The report on the proposal for the partial revision of the JCP Program
Chair, Executive Committee
November 4, 2019
Good morning to the Central Committee Members gathered here and all comrades who view this assembly on the Internet. On behalf of the Executive Committee, I will make a report on the partial revision of the Japanese Communist Party Program, which will be on the agenda of the JCP Congress to be held in January, 2020. The draft text of the revised Program has been passed out, so please listen while referring to it.
Sixteen years have passed since we revised the Party Program at the 23rd Congress in 2004. The 2004 Party Program has vividly demonstrated its applicability in both domestic and international situations. With opposition parties currently making united efforts as never before experienced in post-war Japan, the time has come to bring the tasks of democratic reforms stipulated in the Program into reality.
The proposal of the revision this time focuses on world theory in Chapter 3 and revises the related parts of future society theory in Chapter 5. Minimum but necessary revision is also made in democratic revolution theory in Chapter 4 in relation to the revision in Chapter 3.
Basic concept and main items in draft of partial revision
First of all, I will report on the basic concept of the draft revision of the Program and its main items.
Grasping developmental prospects for 21st century world based on analysis of major changes in human history in 20th century
In the 2004 revision of the Program, the section on world theory was completely rewritten.
The basis of world theory in the Program adopted in 1961 was the “two blocs” thesis that was formulated at the time as an internationally established theory. In this theory, one of the two blocs is an “imperialist bloc” promoting policies of war and aggression, while the other one, an “anti-imperialist bloc,” fighting for peace, independence, and social progress. It was the view that confrontations between the two blocs determine the state of the world.
However, the biggest problem with this world theory was that the “anti-imperialist bloc” included Soviet hegemonism. Not only that, such a schematic dichotomy could not capture the nuances and complexity of the ever-changing world.
The Japanese Communist Party had strived to break away from this argument and grasp the world as it is from the standpoint of scientific socialism. The current Program revised in 2004 took leave of this “two blocs” theory and put forward a new world theory. The fundamental position is to analyze developmental prospects for the 21st century world taking into account the major changes in the human history that took place in the 20th century.
This fundamental position of the section on world theory has been useful in the analysis of the turbulent world since the 2004 revision of the Program. Many propositions explained in the Program are still accurate and valid today. Such propositions and the fundamental position are maintained and further developed in this revision.
At the same time, with the changing structure of international relations over the past 16 years, some issues have emerged that need to be reviewed. Also, important changes that should be incorporated into the Program have become readily apparent.
We drafted the partial revision of the Program based on the idea that propositions that are still accurate and valid today will be maintained as much as possible, parts that need to be reviewed corrected, and issues that should be incorporated added to the Program.
Three main revised items – revision of structure of world theory
The following are the three main items in the revision:
Firstly, the draft revision of the Program states in Section 7 that among changes that occurred in the 20th century, the collapse of the colonial system was the greatest one that should be regarded as a major change in world structure. This is followed by the newly written Section 9 explaining specifically that this structural change “has begun to demonstrate its vital power promoting peace and social progress in the 21st century” with various aspects, such as progress on the abolition of nuclear weapons, creation and development of regional cooperation for peace, and new international developments in the protection of human rights.
Secondly, the draft revision proposes that the following part in Section 8 be deleted: “It is important to note that today, several countries that broke away from capitalism are beginning a new quest for socialism, including the effort to ‘achieve socialism through a market economy’, although they still have political and economic problems to solve. This constitutes a historically significant current in the 21st century as an effort that covers vast regions with a total population of more than 1.3 billion.” Although this statement was valid at the time of the 2004 revision of the Program, it no longer reflects the reality of China today.
This proposal is not only about deleting this paragraph but an important revision affecting how we see the 21st century world, and therefore requires certain revisions to the whole structure of world theory in the Program.
Thirdly, in relation to the second point, we reviewed the last section of future society theory in Chapter 5, or Section 17 (Section 18 in the draft revision) clarifying the historical and international conditions for development into socialism. The draft revision discusses the argument that social reforms in developed capitalist countries are the high road to socialism/communism with rich and great potential as well as unique difficulties.
I will now report on and propose specific contents of the revision.
Section 7 ‘changes and achievements of 20th century” – two items added
First of all, the draft revision of the Program changes the title of Chapter 3 from “World Situation – From 20th Century to 21st Century” to “The World in the 21st Century”.
The subject of Section 7 of the current Program is changes and achievements of the 20th century world. It describes “enormous historic changes” achieved by the efforts and bitter struggles by peoples encompassing three aspects: collapse of the colonial system, development of democracy with popular sovereignty, and establishment of an international order for peace. As this is a very important section for us to comprehend the changes experienced in the 21st century, the draft revision maintains this description and adds two items.
Adding human rights issues – protection and development of human rights ‘has become an international task.’
Firstly, we add the following sentence about human rights issues among global changes that occurred in the 20th century.
“Regarding the issue of human rights, the standard of international human rights has been established based on the rich development of social rights in addition to civil liberties. Defending and developing human rights has become an international task.”
