JCP gives answer to anti-JCP questions

June 11, 2016

In the run up to the July 10 House of Councilors election, anti-JCP propaganda using deceptive handouts and anticommunist books is increasingly taking place in Japan. The aim of this dirty tactic is to weaken the cooperation among the four opposition parties and citizens’ groups. All such tactics, however, are likely to be ineffective because they are based on false assertions. Let’s briefly look at the JCP’s responses to anticommunist slogans.

Q: It’s an illicit union as JCP differs in policies from other opposition parties, isn’t it?

A: The JCP will cooperate with other opposition parties in the upcoming election because the JCP believes that Japanese politics must bring back its very foundation now: “constitutionalism” which means engaging in politics based on the Constitution; and “democracy” which means engaging in politics in order to reflect people’s voices.

It is true that specific policies of each political party vary, but restoration of constitutionalism and democracy is totally different from policies dealing with a specific issue. To rebuild the very basis of the nation has now become a national cause. Even putting aside differences in individual policies on specific issues, the JCP makes this cause its top priority.

Successive Japanese governments had long upheld the principle that Japan under the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution is not allowed to exercise the right to collective self-defense. The Abe government, however, reinterpreted this 60-year-old principle and forcibly enacted the security legislation.

The present government neither complies with the Constitution nor listens to people’s voices. Allowing Abe’s “runaway” government to do as it pleases will eventually lead to authoritarianism.

After the forcible enactment of the legislation, an increasing number of citizens started calling on opposition parties to unite, and each party made a decision to respond to this call, which led to the opposition parties’ joint struggle. Being formed to meet people’s demands and standing in the path toward authoritarianism, the opposition alliance can never be an illicit union.

The opposition parties also came to agree with each other on specific policies to eliminate poverty, realize a fair tax system, oppose Japan’s participation in the TPP free-trade pact, and block the construction of a new U.S. base in Okinawa in defiance of strong local objection. Thus, solidarity among the opposition parties is getting increasingly strong.

Q: Does revocation of war laws protect the public?

A: The opposition parties are making a joint effort to repeal the security legislation. Against this move, the ruling LDP and Komei parties bring up the issue of North Korea’s nuclear development program and claim that revocation of the security legislation cannot protect the nation. However, it is the war laws that expose people to increased dangers.

The core of the unconstitutional war laws is to allow Japan to exercise the collective self-defense right. In the event of any attack on the U.S., Japan with this right can use armed force to counter the attack even when Japan is not under attack. In short, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces can take part in U.S. wars of aggression anywhere in the world.

What if Japan wages a military action against other countries when Japan is not under an armed attack? These countries would see this action as Japan’s declaration of war. As a result, Japan would inevitably face counterattacks. The country would not be able to protect the people. Instead, it would expose its citizens to extreme danger.

The essence of the war laws, in the first place, is to enable the SDF to join in U.S.-led wars anywhere in the world at any time based on the new Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Guidelines.

The laws include overseas deployment of the SDF in order to provide logistics support to U.S. troops in “combat zones” and engage in security operations in troubled areas where civil wars are ongoing. The “risk of SDF personnel being killed” in battle and killing people of other countries would be high. In addition, military commitment in armed conflicts abroad could trigger and increase terrorism both at home and abroad.

Q: Does the JCP seek to dissolve the SDF and abrogate the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty?

A: The JCP in its future vision proposes to do so. However, at present, we have no intention to include this issue in the present opposition parties’ decision to cooperate.

The LDP-Komei bloc is criticizing the opposition parties’ cooperation by saying that they “irresponsibly” join hands only in order to win the Upper House election although they have different positions in regard to the SDF and the Japan-U.S. alliance. However, this argument totally misses the point.

The JCP in the party Program provides a vision of a future Japan where the bilateral security treaty allowing the stationing of the U.S. forces in the country will be rescinded and a friendship treaty will be concluded with the U.S in its place. In addition, the SDF will be dissolved in stages toward the complete implementation of Article 9 of the Constitution. The JCP Program states that this vision should be fulfilled based on national consensus.

However, the JCP has repeatedly indicated in public its stance not to bring up the issue of the abrogation of the security treaty and the dismantling of the SDF in the opposition parties’ joint efforts for the Upper House election as well as in the efforts for a “national coalition government” which the JCP proposed in its plan for a new government.

In a single-seat constituency in Kagawa Prefecture where the JCP candidate was selected as a joint opposition party candidate, the JCP and the Democratic Party signed a written confirmation which states that while putting importance on peaceful diplomacy, the JCP will refrain from inserting its policies on the bilateral treaty and the SDF in agendas of the opposition parties’ cooperation.

Q: Does the JCP advocate violent revolution?

A: Political transformation should be realized by obtaining a majority in the Diet; this is the JCP policy.

Various anti-JCP propaganda leaflets and books are published to spread the false rumor of the JCP as a party promoting “violent revolution”.

