Shii calls for taking giant step to form coalition government of opposition parties

January 5, 2017
The Japanese Communist Party on January 4 held its New Year assembly at the JCP head office in Tokyo. JCP Chair Shii Kazuo delivered a speech, calling on party members to work to make a great success of the 27th JCP Congress scheduled for later this month while achieving progress in party strength. He also called for further efforts to achieve a victory in the alliance between opposition forces and concerned citizens in the next general election, in addition to the JCP’s major advance.

Shii stressed that the 27th JCP Congress will be a “special event” in the party’s 95-year history. Noting that the representatives of the three opposition parties (the Democratic, Liberal, and Social Democratic parties) and the parliamentary group “Okinawa Whirlwind” will attend the convention, he said, “The upcoming JCP Congress will represent the development of the alliance between the opposition parties and concerned citizens.”

Shii went on to report on the achievements of a campaign to increase the JCP strength before the Congress, saying that the number of subscribers to daily Akahata and Sunday Akahata increased by 13,000 in total in the last four months and that about 3,700 people joined the JCP in the same period of time. He added that among the newcomers are many young people.

Shii noted that the JCP is now attracting unprecedented public attention, citing the fact that Japan Agricultural Communications recently carried on its website a column titled “The 'hidden' Communist Manifesto” which featured the JCP and its Program. “Taking advantage of these new conditions, let’s work together to attain all the goals of the ongoing organizational campaign by the end of January and make a huge success of the upcoming historic JCP Congress on the rising tide of party strength,” said Shii.

The JCP chair emphasized that the struggles in 2016 have clearly shown that it is possible to defeat the ruling Liberal Democratic Party if the opposition parties and concerned citizens unite in earnest under the banner of a great cause, referring to it as a “winning formula”. He added that the newly created bond of trust with other opposition parties and civic movements is the JCP’s most precious asset for the future.

Regarding how the JCP should wage a political struggle in 2017, Shii raised the following points: The party will confront the runaway Abe government and help develop public movements for better politics in various fields; it is important to make advances in the next general election, the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election slated for June, and other local elections; and the JCP in the House of Representatives election seeks to obtain 8.5 million votes or more than 15% of the total votes in the eleven proportional representation blocks and achieve more seats than it did in the previous general election in each of these blocks.

The JCP chair referred to the frequently asked question regarding why Abe’s approval rate remains relatively high although the Abe Cabinet has become even more reckless since it forcibly enacted the war laws. In answer to this question, Shii said that this situation was brought about by the major TV network’s stance of blindly reporting Abe’s claims, whether they are true or not, which gives the general public a favorable impression of the Abe administration.

Stressing that the “high approval rate” was fabricated by the Abe government’s propaganda tactic, Shii said that the Abe regime will easily collapse once its deceptive method fails. He said that the support base of the Abe government is vulnerable and “would immediately break down when Abe’s misleading no longer work well, and become a focal point of contention.” As examples, Shii cited the fact that candidates of the ruling coalition lost in 11 of 32 single-seat constituencies in the House of Councilors election in July 2016 as well as in the Niigata gubernatorial election in October.

If the JCP and other opposition parties succeed in further improving the “winning formula” and establishing full-scale electoral cooperation, the opposition bloc will have a good chance of defeating the Abe government, Shii said. He went on to say that the party will keep working to materialize opposition parties’ joint struggles in terms of both policies and elections.

Shii called on JCP members and supporters to work hard together for a JCP advance in the early January.

In conclusion, Shii noted that this year marks the 95th anniversary of the JCP’s foundation. He said that in this anniversary year, the party seeks to take a step toward forming a united opposition party coalition government.

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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