In the 20th century, human society achieved a solid and rich development of human rights. It witnessed groundbreaking progress with the establishment of systems to guarantee human rights such as the 1945 United Nations Charter, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the 1966 International Covenants on Human Rights. We reinforced the current Program based on this recognition.
It should be noted here that the draft revision states, “Defending and developing human rights has become an international task.” Before the end of World War II, human rights issues were regarded as internal issues that other countries were unable to interfere in. However, based on lessons learned from the history in which both in Japan and Germany, human rights violations by fascism and militarism paved the way for WW II that created an unprecedented number of victims, the idea of international protection of human rights emerged after the war. In the 21st century, to protect and develop human rights is no longer just an internal issue but has become an international task or each country’s duty in international society. This statement has practical significance.
Describing collapse of colonial system as major change of world structure so that three changes can be perspectivally approached
Secondly, the draft makes special mention of the significance of the collapse of the colonial system among the major global changes that occurred in the 20th century.
The current Program characterizes global changes in the last century as having three components: the collapse of the colonial system, the development of democracy with popular sovereignty, and the call for an international order of peace. All three are major developments with historical significance, but they are not explicitly in parallel.
The biggest change among the three was that because of the collapse of the colonial system, more than a hundred countries achieved political independence and became sovereign nations. This was an event that should be recognized as a major change in the world structure.
The other two changes, while having their own process of development, were greatly influenced by the change in world structure, i.e. the collapse of the colonial system. Colonial rule is incompatible with democracy or protection of human rights in the first place. Its collapse promoted the right of nations to self-determination to a universally accepted principle as the foundation of all human rights and helped bring about the rich development of democracy and human rights. The collapse of the colonial system also drastically changed the world’s power balance. In the 1980s, the major powers began to be condemned for their unlawful acts of aggression one after another in the UN General Assembly. It has exercised tremendous power in developing an international order of peace based on the U.N. Charter.
Based on this perception, the draft revision states, “Among these enormous changes, the collapse of the colonial system was the greatest one that profoundly transformed the structure of the world and promoted the development of democracy, human rights, and the international order for peace.” It describes in the newly added sentence the collapse of the colonial system as the major change in the world structure by which relations among the three changes can be grasped with a historically-grounded perspective.
Section 8 – Proposing removal of “a new quest for socialism”
Judgement in 2004 Program revision had rational grounds
I now move on to Section 8 of the current Program.
The subject of Section 8 is a summary of the present situation regarding the movement toward socialism. We need a drastic revision in this section.
The largest problem here is that the current Program states that China, Vietnam, and Cuba “are beginning a new quest for socialism” and that “[t]his constitutes a historically significant current in the 21st century as an effort that covers vast regions with a total population of more than 1.3 billion”.
<Basis for this judgement>
When revising the Program in 2004, the JCP made this evaluation based on its own judgement. It made this judgement based on the following position written in the Central Committee’s Report to the 26th Congress in 2014: “When we evaluate those countries such as China and Vietnam, what counts most is whether their leaderships are sincere in pursuing a course with socialism in mind as an ultimate goal. However, we do not live in these countries so it is difficult to make judgements on the information that is available. We can measure their leadership’s sincerity in this regard through countries’ foreign relations and external behavior. We can only form a judgement based on our diplomatic contacts with leaders of these countries and on their foreign policies and behavior.”
<Process of making judgement of China in the Program>
Based on the standards stated above, we had rational grounds to judge that they “are beginning a new quest for socialism” in 2004.
Regarding China, we made the decision described in the Program based on the normalization of relations between the JCP and the Communist Part of China in 1998 and a series of experiences during the following several years. In particular, at the time of the 1998 normalization of our relations, China’s leadership acknowledged the errors associated with hegemonic interference during the Mao Zedong period and officially expressed the need to conduct “serious examination and rectification.” It was an event that encouraged us to accept China’s seriousness and sincerity in its endeavor to work for socialism. China’s opposition to the Iraq War in 2003 was another action by China that led us to make a positive evaluation of China. The description in the current Program was based on such experiences and perception.
<JCP directly conveyed opinions on international issues>
At the same time, in the current Program, the statement that those countries “are beginning a new quest for socialism” is an assessment and judgement of the course of action taken by each country. It does not affirm as positive everything happening in those counties as it adds the phrase, “they still have political and economic problems to solve.” The JCP also has expressed repeatedly that it does not have optimistic or fixed ideas about those countries’ future development. Based on this position, the JCP has maintained the principle of non-interference in internal policies in its relations to China and conveyed directly to China our opinions on international issues.
China’s problems in international politics – criticism in last Congress and China’s moves in last three years
<27th Congress points out specific mistakes of “great-power chauvinism and hegemonism”>
For the last few years, problems have emerged in China’s moves in international politics that are related to our assessment in the Program and cannot be overlooked.
The 27th Congress in January 2017 stated in its Resolution, “[A] new form of great-power chauvinism and hegemonism is emerging in China”, and pointed out the following four points: an alarming shift in China’s stance on nuclear-weapon issues, attempts to change the status quo through coercion in the East and South China Seas, high-handed behavior to tramp upon the democratic steering of international conferences, and behavior in contradiction to the confirmed principles of JCP-CPC relationship. It warned that if China continues with these mistakes, “‘decisively straying from the path toward socialism’ would be likely outcome”, and called on China to “take a course to foster the trust of the international community by abandoning its quest for great-power chauvinism and hegemonism”.
