution which is close to business circles cannot but recognize that these are key measures to increasing employment. If 2.6 million new jobs are created, they will absorb 76% of the 3.42 million people who were unemployed in April.

Take steps to control dismissals and 'restructuring"

Second, steps must be taken to control dismissals and "restructuring." At present there is no law to regulate dismissals in Japan. The only existing restriction is a judicial precedent that established "four conditions for justifiable dismissals"; the dismissals are objectively necessary; efforts have been exhausted to avoid the dismissals; workers to be dismissed are justifiably selected; and sufficient explanation to and discussion with the workers have taken place. There is the danger that even these "four conditions" might be abandoned and the road to unilateral, massive sackings might be widened.

There is no country in Europe where worker termination is given such a free rein as in Japan. The effort to create a mechanism for job security with legal restrictions on "restructuring" and massive sackings constitutes a major area of our struggle.

Expansion of employment in the sectors related to people's livelihood such as welfare, education and disaster prevention

Third, job creation in the sectors related to the people's livelihood such as welfare, education and disaster prevention. Last October John Kenneth Galbraith, professor of economics, gave his recommendation for Japan's anti-recession measures in an article published in Nihon Keizai Shimbun. He recommended that the government prioritize job creation in social programs and education.

In Japan, however, the government shows zeal for the reduction of employment in the public sector, calling it "administrative reform." This is the exact opposite of what is realistically called for.

The fact of the matter is that Japan is far behind many countries in the world in terms of public services provided by government. According to the most recently available statistics, in 1994 the number of government workers per 10,000 people was 321 in Japan. The numbers for other G7 countries are as follows: 1,062 or 3.3 times more for France; 735 or 2.3 times more for Great Britain; 678 or 2.1 times more for Germany; 643 and 628 or 2.0 times more for the United States and Italy respectively; and 300 for Canada, the only country with figures slightly below those of Japan. In other words, Japanese people are getting only one-third to one-half the public services available in Europe or the United States. When you talk with foreign researchers, they often ask reproachingly why politicians are so enthusiastic about cutting the government workforce in Japan where public services are so insufficient to begin with. But "restructuring" is prevalent in the private sector and government's main policy focuses on personnel reduction through major cutbacks in welfare and education at both central and local levels. How can they respond to the employment crisis when they are the cause of it?

The government is always talking about "stable" business activity. However, from the viewpoint of actual personal consumption, the situation is deteriorating to such a degree that it is no longer just a matter of general reduction in consumer spending due to the consumption tax increase; the problem is that the critical employment situation is threatening the very lives of consumers. Again at issue for the people is whether politics should serve the pursuit of high profits for the large corporations or should it be devoted to increasing employment to overcome the recession. We will hold fast to the position outlines above and continue our struggle in both the We will hold fast to the position outlined above and continue our struggle in both the fields of electoral politics and support for mass movements.

(2) Problems of Nursing Care Insurance - Four Urgent Proposals and Demands

Serious problems arising ten months before the start of the new system - acute requests from over one-third of local governments

Another question is the nursing care insurance scheme which is coming into effect in ten months.

We have long been concerned about the very perilous situation surrounding the nursing care insurance scheme. The JCP made representations to the government last year, two years before its start.

And on March 15 this year, we made the following five-point urgent request:

First, the central and local governments must devote all their energy to developing the nursing care service infrastructure which is insufficient.

Second, low-income people should be exempted from insurance premiums and service charges.

Third, local governments must not end subsidies to their welfare service institutions or withdraw from their we;fare service programs on the ground that the nursing care insurance scheme will be available.

Fourth, low income nursing homes residents must not be evicted from these homes due to inability to pay premiums.

Fifth, decision-making on whether nursing care is necessary must not be mechanical but must reflect the person's actual living conditions.

Since March, numerous warnings about the nursing care insurance scheme have been submitted from various quarters and many local governments throughout Japan have published their concerns and opinions. The number of local governments which have submitted written opinions reached about 1,200 in April, which accounts for over one-third of all local governments throughout Japan.

Their contents reflect the concerns we raised in our five-point urgent request. For example, they state: "Low income people should not be excluded from the nursing care insurance system because they cannot afford to pay insurance premiums and service charges," "The state subsidies system should be improved to help local governments provide the adequate nursing care infrastructure," and "Approval for nursing care services should not be based only on physical functions but on the overall necessity for nursing care."

