Shii gives lecture in Seoul on JCP vision for peace in Northeast Asia

October 23, 2015
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo gave a special lecture on October 22 at Konkuk University in Seoul, talking about the JCP’s vision to create peace in Northeast Asia. He stressed that to achieve this goal, it is essential for Japan to reflect seriously on its past major mistakes.

Konkuk University is a leading private university in South Korea which has about 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled. As part of memorial events to mark the 70th year of the end of World War II as well as the 50th year since the normalization of diplomatic ties between South Korea and Japan, the university invited Shii to give a special guest lecture to its students. On that day, the venue was filled with not only students, but also the presence of diplomats, historians, and political scientists.

At the beginning of his speech, Shii said, “While economic and cultural exchanges are developing between the two countries, political cooperation is falling behind. This contradictory situation comes from Japan’s attitude reluctant to face up to its past history.”

Shii described the historical process of Japan’s annexation of the Korean Peninsula early in the 20th century. He pointed out that both the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War were fought over control of the peninsula, and that the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty in 1910 was unfair and illegal because it was concluded under the military threat posed by the Imperial Japanese government.

Noting that Japan’s recognition and reflection on its colonial rule over other Asian nations is insufficient compared to those on its war of aggression, Shii referred to two examples: the statement Prime Minister Abe Shinzo issued in August states that “the Japan-Russia War gave encouragement to many people under colonial rule from Asia to Africa.”; and two documents Japan’s Foreign Ministry drew up between 1949 and 1950, both of which were declassified in 2005, state that Japan obtained the Korean Peninsula in a normal fashion under international law and custom at the time, and that Japan’s rule of Korea was not what is called an exploitative rule and it helped the country to modernize itself.

Shii condemned these claims as an undisguised argument to justify Japan’s brutal history of colonialism. He went on to point out that in the 1990s PM Abe was singled out as standard-bearer of forces glorifying Japan’s war of aggression and that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has been taken over by Abe and his band of followers.

Stressing that such a political situation cannot be left as it is, Shii expressed his determination to do his best in order to put an end to the domination by those ultra-rightists who are trying to rewrite history to glorify Japan.

The JCP chair also introduced the JCP proposal for overthrowing the Abe Cabinet and forming “a national coalition government” to abolish the enacted war legislation. He emphasized that the establishment of the proposed government will not only make a breakthrough in Japan’s politics but also contribute to building peace in Asia and the rest of the world.

Shii went on to explain the JCP initiative to create a framework for peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia with the aim of resolving every international dispute peacefully through dialogue. “This initiative offers a concrete and viable alternative to PM Abe’s war legislation,” he added.


After the speech, Shii gave interviews to the Korean press.

He told reporters that PM Abe insists that the national security legislation is necessary to strengthen Japan’s deterrent capability, but the prime minister’s true aim is to have Japan’s Self-Defense Forces take part in U.S.-led wars such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The JCP head also stressed that it is absolutely unacceptable for the Abe administration, which is unremorseful for Japan’s war of aggression and colonial rule in the past, to dispatch the SDF to wars abroad.

The details of Shii’s lecture and interviews were reported by major media such as Yonhap News and the Chosun Ilbo.

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