<China actions worsen problems in past three years>
Unfortunately, during the three years since the last Congress, we have to judge that China has not corrected those problems but was taken actions that further worsen them.
First, the shift in China’s stance on nuclear-weapon issues has become more serious.
As a member of the five nuclear weapons states (The Permanent Five or P5), China has been hostile to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In July last year, taking on a “P5 Process” coordinator role, China opposed the treaty and helped to prevent its entry to take effect. It has revealed itself as an impediment to the movement for a world without nuclear weapons. It is also grave that the country has been modernizing its nuclear weapons while competing with other nuclear powers.
Secondly, China’s hegemonic actions in the East and South China Seas have intensified.
Intrusion by Chinese vessels into Japan’s territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands have regularly occurred and increased sharply in number. In 2018, the leaders of the Japanese and Chinese governments visited each other and stated that Japan-China relations “are back on their normal trajectory.” Nevertheless, the number of Chinese vessels’ intrusion into territorial waters and entry into contiguous zones has sharply risen this year. We must say that it is a very dishonest attitude for China to call for normalization of the two countries’ relations while regularly intruding into territorial waters. No matter what the Chinese government argues, any attempt to force to change the status quo in an area under the effective control of a foreign government is in violation of principles for peaceful resolutions of conflicts set by the U.N. Charter and the U.N. Declaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States. We strongly criticize such an attitude and call for its correction.
In the South China Sea, China since 2014 has built large-scale artificial islands, runways where bombers can take off and land on, radar facilities, hangars for long-range surface-to-air missiles, and military barracks. The Chinese government initially stated that it had no intention to promote militarization there. But it now justifies its construction of military bases and strengthens its military control, arguing that deploying defense facilities is normal and within the scope of China’s right of sovereignty. In 2016, the arbitral tribunal dismissed China’s claim of rights in the South China Sea area and judged its attempt to force to change the status quo as a violation of international law. China’s attitude of disregarding the ruling and unilaterally promoting militarization should not be accepted under the universally accepted principles of the U.N. Charter and international law.
Thirdly, China has failed to take any actions to correct its high-handed trampling of democratic procedures at an international conference and its violation of principles confirmed by the JCP and the CPC. The Resolution of the JCP 27th Congress severely criticized China be pointing out that in the 2016 General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, China’s delegation took hegemonistic actions by unilaterally overturning the final text of a declaration, which included a call for swift start of negotiations on a nuclear prohibition treaty and was unanimously confirmed by the Conference’s drafting committee, and called the JCP’s delegation “hegemonist” during talks between the delegations of the two parties.
On January 12, 2017, just before the previous JCP Convention, I had talks with Chinese Ambassador Cheng Yonghua at his request when he visited the JCP headquarters under the order of the CPC Central Committee. I would like to give details of the talks. The ambassador requested the removal of contents criticizing China in the draft resolution of the Congress, including the phrase “new type of great-power chauvinism and hegemonism.” I flatly refused the request and explained the reasons why the JCP needed to take this stance. I also asked the Chinese side to correct the mistakes and asked the ambassador to convey our position to the CPC leadership.
Furthermore, I requested the ambassador to ask the CPC Central Committee if it supports or opposes its delegation’s behavior at the ICAPP General Assembly and to give us its answer. The ambassador replied that he would relay the request to Beijing. However, there has been no response from the CPC. Based on this development, we have to say that the Chinese delegation’s hegemonistic behavior in Kuala Lumpur was the problem emanating from the CPC Central Committee. We cannot therefore include the phrase “seriousness and sincerity in endeavor for socialism.”
Fourthly, in addition to these issues, human rights issues in China have become more serious.
Since large-scale, generally peaceful demonstrations calling for freedom and democracy began in Hong Kong in June, the Chinese government criticized them as “organized riots” and gave full support to the Hong Kong government forces repressing the movement. It justified live-fire shootings by the police which injured protestors. It deployed the armed police force in Shenzhen for intimidation. The JCP believes that it is important for demonstrators to strictly refrain from violence in any form and express their opinions in a peaceful manner. At the same time, as the freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly are clearly recognized in the international human rights standards, we oppose the Hong Kong government’s repressive measures and the Chinese government’s complete support for them and its own intimidation against protestors by use of force. We strongly hope that the situation will be resolved through peaceful dialogue under the “one country, two systems” equation.
Furthermore, we are deeply concerned that arbitrary detention and other human rights violations have been conducted on an extensive scale by Chinese authorities in the Uyghur Autonomous Region. The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in its Concluding Observations issued in September last year, expressed “alarm” about many Uyghurs and Muslim residents being detained and “reeducated” without legal procedures. As human rights issues in Uyghur become a grave international issue, the JCP strongly urges Chinese authorities to stop suppressing their human rights.
<Reason to recognize China as ‘beginning a new quest for socialism” no longer exists>
It must be said that none of the above-mentioned actions by China are compatible with the principles or ideas of socialism. The JCP can no longer recognize China as a country “beginning a new quest for socialism.”