Why does the nursing care scheme raise such a chorus of concern? For the nursing care insurance system, from the outset we proposed combining welfare with the insurance scheme. The government rejected this and went ahead with insurance, which gives priority to reducing the state's financial burden, thus forcing the system to be based on insurance without sufficient provisions for low-income people. This is the origin of the present serious situation.

In fact, after the nursing care insurance scheme is introduced next year, the financial burden of the central and local governments will be 450 billion yen less that the current level. According to an estimate for fiscal 2000, what the central and local governments will spend will decline by 370 billion yen and 80 billion yen respectively.

If the system cannot offer services which deserve what the people pay as premiums, the nursing care insurance scheme will be an irreparable mistake.

We demand that the following four points be carried out:

1. A national survey

First, a national survey of the actual situation is needed. The government should immediately conduct a survey to ascertain the problems related to the conditions of nursing care and the insurance scheme, and give the people a responsible explanation. It is necessary for every municipality to know how many people will be excluded from the scheme and what nursing care system the municipality will need to set up. We demand that the government carry out such a survey and, at the same time, we would like to call on the people to organise surveys on the actual situation independent of government action.

2. Necessary corrections to meet the people's demands

Second, corrective measures. Positive steps should be taken, including additional subsidies, to develop the necessary infrastructure. Since the target the government has set is very low, it should be raised in accordance with what nursing care needs actually are. A minimum necessary revision to the system should also be made in relation to the problems which are apparent, for example the exemption of low-income people from insurance premiums, overall reduction of insurance premiums, changes in the way eligibility is determined, and so on.

3. Postponement of collection of insurance premiums Third, collection of premiums should be postponed until the infrastructure is put in place, at least enough to provide a certain level of nursing care services and the major problems in the system are resolved.

4. Transitional measures for providing services

Fourth, transitional measures for providing services. With regard to nursing care services and the burden to be borne by service users during the period of the postponement of insurance premium collection, there must not be retreat from the current level. In other words, transitional measures must be taken in anticipation of such problems as exclusion low-income people from services.

After this CC Plenum we will make a comprehensive proposal in line with these four needs. This is indeed a matter of urgency as the nursing care insurance scheme is coming into effect in ten months' time.

As many parties have pointed out problems and made proposals on this question, we attach importance to cooperation with them in order to achieve a positive and effective solution that meets the people's needs.

(3) The Struggles for a Change in Economic and Fiscal Policies

In achieving this solution, the struggle for a fundamental change of economic and fiscal policies, which we have demanded for a long time, is becoming more and more important.

Breaking away from politics favoring general contractor construction companies and free central and local governments from the financial burdens of huge public works projects. This is an urgent task that cannot be left untouched because it is essential for the improvement of people's living conditions and social security, for the reorganization of the financial system, and for preservation of national land, including environmental protection measures. We will further strengthen this struggle not only at the national level but also in local politics.

For a Major JCP Advance in the General Election

(A Summary)

(1) Political setting that precedes the general election - Three-party alliance and opposition parties

The alliance between the Liberal Democratic Party, the Liberal Party, and the Komei Party now set in motion is a problem with the enactment of the Guidelines-related War Bills and the plan to enact a series of reactionary bills to place tighter control over local governments in the name of "decentralization" and to legalize wiretapping by the police, this three-party coalition is playing a very reactionary role.

Even when the LDP had the absolute majority in the Diet, it never used inter-faction consultation as a substitute for regular Diet deliberations. But now, abuse by majority based on exclusionary consultation between the three parties has become common. This is why a sense of crisis about parliamentary politics is being expressed from many quarters.

We will confront the major task of passing a judgment on these undemocratic tactics and the reactionary regime in the coming general election.

In barely one year, there have arisen three issues which affect Japan's politics in relation to the people's interests.

- Breaking through the economic recession and a consumption tax rate cut: A joint struggle took place between the JCP and a small parliamentary group, but the other parties failed to tackle this question.

- Use of tax money for helping banks: The JCP opposed this measure; the other parties, including the Democratic Party, were entrapped into supporting it.

- The Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation: Joint action on a limited basis took place between the JCP and the Social Democratic Party. The Democratic Party opposed the bill for measures to deal with situations in areas surrounding Japan, but did not take more action in opposition to the Guidelines bills.

