Shii in New Year address: Let’s work to lead public movement to demand political change

January 5, 2016
The Japanese Communist Party held its New Year assembly on January 4 at the JCP head office in Tokyo. JCP Chair Shii Kazuo gave a speech, calling on party members to do their best in order to lead the public movement opposing the war legislation to force a change in Japan’s politics as well as to make a great advance in the Upper House election coming in summer.

Shii referred to the mounting public movement opposing the national security legislation as a kind of “citizens’ revolution” that has never been seen in Japanese history. He went on to stress that the JCP proposal to establish a “national coalition government” to repeal the war legislation came into existence in the midst of this massive people’s movement.

“Japan’s politics would take this (the JCP proposal’s) direction in spite of many twists and turns. The new public movement launched last year will work as an engine to change the course of government. We are very confident of this,” he said.

Shii also noted that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which is often called “the sole winner” in the political arena, has actually been losing its basis of support among the general public. He cited the following two facts: the absolute proportion of votes cast for the LDP dropped from 44% in the 1958 general election, which was held soon after the founding of the LDP, to only 17% in 2014; and a majority of the people are objecting to the Abe administration’s key policies such as the security legislation, the construction of a U.S. military base in Okinawa, restart of idled nuclear power reactors, Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade framework, and the plan to increase the consumption tax rate from the current 8% to 10% in April 2017.

Shii said, “If the popular movement expands further and opposition parties unite for the sake of the public, it will be possible to overthrow the Abe government. Let’s work to further strengthen ‘single-issue joint struggles’ in various fields to change Japan’s political direction.”

The JCP chair also highlighted the need to make the JCP more powerful in order to form a “national coalition government” and achieve significant progress in the upcoming Upper House election. He called for working on this task with renewed enthusiasm.

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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