The JCP is a political party advocating the idea of changing political direction one step at a time in cooperation with the general public through the power of free speech and fair elections. The JCP Program states that a new government will be established when the JCP and united front forces, consisting of democratic parties, organizations, and individuals, obtain support from a majority of the people and win the majority of seats in the Diet.

The Abe administration in March decided on making public a written statement which claims that the JCP “had conducted subversive acts in the past” and “still maintains a ‘violent revolution’ policy.” This is nothing less than vicious lies distorting the JCP Program.

Talking about the JCP history, more than 60 years ago, a faction within the party unilaterally disbanded the Central Committee and brought about a split in the JCP. This faction brought an armed struggle line into the JCP in obedience to China and the ex-Soviet Union. However, this move was taken by the disunited faction. The JCP in the 7th Congress in 1958 where the party restored its unity severely criticized and condemned this act.

The JCP has never adopted a “violent revolutionary” policy as its official policy since its foundation in the pre-war era.

The Public Security Intelligence Agency has claimed that the JCP is an organization needed to monitor under the anti-subversion law, spying on the JCP for 64 years by using a large sum of taxpayers’ money. However, they have come up with no proof that the JCP ever had a violent revolutionary policy.

Q: Does the JCP intend to create a one-party dictatorship?

A: The notion that the JCP wants to establish a single-party state is totally groundless and insulting.

In the upcoming Upper House election, in the single-member Kagawa constituency, for example, JCP candidate Tanabe Ken’ichi was endorsed also by the Democratic Party and other opposition parties. The written confirmation between local organizations of the JCP and DP states that a one-party state should be denied and that parliamentary democracy and possibility of government change through elections should be maintained.

The JCP Program states that “The freedom of various ideologies and beliefs as well as political activities, including those by opposition parties, will be rigorously protected” in a socialist/communist Japan as well as in the current capitalist Japan. The program also states that giving privileges to a particular political party as the “leadership” party in the name of “socialism” or defining a particular outlook on the world as “state-designated philosophy”—as was the case in the former Soviet Union—is an act that “must be categorically rejected”.

The JCP has never had a plan to establish a JCP government, let alone a one-party dictatorship. The party is eager to form a coalition government as shown by the fact that it was the party that first proposed establishing a “national coalition government to repeal the war legislation”.

The JCP Program makes it clear that the JCP will maintain the coalition-government approach even when a majority of people support socialist transformation.

Q: If taking power, will the JCP suppress people’s freedom?

A: Some are trying to damage the JCP’s image by likening the party to the former Soviet Union which invaded other countries and China’s current behavior.

However, the comparison goes against the facts. The JCP had been severely criticizing the former Soviet Union’s policies for having nothing in common with socialism. The self-proclaimed socialist regime once attempted to force the JCP to follow Moscow’s instructions, but the party resisted the interference and succeeded in having the USSR acknowledge its wrongful interference in the end. When the Communist Party of the former Soviet Union was dissolved, the JCP issued a statement welcoming it as “the downfall of the historical and colossal evil of Soviet hegemonism”.

There also is a rumor that the JCP says nothing critical of China. On the contrary, in meetings with Chinese counterparts, the JCP has clarified its positions about the Senkaku Islands and South China Sea issues based on historical facts and international law.

On May 25, for example, JCP Vice Chair Ogata Yasuo visited China and held meetings with officials of the International Department of the Communist Party of China. Regarding reclamation work the Chinese government is carrying out in the South China Sea to install military facilities, Ogata stated that unilateral actions should be halted.

Regarding human rights issues, the JCP has been openly saying to Beijing that it is important to consider creating a political system under which the authorities deal with opinions critical of the government by making counterarguments, not by banning them.

The JCP Program stipulates that the party seeks the creation of “a society in principle free of all forms of coercion in which state power is unnecessary and an association of equal and free human relationships without exploitation of man by man and free of oppression and war”.

Q: Why did the JCP oppose Article 9 when the Constitution was enacted?

A: It is a fact that the JCP opposed Article 9 when the Japanese Constitution was established. However, it does not contradict the JCP’s present position.

In the Diet deliberations on the draft Constitution, then Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru maintained that under Article 9 of the Constitution, Japan would have no right of individual self-defense.

In opposition to PM Yoshida’s claim, the JCP proposed to make it clear that even under Article 9, Japan has the right to defend itself from imminent and unlawful infringement. However, this proposal was rejected. Therefore, the JCP voted against the draft Constitution, criticizing it for endangering Japan’s sovereignty and independence.

Since the establishment of the Constitution, it has gradually become regarded as common sense that Japan retains the right of individual self-defense even under Article 9 that renounces war and war potential.

When the JCP adopted its Program in 1961, the party clarified its position actively protecting the war-renouncing Article 9 as well as opposing any attempt to undermine the pacifist Constitution.

The current JCP Program revised in 2004 states that the party will abide by all provisions of the Constitution, including the ones related to the Emperor (Tenno).

In September 2015, the ruling coalition forced through the Abe government-sponsored war legislation which enables Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense. The collective self-defense right, which allows Japan to use force against other countries even when Japan is not under armed attack, is completely different from the right of individual self-defense.

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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