The joint struggle between the Democratic Party, the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party against the wiretapping bill will have important implications for future political development, but on these three issues the opposition parties have failed to form a common front although opposition parties' role have been at issue. It is clearer now that the JCP holds the key to achieving a common front of opposition parties capable of confronting Liberal Democratic Party politics.

(2) JCP's goals

The political developments and changes in the past three years since the 1996 House of Representatives election have helped develop conditions for a greater JCP advance.

There can be no spontaneous JCP advance in any election. Any political situation favorable to the JCP can lead to a major JCP advance only when the party works hard with viable correct policies and a realistic action plan.

Specifically, the JCP will aim for :

1. Winning larger numbers of votes for JCP candidates than the set goals as expressed in the ratio to the electorate;

2. Winning as many extra seats as possible in all proportional representation constituencies;

3. Standing a JCP candidate in all single-seat constituencies and challenging seats in those constituencies designated as important.

(Translator's Note: Of the 500 House of Representatives seats, 300 are elected from single-seat constituencies, and 200 from the 11 proportional representation constituencies.)

(3) Talks to the electorate and discuss the JCP's vision of changing Japan and the present whole picture of the JCP

This is probably going to be the 20th century's last national election in Japan. Immediate issues will be about peace, jobs, nursing care insurance and others, but party members and JCP supporter association members should also grasp the Japanese Communist Party view on Japan's transformation and how the JCPdefines itself so that they can explain these things to the electorate.

Proposal for a United Effort to Strengthen the JCP in Preparation for the General Election

(A Summary)

(1) What have we achieved so far, and what are we going to achieve?

Popular support for the JCP has been increasing steadily in every election and this tendency is gaining momentum. We must stick to the target of establishing a democratic coalition government in the early part of the 21st century. There are objective conditions in place for this trend to increase so that this goal can be achieved.

By contrast, the present party strength is far behind the increasing popular support for the JCP and the extent of the JCP's political influence. We must do something about this.

In the early 1970s people in the 20s accounted for more than 50% of the JCP membership, and they really were the driving force. But today, the main force of the JCP are people in their 30s and 40s who account for 48% of the present JCP membership. The problem is that JCP membership among young people in their 20s is so small.

This is because the legacy of the anti-communist offensive driven by forces of reaction has lasted for more than 20 years since the second half of the 1970s.

The whole party must take this state seriously so as to turn the tide toward a major JCP advance into the 21st century.

Party activity in which branches are the main players has become firmly established and this is an area in which important progress has been achieved.

(2) What we do in the United Effort

The United Effort will last till the end of December. From this coming autumn through next year, we will undergo a tense period in which the House of Representatives can be dissolved for a general election at any time. The United Effort will be devoted to the following activities:

1. All JCP branches will be involved in the mass movement to achieve a variety of demands of the people in residential areas, workplaces, and schools;

2. Begin now to work to gain voters' support for the JCP in preparation for the general election in which the party aims to exceed the target ratio of votes for the JCP to the number of eligible voters; and 3. Every branch will act in accordance with its own targets of membership and Akahata readership, and these goals should be fulfilled by December.

(3) Branches should set their own goals

All branches should organize discussion on the 4th CC Plenum decisions and on their own concept of a JCP they should build in their respective places of work: residential districts, workplaces, and schools, and on activity that should be done for a major JCP advance in the coming general election. Based on such discussion , they must decide goals they hope to achieve.

(4) What we are going to accomplish in the United Effort

Branches will pay greater attention to activities with people in various communities and help to enhance them. Through these activities the branches will tackle at least one movement to realize the pressing demands of the residents.

(5) Begin to work for increasing electoral support for JCP now

Utilizing the data JCP branches and intermediate bodies collected during the recent simultaneous local elections we should begin to work to gather voters' support for the JCP. If necessary they must put voters' addresses and other data in order first.

(6) Recruitment

The Central Committee Report to the JCP 21st Congress (September 1997) stressed the importance of recruiting young members and of assisting the Democratic Youth League of Japan so as to resolve the problem of successors.

Fulfilling this task is an essential part of party building in the 21st century.

It is important that all branches recruit new party members.

For new young members, setting up of branches made up of young members in workplaces and residential areas should be considered as a means of developing activities which attract and fit in with the characteristics of the younger generation.

(7) Increasing Akahata readership

At a time when the JCP's influence is growing, the readership of the party newspaper, Akahata is slowly declining in numbers. In the United Effort, we must stop this decline and increase the readership.