Based on the above, we propose the deletion of the following part in Section 8: “It is important to note that today, several countries that broke away from capitalism are beginning a new quest for socialism, including the effort to "achieve socialism through a market economy", although they still have political and economic problems to solve. This constitutes a historically significant current in the 21st century as an effort that covers vast regions with a total population of more than 1.3 billion.”
Vietnam and Cuba
Regarding Vietnam, we have understood through exchanges between leaders of the two parties that the country is pursuing its endeavor to work for socialism while having “political and economic problems to solve”. We have also cooperated with Vietnam on major international political issues such as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We hope that Vietnam’s Doi Moi (renovation) policy will lead to success.
As for Cuba, we recognize the value of its efforts to establish an independent nation despite the U.S. long-term policy of hostility and its active role to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons. At the same time, we are deeply concerned about its role in supporting Venezuela’s Maduro regime which threatens democracy and human rights and strengthens its dictatorship, bringing division into Latin America.
As the start of “a new quest for socialism” can no longer be regarded as “a historically significant current in the 21st century”, we will not give judgement or evaluation to each country’s system but observe each country’s situations based on objective facts.
Characterizing Soviet Union theory as complementing 20th century theory
In relation to those revisions, it is necessary to review Section 8 in the current Program.
<Characterization of era with two systems coexisting is no longer valid>
Section 8 of the current Program states, “The era of capitalism as the only system dominating the world ended”, and describes the 20th century as the century when a shift started to open an era in which the two systems coexist. It emphasizes as the significant feature of the 21st century world that this historical character did not disappear with the breakdown of the ruling system of the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries and that new developments could be seen in terms of the coexistence of the two systems.
However, if the proposition regarding “a new quest for socialism” is removed, characterizing the 20th century as an era with the two systems coexisting will no longer be rational. Therefore, the draft revision removes the following sentence: “The era of capitalism as the only system dominating the world ended”.
<Characterizing Soviet Union theory in relation to change of world structure>
Under such change in our perspective, how can we deal with the theory of the Soviet Union in Section 8?
Since the description of the Soviet Union in the current Program is accurate, we decided to maintain this part in the draft revision. Without a detailed evaluation of the former Soviet society, we cannot accurately analyze the current state of the 21st century world or discuss future prospects for socialism/communism. To avoid misunderstanding among the Japanese public regarding this issue and to talk about the JCP’s pioneering role continues to be our most important task.
But its characterization in the Program needs to be reviewed. In the current Program, the Soviet Union is discussed in relation to “a new quest for socialism.” As this argument is no longer valid, the draft revision discusses the Soviet Union in relation to the change of the world structure that occurred in the 20th century.
As for the Russian revolution’s significance in the world history, the draft revision states, “In particular, its recognition of the right to national self-determination as the basis of its foreign policy prompted the collapse of the world's colonial system.” Furthermore, regarding new opportunities brought by the collapse of the Soviet Union, it says, “[The downfall of the Soviet hegemonism] formed a new element for strengthening the move toward peace and social progress in the world.”
In the draft revision of the Program, moves of countries breaking away from capitalism, which started with Russia’s October Socialist Revolution, is placed as a section that complements the 20th century world’s changes and achievements, or as a part of the 20th century theory.
Section 9 – Change of world structure starts to demonstrate vital power
Grasping developmental prospects of the 21st century from two angles
Then how can we grasp the 21st century world? The draft revision, based on the foundation of “the structural change of the world which took place in the 20th century”, discusses developmental prospects of the 21st century world as they are from the following two angles:
The first angle is that “the structural change of the world” is starting to demonstrate the power needed to promote peace and social progress. Section 9 was newly added to describe this.
The second is the angle of grasping the world by examining the contradictions of world capitalism. Based on Section 9 of the current Program, we provide an analysis from this perspective in Section 10 in the draft revision.
All nations and civil society replace a few major powers as key players in international politics
I will first explain Section 9 in the draft revision of the Program. This newly added section mainly discusses the change of the world structure and new characteristics of the 21st century world.
<Change of world structure starts to exercise power as major current of world history>
The section starts with the following sentence:
“The structural change in the world which took place in the 20th century, i.e., the collapse of the colonial system and the creation of more than one hundred of new sovereign nations, has begun to demonstrate its vital power promoting peace and social progress in the 21st century.”
This characterization has been repeatedly confirmed in the Resolution of the 26th Congress and the following party decisions as the characterization of the 21st century.
The change of the world structure occurred in the 20th century and had a great influence on the progress of the era, and it has started to exercise its influence as the major current of the world’s history in the 21st century. The draft revision clearly states this point.
<New characteristics of the 21st century - Major role of civil society along with governments>
The next paragraph states;
“The era when a handful of major powers were dictating world politics as they saw fit is over, and a new era in which all the countries in the world become the main protagonists in world politics on an equal footing is now beginning. It is a new feature that civil society, together with various governments, has been playing a major role as an active participant in international politics.”
This paragraph outlines “characteristics of the 21st century.”