In Japan's present society, the importance of Akahata is clearer than ever. On a number of questions Akahata plays a role which the commercial media cannot do, dealing with questions which are important to the people in Japanese society.

It is necessary to make a constant effort to improve Akahata's pages so that it becomes a valuable newspaper which truly responds to the people's concern about the present and future of Japan and the world.

If we had not succeeded in organizing networks for delivery and subscription collection we would not have achieved the present stage of Akahata's development.

It is very important to tackle the task of reorganizing these networks in our efforts to achieve the further advance of Akahata.

(8) How to organize the United Effort

The key to a success in this United Effort is firm adherence to the direction: "Branches are the key players."

In this regard, all party members must understand the decisions of the 4th Central Committee Plenum, take part in branch activities, and learn from each other and encourage each other by holding the branch meeting regularly every week, thus regularizing branch activity.

Branches should take into account each member's situation and strong points in organizing their movement. The party bodies should be ready to assist branch activities wherever necessary. (Akahata June 12, 1999)


by Tetsuzo Fuwa (Presidium Chairman)

June 10, 1999

On behalf of the Presidium I would like to make the concluding remarks for the two-day discussions.

In this CC plenum, a total of 38 members made reports during the two-day discussions. We also received many remarks from members across the country. A total of 6,000 people, including leaders of JCP local district committees and members belonging to local branches listened to the Presidium Report live via a communications satellite. We received about 700 remarks from them. Except for some 100 which we have just received, I read 500 or more out of the 700 remarks.

As these remarks show, this plenum was attentively watched from throughout the country. The discussion in the plenum was forward-looking as everyone took very seriously the issues raised in the Presidium Report. An overwhelming number of the remarks sent from throughout the country also showed that the core of the report was embraced.

As I heard the discussions and read the remarks, I want to make some points in more detail about the way we should view the situation.

Successive enactment of bad laws by LDP-LP-Komei partnership is undermining their political foundations

Many people who sent us their remarks wrote, "As I saw bad laws, such as the Guidelines-related laws being enacted one after another in the Diet, I was very disappointed. But the Presidium Report helped me understand the characteristics of the situation and encouraged me to work hard again." This type of comment concerns an important question on how we should view the situation.

The other day I happened to talk with a young journalist about what will happen after the Guidelines-related laws were enacted. He felt the same way as what the writer expressed in the remarks I just read. The journalist said, "In Japan the Guidelines-related laws were enacted, while in Europe NATO is doing anything it wants. What will happen next?" He also said he can not find hope for the future because the bad laws were enacted so easily. So we discussed the question for quite a long time.

As the journalist said, the present Diet under the "LDP (Liberal Democratic Party)-LP (Liberal Party)-Komei" partnership may seem to be a kind of a machine producing bad laws. But what is important is that this does not mean that carrying out bad politics and enacting many bad laws helps them strengthen their power base for carrying out bad politics.

On the contrary, these forces which carry out the bad politics are feeling their political base endangered. This is because the political parties which are responsible for enacting the many bad laws and helping bad politics know well that by so doing they are undermining their political base. They fear that if a general election takes place now, they will be severely judged by the people because of what they have done.

It is very important to understand the two aspects of the present situation -- it is that while they are getting bad laws enacted one after another, by so doing they are also undermining their political base and they feel threatened by that.

Real possibility that criticism of bad politics leads more people to support JCP

It is true that "anything goes" in the present Diet. If one political party within the coalition gives the go-ahead to some bill, it becomes law without any difficulty even if the bill was previously considered impossible to pass in the Diet.

But the people's criticism of such politics is very severe. The degree of the criticism is as strong as that of the "all-are-ruling parties" politics if not stronger. In the period of the "all-are-ruling parties" politics, it took quite a time for most people to understand that the "all-are-ruling parties" politics was undemocratic in nature. The 1980 "SPJ (Socialist Party of Japan)-Komei Party Agreement" was where the "all-are-ruling parties system" and the "system for excluding the JCP" in the Diet started . It took over ten years for public awareness to be formed that such exclusionary politics was wrong through a process in which the people experienced many problems arising from such politics. In contrast to that time, the current "LDP-LP-Komei" partnership which has been formed just recently is immediately receiving severe criticism from the people.

It is probable that this criticism will turn into more support for the JCP and not the opposition parties in general. The forces which support the government are well aware of this possibility and dread its realization.

As we witnessed many examples of bad politics being carried out in the Diet, we always said that such politics will inevitably undermine the power base of the coalition parties in the long run. In the past, we saw many cases in which the political power base of the LDP was weakened because of their bad politics, but it was quite rare that those who were disillusioned with the LDP came directly to support the JCP.

However, there is a real possibility for that to happen today, and because the government and forces supporting it are well aware of the possibility, they feel a strong sense of crisis while they continue to carry out bad politics.

Take the Japan-U.S. military alliance, for instance. We are now in the dangerous position in which U.S. ambition to involve Japan in U.S. wars (an ambition it has had since the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was concluded) is now one step closer to realization. However, we are now in a stronger position than ever for the treaty to be scrapped because a real debate has just begun among the people on whether we should keep or abolish the Japan-U.S. military alliance.

Seeing the present situation from only one side and only regarding the situation as bad politics going rampant ends up being a negative and pessimistic analysis. We have to analyze the situation from a positive and optimistic angle as well. During the above-mentioned talk with a young journalist, he said, "The struggle against the Japan-U.S. Guidelines was not as strong as the struggle against the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in the 1960s." I told him that the conditions were not the same as that time and asked him, "Do you know what the balance of power was like in the Diet, or how many seats the JCP had in the House of Representatives during the Anti-Security Treaty struggle?" He said he did not know. So I said, "Actually, the JCP had only one seat." He was very surprised to hear that.

Actually, the JCP made an advance in the general election in November in 19 60 after the struggle against the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. In that election, the JCP increased its seats from one to three and increased the votes it received from 1.1 million to 1.15 million. This happened soon after the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was forced through.

If we really work hard, we can make a tremendous advance

The present situation carries much more potential for us to change the political balance of power than there was in the 1960s.

We analyzed the results of the recent simultaneous local elections in this CC Plenum. An analysis of the results shows that in past elections the JCP was not powerful enough to win seats in constituencies with a small number of fixed seats in prefectural assemblies, such as single-seat, two-seat or three-seat constituencies. In the simultaneous local elections four years ago, the JCP won no seats in single-seat constituencies, eight seats in two-seat constituencies, and nine seats in three-seat constituencies. In total, the JCP got seats in only 17 constituencies with a small number of fixed seats.

In the recent simultaneous local elections however, the JCP won seats in two single seat constituencies in Osaka, 15 two-seat constituencies and 28 three-seat constituencies. The JCP won two seats in five- and six-seat constituencies in three constituencies in Kyoto and one constituency in Saitama Prefecture. So in total, the JCP won in 49 constituencies with fixed seats of three or less.

The JCP gained such a victories in the following 15 prefectures: Hyogo, Kyoto, Saitama, Osaka, Aichi, Kanagawa, Hokkaido, Chiba, Nagano, Wakayama, Kochi, Fukuoka, Miyagi, Fukui and Nara. Since the JCP won in Tokyo and Ibaraki Prefectures in the last mid-term local elections, in total, the JCP won seats in constituencies with very few fixed seats in 17 prefectures. Compared with the simultaneous local elections four years ago, a very big political change is going on which affects the political balance of power.

In light of these achievements, the conditions are obviously developing in favor of the JCP. So if we really work hard, we will be able to make a tremendous advance.

It is from this standpoint that in this CC Plenum the Presidium proposed a challenging goal for a JCP advance in the coming general election and the "Great Movement" for the first time in many years.

Importance of getting people to know about JCP and its theory on remaking Japan

During the discussion in this plenum, many members reported about how vigorously they organized campaign efforts to get the people to know about the JCP's theory on remaking Japan in local communities and workplaces. Their experiences involve important lessons in viewing the present situation.

One member related the following story. A man who holds a managerial position said that all he knew about the JCP was that it was calling for the retained profits (internal reserve) of large corporations to be used to meet the needs of the workers. He said he heard about it from a handbill which he received from the JCP in front of his company. After he read the JCP's theory on remaking Japan and understood the whole picture of what the JCP is aiming for, he found most of what the JCP says to be quite reasonable and something he could identify with, so he changed the way he views the JCP. We often hear similar stories.

That is why I stressed in the Presidium Report how important it is to make efforts to get people to understand the whole picture of the JCP and the Japan it aims to build. Many of the people came to support the JCP did so after they became acquainted with its specific policies and proposals.