Our description of “a new era in which all the countries in the world become the main protagonists in world politics on an equal footing” is based on not only our analysis of world affairs but also by achievements made through the JCP’s diplomatic activities. In cooperation with Japanese peace organizations, we sent delegations that contributed to the success of conferences such as the NPT Review Conference at the UN in 2010 and the UN conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons in 2017.We recognized that it was representatives from developing or emerging countries as well as Non-Aligned-Movement states that were in key positions to organize these conferences and take a leading role.
It is remarkable that the draft Program points out that “civil society, together with various governments, has been playing a major role as an active participant in international politics”. While the UN values the role of NGOs in the UN Charter, it is only since 1990 that civic participation in international conferences dramatically increased. The representatives from civil society actively participated in various UN-led global conferences on issues such as protecting the natural environment, human rights, sustainable development, and women’s rights. In the field of peace, disarmament and international security including the continued existence of nuclear weapons, Hibakusha-led civil representatives played a significant role. In the background, there were initiatives by developing countries in the Non-Aligned-Movement that assumed an active role in global politics, particularly after the collapse of Soviet Union. As a result, the transformation of the world structure brought about the rise of the Non-Aligned-Movement and created the positive situation in which civil society has a major role to play as a participant in international politics.
The main actors in global politics have changed from a handful of major powers to all the nations and civil society around the world. We would like to highlight that this is a new hopeful global feature of the 21st century.
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons - historic change of the key player in global politics
In the next part of the draft amendment, we discuss three specific issues bringing positive effects to the 21st century under “the transformation of the world structure in the 20th century“, the abolition of nuclear weapons, peace regional cooperation, and international human rights protection.
<Understanding the significance of the nuclear weapons ban treaty in the history of postwar international negotiations>
In terms of the nuclear weapon issues, the draft Program states,
“The call of the atomic bomb survivors for "No More Hiroshimas, No More Nagasakis" and the voices of Japan and the world demanding the abolition of nuclear weapons have made such a great difference in international politics that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a first-ever treaty to illegalize nuclear weapons, has been created. Though the forces that refuse to give up nuclear weapons are persistent in continuing to buttress their monopoly over nuclear weapons as a pillar of their military strategy, this reactionary trend is being cornered and isolated by the governments and global civil society aspiring to create "a world without nuclear weapons."”
The adoption of the UN treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons on July 2017 with overwhelmingly global support was the most historic event which shows that a majority of nations along with global civil society finally replaced the handful of major powers as key players in the arena of world politics. It is important to understand this epoch-making change in international relations in regard to the post war international negotiations pertaining to nuclear weapons.
<Negotiations led by nuclear weapons states: Contradictions and Failures>
After World War II, the nuclear weapons states, mainly the U.S. and the Soviet Union, dominated as key players in the negotiations over nuclear weapons. What they discussed was not the abolition of nuclear weapons but creating limitations on their nuclear arms race. For example, the Partial Test Ban Treaty adopted in 1963, legalized underground nuclear tests and the nuclear arms race accelerated under the treaty.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) adopted in 1968 is also an extremely unequal agreement which sanctions the monopoly of nuclear weapons by the P-5. Nevertheless, the international community accepted the treaty because the nuclear weapons states promised to commit themselves to nuclear disarmament under Article 6 of the NPT.
The major nuclear weapons states, however, refused to recognize this obligation. The nuclear arms race reached its peak in middle of 1980s. The crisis deepened to the extent that, over sixty thousand nuclear warheads were stockpiled all over the world. Additionally, new nuclear armed states appeared one after another. The non-proliferation system, or the monopoly system over nuclear weapons was, thus, faced with its many contradictions and failures.
<Leading actors over nuclear arms negotiation changed: nuclear-weapons states on the defensive and isolated>
Since the late 1990s, the international momentum towards working for “a world without nuclear weapons” by forcing nuclear powers to implement Article 6 of the NPT gained traction all over the world. The Non-Aligned Countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America emerged onto the world stage of nuclear weapons negotiations as key players. Also the “New Agenda Coalition”, which consists of developing, emerging, and developed countries, played a positive role. Moreover, the presence and role of Hibakusha and global civil society dramatically increased their influence as major actors in nuclear arms negotiation, and collaboration between civil society and governments increased. Thus, the “change of the main players” from a handful of nuclear weapons states to numerous nations and civil society took place.
Its first significant achievement was the adoption of the final document in the NPT Review Conference at the UN in 2000, in which nuclear weapons states promised to “accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals”. Furthermore, the NPT Review Conference in 2010 paved the path to the UN nuclear ban treaty by producing the final document referring to a “special effort” to establish the “necessary framework” to achieve and maintain “a world without nuclear weapons.” The adoption of the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017 was a significant achievement which the historic tide described above created.
Despite the pressure by the major nuclear weapons states, the number of nations which have already ratified the treaty now stands at 33, well over the half of the 50 required for the treaty to enter into force. It is only a matter of time before the treaty will come into force. As the draft Program states, although the influence of nuclear weapons states is still extensive, they have been driven into a corner and have become isolated when we observe the situation with a solid understanding recent world history. With a firm conviction regarding this point, we shall work to strengthen the solidarity both inside and outside Japan and make an underlying effort to realize “a world without nuclear weapons”.