But what the political forces which resent the JCP's advance are saying is totally misleading. A chief cabinet secretary says what the JCP says is just "cosmetic." A former prime minister says, "What the JCP says sounds quite good, but don't forget that their party program remains unchanged." What he means is that specific policies look good, but if you know the whole picture of the JCP, you will find that the party is very dangerous.

The reality is quite the opposite of what they say. Like the above mentioned story about a man who holds a managerial position, it often happens that people who used to feel they had nothing to do with the JCP come to agree with what the JCP says after they know its whole picture. This is an important point today.

The JCP theory on remaking Japan reflects actually existing historical circumstances and is easy to understand. It is about policies which the JCP is now carrying out and policies a future democratic government envisioned to carry out. We want to inform the 120 million Japanese people about this in preparation for the coming general election.

Call for a "United Effort" heartily Agreed on the 4CC meeting and by branches across the country

Next on the "United Effort." This campaign is aimed at expanding and strengthening the subjective conditions in order to achieve victory in the coming election. Aslo, based on a long-term perspective it is aimed to build a party with sufficient quality and quantity on which we can fulfill our tasks into the 21st century. Of course, we cannot fully achieve these tasks in a single campaign, but what is important is to firmly put the whole party activity onto the track of such a development, and lay the groundwork for a major advance.

In the 4CC discussion, all the speakers welcomed this Presidium proposal and called on the whole party to work on it immediately. An overwhelming majority of the 700 letters from across the country I have referred to earlier, are of the opinion that they are very enthused with the call which deeply impressed me. Generally speaking, the whole party in the past has responded reluctantly to calls for an intensive campaigns such as "campaign month." But this time my impressions are that many members heartily support it.

I remember at the end of 1992 when the whole party intensively engaged in a "special month campaign" in preparation for an advance in the general election.

For the last six and half years since 1993 to date, we have been working to comprehensively develop the day-to-day activities in all walks of party activity without organizing such an intensive campaign. Based on the achievements in these years, we are making this proposal after examining the positive aspects in the present stage of the party's development and the weak points we have to overcome. Members in the prefectural and district committees as well as branches who listened to the Presidium report by communication satellite responded positively in the same way as the Central Committee members did. This was very encouraging.

"Branches are key players" must be maintained through

A big difference between this "major campaign" and the past "special month campaigns" is, as some of you stressed in your speeches, that this time "branches are the key players" should be the center of activity throughout the campaign. A member spoke today about the necessity for party leaders to go beyond conveying directives or recommendations for action over the telephone, and actually visit the party branches to not only encourage branch members but to learn from them about their specific circumstances and concerns, Many members working in various party bodies have sent us their opinions that "branches are key players" strongly involves hard work, but that they recognize the need for it. I also think this is a really difficult job. But we have to recognize that the party organization and its activities have reached the stage of development in which this is absolutely necessary. I hope the party bodies at various regional and district levels will play a major leading role in getting this activity spread throughout the whole party down to the branch level in order to pave the way to JCP advances in the next general election. This grassroots-based input is essential.

There is another task we should tackle in the major campaign. There have been many important proposals on party building and on developing party activities which have not been tackled specifically because we have not had enough time to deal with them.

One is the task of rebuilding the mechanism of party newspaper delivery and collection of subscription fees, which was proposed by the 21st JCP Congress. In fact we haven't fully dealt with this. In the 2nd CC Plenum after the 21st Congress, we took up the task of creating a mechanism in which all party members are mobilized into party activities. We proposed establishing branch activity in which, by taking into consideration the situation of each party member, all party members can participate in some party activity. This was enthusiastically welcomed, but when it comes to practice, many have had no time for party activities.

In this major campaign, we will see to it that the party bodies will make earnest efforts to tackle these problems in party building.

I hope you will continue your efforts in this campaign to achieve good results in building a party of higher quality and greater numbers to reflect the present situation and advance our progress toward the 21st century. I also hope this will lead to our victory in the coming elections.

About the proposal on "youth branches"

I proposed in my report on the major campaign that we should also consider establishing separate youth branches. Many members who watched the satellite communication TV sent us their opinions in agreement.

However, one member said, "This is different from the party's past position. If this is a new development in the JCP policy on this problem, we want you to explain it in more detail."

True, there is a new development regarding this issue. In January 1994, the JCP published a major article on the youth issue, in which the Central Committee made clear its position to reject establishing separate youth branches.