The trend of regional cooperation for peace - Southeast Asia and Latin America
<Creation of this trend also underpinned by the transformation of the world structure>
Next, the draft Program touches on regional cooperation for peace;
“In Southeast Asia and Latin America, the trend of regional cooperation for peace was generated and has been growing despite difficulties and complexity involved. It is noteworthy that these regions have taken efforts to resolve conflicts peacefully, uphold their independence against interference by outside major powers, and have become the source of worldwide efforts working for the abolition of nuclear weapons by concluding the nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties. In particular, a significant contribution to the peaceful order of the world was achieved when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) built a regional community for peace based on their treaty that advocates a peaceful resolution of conflicts and has been strengthening this resolution throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”
The creation of this trend was grounded on the “transformation of world structure.”
Until the end of World War II, most countries in Southeast Asia were under colonial rule. In the postwar era, these countries won national liberation one after another, which was a harbinger of the total worldwide collapse of the colonial system. However, the major powers brought “division and hostility” into the region. A key element to transform the region from a state of “division and hostility” to a region of “peace and cooperation” was the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) established in 1967.
Regarding Latin America, many countries in the early 20th century already gained independence in form, but in substance they were dependent on the colonial powers. Even after World War II, these countries were treated as “the backyard of the U.S”, being forced to be subordinate to the U.S and forced to suffer from the outrageous US interventions and aggressions repeatedly. From the end of 20th century into the 21st, countries in the region overcome the military dictatorships one after another, leading to the emergence or revival of democracy, and the region once called “the backyard of the U.S.” has been changed into a region somewhat independent of the U.S. With this trend of solidifying peace and independence from the U.S. growing, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Nations (CELAC) was established in 2011.
As the draft Program states, it is remarkable that both of the regions are forging ahead against all odds toward a regional cooperation for peace, characterized by common commitments to resolving conflicts peacefully, maintaining sovereign status against the control of major powers, and abolishing nuclear weapons.
<Move for peace in the two regions: two different developmental phases>
At the same time, we have to understand that the two regional trends toward peace have been developing differently. The Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) with over half a century since its establishment, has built and developed multi-layer frameworks for peace and security based on the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), which commits member states to peaceful resolution of disputes. While making efforts to strengthen and develop the frameworks, it has been expanding them outside their community. Although the major powers have tried to intervene to bring about political division, ASEAN holds on to its solidarity and autonomy with resilience and flexibility. Especially, it is remarkable that the “ASEAN outlook on Indo-Pacific” was adopted at ASEAN Summit on June 2019. This is a vision that embraces the TAC as a foreign policy guide for friendly and cooperative relationships in the Indo-Pacific region, and aims to change this region into “a region of dialogue and cooperation instead of rivalry.” As our draft text of the revised Program notes, ASEAN’s efforts are “a significant contribution to the peaceful order of the world” and we strongly support and express our solidarity with it.
In Latin America, the crisis in Venezuela surfacing in the last several years has divided the whole region, which led to virtual suspension of the function of the CELAC. While it is likely that they will experience great difficulties and twists in the process, nobody can stop this historical progress which is transforming “the backyard of the U.S” to a region of autonomous nations. Moreover, the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America & the Caribbean (OPANAL), an institution to ensure compliance with the Tlatelolco Treaty, which is the world’s first Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty, have played an important role for the abolition of nuclear weapons, as it convened a special meeting before the UN conference for the treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. We sincerely hope that the trend of regional cooperation for peace in this continent will develop further by peacefully addressing the Venezuelan crisis.
For the peace and stability of Japan, it is also an urgent task to establish a framework of regional cooperation for peace. The JCP shall work to bring the framework for regional peace collaboration which originated in the ASEAN into Northeast Asia.
New development of international human rights protection, global trend which calls for gender equality
The draft Program describes international protection of human rights as follows;
“Based on the standards of global human rights created in the middle of the 20th century, the international norms that eliminate discrimination against women, children, people with disabilities, minorities, migrant workers, indigenous peoples, and others and that guarantee their dignity have been accepted. The global trend that demands gender equality has had significant influence and the move to eliminate economic and social discrimination and all forms of violence against women is now a task being addressed by the international community.”
<“Transformation of world structure” and significant development of human rights >
What the draft text has in mind in regard to the international norms that eliminate discriminations against people in a weak positon and guarantee their dignity is a series of international treaties and declarations adopted in the 20th to the 21st century such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1979, Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families in 1990, Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities in 1992, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006, and Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.
Though these significant advances in human rights are the achievements of grass roots movements around the world, the “transformation of world structures,” or the collapse of colonial rule had positive effects on the recognition of international human rights. As developing countries came to occupy an indispensable place in the international community, human rights issues in developing countries such as poverty, discrimination, and violence were brought to light. That prompted the development of human rights protection for all nations including developed ones.
<On growing global trend calling for gender equality>
The international trend which calls for gender equality has developed as the “transformation of world structure” evolved.
The early days of UN work on women’s issues aimed at achieving “equality”, or eliminating discrimination against women in politics, education, work, and family relation, which reflected the demands of developed countries. After the world colonial system collapsed and the presence of developing countries at the U.N. increased, a perception that “without freedom from poverty, no women’s empowerment” prevailed. Since then, both the demand of developed and developing countries were integrated and became rich in content.