We have had various difficulties and experiences in mobilizing young party members into party activities. But in terms of generation composition of the party, the gap between older and younger generations has become far wider, and it has become clearer that the conventional way is not sufficient to develop youth activity. In order to break this situation we put forward this policy.

Of course, we don't intend to organize into youth branches all the young members who are recruited in the future. The Presidium report said, "We will establish youth branches in accordance with existing conditions." Thus, this policy will be applied when such a course seems appropriate. This differs from the JCP's past position; therefore, I put it in my report as a "question we want to propose anew."

This form of organization has not undergone any trials yet, and we cannot apply it to any place mechanically. But we think this is a policy worth trying when we have the conditions that call for it. The Central Committee proposed this because it is important to officially confirm a flexible framework we can use in such cases.

Of course the party is not organized on the basis of generations. Therefore, even after such an organizational form is adopted, if the present imbalance is redressed and we can build a powerful party organization among the youth, it is natural that it will develop into a unified branch organization based on locality. In other words, it is just a transitional measure, but we don't think it is of a short-term nature that can be accomplished just after a few months. We have to give it a fair chance and incorporate a fairly long perspective.

What is important is that we take a step forward with this form in mind, with a view to recruiting many young members into the party. While putting this into action, let us study what form of activity is most effective.

Also there was a voice of concern among the youth. According to a young member, if branches composed only of young people are formed, other branches which have so far existed in the traditional form might not concern themselves with the youth issues any more.

On the other hand, those who feel inadequacies in the present branches say this policy is acceptable. On the whole, although voices of approval form a majority, we have to be careful that such a youth branches, when formed, is not separated afar from a branches with elderly people in the same locality. Cooperation between party branches working in the same locality is of course necessary and through such cooperation, future unification will be on the agenda.

The 1994 article said that forming youth branches is a deviation from "the organizational principles" of the party which the Party Constitution provides for. But I think this was too narrow an interpretation of the words of the Party Constitution. There are two related paragraphs in the Constitution. First is Article 15: "In principle, party organizations shall be based in localities and established workplace units," which shows the general base of the party organization. Second is Article 53: "A basic organization (branch) can be formed in workplaces (establishments) and localities and on campuses, etc. where there are at least three party members." These articles prescribe that branches are based on localities and workplaces. They do not prohibit forming more than one branch in a locality or a workplace. In fact, there are existing examples of more than one branch in the same workplace or locality due to various reasons.

In this regard, I want to revise the interpretation of the Constitution in the article written five years ago.

On the review of the simultaneous local elections

Lastly, I would like to touch on the review of the simultaneous local elections which I referred to at the beginning of my report. In the discussion, responsible people in the party prefectural committees which suffered major failures in the elections made candid statements of self-reflection. This is very important.

The Presidium report does not assess the success or failure of each prefectural committee, but makes clear the need for self-evaluation and provides a general conclusion on major problems common to all party organizations. That's why I didn't specifically mention the names of party organizations, except Kumamoto city and Kanazawa city where they failed to return two candidates respectively to their prefectural assemblies and no longer have assembly members.

Of course there are many other problems I haven't referred to. It is important that each region and district committee examine these problems to draw their own lessons.

Why I dared I mention this here? It is because we received several inquiries from members in Tokyo on the relationship between the first half and the latter half of the simultaneous local elections. They said the summary in the Presidium report on the Tokyo gubernatorial election in this regard is insufficient and that there must have been many other problems that should be examined and analyzed more deeply. This is the duty of the JCP Tokyo Metropolitan Committee, and the Central Committee is not in a position to do so. I must stress that the explanation given by the Presidium is of a general nature about the problem and not meant to be an exhaustive review.

In addition another opinion was expressed by a member from Tokyo who said that he was looking forward to the next meeting of JCP activists for further discussion, an opinion which is based on good understanding of how to view this problem.

Lastly, in this Central Committee meeting a major campaign in preparation for the next general election was put forward as a major practical proposal. Selections of candidates for the general election are under way in each region but names haven't been published yet. Preparations are under way with the view to announcing before the end of June the first list of candidates for both proportional representation and single-seat constituencies.

In conclusion, I hope that based on the achievements of the two-day session of the Central Committee you will make the utmost efforts in all fields of party activities and will make advances in both the coming general election and the major campaign in enthusiastic and determined response to the situation the JCP is now faced with.

(Akahata June 12, 1999)


The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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