Under such circumstances, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted in 1979. Enforcement this remarkable convention, called “the international bill of rights for women,” has developed grounded on global grass-roots movements. In terms of discrimination, a common perception was formed in which not only “direct discrimination” but also “indirect discrimination” existed which has negative impacts on women with no clear discriminatory act, and “multiple discriminations” against the more vulnerable women, and actions to rectify them was demanded. As the perception that violence against women is the cause which prevented substantive gender equality expanded, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women was adopted unanimously in 1993.
A concept of gender equality was created through the rich and multi-faceted development of the concept of human rights. In the UN, in 1995, the Beijing Declaration and the Platform of Action suggested “gender equality”, “gender perspectives” in the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing. The UN “Millennium Summit” in 2000 adopted the “Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs), which included the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Finally, in 2015, a successor of MDGs, “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) also adopted gender equality as one of goals, and thus, “gender perspectives” were embodied in all the goals.
With the hashtags of “#MeToo” and “#WithYou,” the movements growing inside and outside of Japan, demanding elimination of sexual violence, respect for gender diversity, abolition of discrimination of sexual orientation and gender identification, and the establishment of a society where everyone can live with dignity is a hopeful phenomenon which symbolizes the historical progress of humanity.
Thus, the 21st century is becoming a remarkable era in regard to the potential full-fledged development of international human rights protection. Let us build a society and world where every individual can live with dignity.
Program section 10, analyzing the world in the 21st century taking into consideration the various contradictions of global capitalism
Next, I move to Section 10 of the draft Program. The main theme of this part is to outline the 21st century with its various contradictions of global capitalism. We added necessary modification and reinforcement to chapter 10 of the draft Program based on the current Program of Section 9.
Various contradictions of global capitalism – unprecedented wealth inequality and global climate change
<Various contradictions of capitalism, special notes of two major global issues>
The beginning of this section indicates seven signs of “Capitalism's contradiction arising from its inability to control the enormously developed productive power.”
The seven points are “the worsening living conditions of the broad strata of the people, the widening gap between rich and poor, repeated economic recession and massive unemployment, rampant speculative financial investment beyond national borders, the global destruction of environmental conditions, the serious effect of the negative legacy of colonialism, as well as the poverty in countries of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.” Each of the characteristics is serious contradiction which the profit-first system has created, and they indicate the inevitability that the humanity shall overcome capitalism and make progress toward socialism.
The description in the draft Program incorporates the provisions in the current Program. Regarding the issue of poverty, we modified the description by stating that absolute poverty has been significantly reduced all over the world except for some parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
Then, the draft Program points out two crucial global issues among capitalism’s contradictions as follows;
“[T]he unprecedented worldwide expansion of the gap between rich and poor and climate change, which is causing various disasters on a global scale, has questioned the sustainability of the capitalist system itself in the 21st century, and the struggle to properly deal with these issues is of vital significance for the future of humankind.”
<Wealth inequality – increasing on global scale as well as national scale in advanced capitalist nations>
Wealth inequality has been expanding on a global scale as well as a national scale in advanced capitalist nations.
As global financial transactions have expanded, tremendous fortune ever has concentrated in the hands of the super-rich. The U.S economic journal “Forbes” releases an annual report since 1987-, on “World Billionaires”, a ranking list of people those who have over a billion US dollars in assets. In 1987, “Forbes” found that 140 billionaires held a total amount of assets of 295 billion dollars. However, in 2019, the number of billionaires increased to 2,153, and their total assets amounted to $8.7 trillion, which is an increase of 29 times in 32 years. The amount of $8.7 trillion is equal to the total GDP of Africa for 4 years. The unconscionable global wealth disparity is increasing to an unprecedented level today.
Such a serious wealth disparity has also expanded on the national scale in advanced capitalist nations. The OECD report on December, 2014 states that “Most of OECD countries have experienced the worst economic gap between the rich and the poor for 30 years”. While some of the OECD countries have come close to an “economy governed by rules” which the JCP aims at, the income gap has expanded in almost all countries including those in the OECD. The current form of global capitalism results in the worst wealth inequality in recent history.
Karl Marx pointed out in “Das Kapital” that “Capital accumulation” promotes “the accumulation of wealth” as well as “accumulation of poverty,” which he called “the General Law of Capitalist Accumulation”. The reality of global capitalism today validates his theory.
<Climate change – Capitalist systems fundamentally in question>
Global climate change is an extremely serious issue. In the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in September, the climate youth activist Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old from Sweden stated; “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing.” Her message evoked supportive responses globally.
The Paris agreement adopted in 2015 aims to keep in check the global temperature rise this century to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to set the goal to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius by achieving a balance between anthropogenic emissions by source and removal by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century. Even a 1.5 degree Celsius increase will cause serious heatwaves, super storms, water shortages, wild fires and instabilities in food production. Based on the current total target submitted by the member states, a 3 degree Celsius rise is projected by the end of the 21st century. If this comes about, it will cause a devastating effect on the global environment.
It is necessary to make the best efforts to tackle global climate change urgently within the current capitalist system. If it fails to do so, the capitalist system itself must be fundamentally transformed. The system has to be replaced by radically different social system.
With this background, the proposed amendment regards the two challenges, wealth inequality and climate change, as the challenges which question “the sustainability of the capitalist system itself in the 21st century.” Given the current global popular mobilization to tackle both of the existential issues confronting humanity, we emphasize that “he struggle to properly deal with these issues is of vital significance for the future of humankind.”
U.S imperialism-, and great-power chauvinism and hegemonism growing among major powers
Next, the draft amendment to the Program addresses political contradictions in the capitalist world.
The current Program address the nuclear weapons issue at the beginning. We move the issue to the draft Section 9 to focus on positive aspect of the changes in the world. In addition, as factors to exacerbate tension and threaten peace, we inserted to the text the phrase “the increase in international terrorism, and the rise of ethnic exclusionism” which portend a grave reactionary move in the world.
<The aggressive character of U.S imperialism>
Built on the achievements of the current Program, we made some necessary modifications to the description of imperialism and hegemonism.
In the last revision of the Program in 2004, we included a theoretical assessment of imperialism. We made clear that after the colonial system collapsed and the international orders not to allow colonial controls had been created, “we should define a country as imperialist based on its policies and actions instead of its being a monopoly capitalist country. A country should be called imperialist when its policies and actions systematically have an aggressive character,” and that “the world policy the U.S. is carrying out is one of imperialism.” (The JCP 22nd Congress, Central Committee 7th Plenum).
Our definition of U.S. imperialism remains accurate. However, some elements in the current text of the Program such as “a new form of colonialism”, “the world’s policemen” and “the sole remaining superpower” are not applicable to the world today.
We deleted those phrases and characterize U.S. imperialism with the following two points: (1) pursues militaristic hegemonism, in which it puts its national interests above the interests of world peace and orderly international relations, prepares and carries out its preemptive attack strategy against other countries in disregard of the United Nations (2) sets up its network of military bases throughout the world and holds itself in readiness to intervene and attack anywhere in the world. With regard to the second point, according to a Defense of Department report, the U.S. has 514 foreign military bases in 45 countries (by the way, the actual numbers are estimated more than those) and continues to be ready to intervene and attack other countries anytime anywhere. The United States has no rival in this regard.
“U.S. imperialism is now the greatest threat to world peace and security as well as to the sovereign rights and independence of nations.”
This proposition stated in the current JCP Program holds true today.
<Clear description of JCP’s flexible standpoint for the U.S. strategy based on the “transformation of the world structure”>
In addition, the draft proposal for amendments to the JCP Program makes a supplementary description as follows.
“It should be noted that despite the nature of U.S. militaristic hegemonism, under the transformation of the world structure, an attempt to solve international disputes through diplomatic negotiations has shown itself in U.S. reaction to international issues.”
Recent JCP Congress Resolutions emphasized the significance of a multi-faced analysis of U.S. strategy that seeks solutions through diplomatic negotiations depending on the time and place under the transformation of the world structure instead of regarding the U.S. as always taking hegemonic and imperialist actions anytime, anywhere. From this standpoint, we evaluated and encouraged the positive actions of the U.S., such as the second term of the George W. Bush administration policy pertaining to the Korean Peninsula, the nuclear weapons policy of the early Obama administration, and the Trump administration policy toward the Korean Peninsula. Such a flexible standpoint for the U.S. strategy has proven to be accurate and valid, and this standpoint has been included in the draft proposal.
At the same time, I would like you to note that the draft amendment emphasizes that the nature of U.S. strategy is “militaristic hegemonism”. Without doubt, the basis of U.S. strategy is U.S. militaristic hegemonism, however, it is important to understand that an aspect can appear in which the U.S. strategy puts more emphasis on diplomatic negotiations to solve issues under the pressure of international public opinion.
<Great-power chauvinism and hegemonism that is growing in some major powers>
Moreover, the draft of amendments to the party Program supplemented as follows.
“The great-power chauvinism and hegemonism that have increased among some of major powers has become an adverse current to world peace and progress. It is grave that the struggle for hegemony between the U.S. and other emerging powers has intensified and created new tensions in the world.”
The “some major powers” here are mainly China and Russia. In the JCP Program’s view of the world, it is also necessary to take into account the great-power chauvinism and hegemonism that reared its head in China and Russia as well as the struggle for hegemony between the U.S. and China and the struggle for hegemony between the U.S. and Russia, and their consequential negative effects.
Unlike the U.S.-Soviet confrontation, the U.S.-China confrontation should be regarded as a struggle for supremacy while simultaneously deepening economic interdependence within the global capitalist system. At the same time, it is necessary to be wary of the fact that this confrontation may lead to a military confrontation and thereby creates a situation where there is a risk of military conflict.
Section 11 of the Program -- Issues of International Solidarity--Do not allow hegemonism in any country
Section 11 of the Program covers the issue of international solidarity.
In addition to the description of the present JCP Program, we have positioned the “struggle to defend and strengthen democracy and human rights” and the “struggle to curb climate change and protect the global environment” as new issues to address.
What has been revised is the assertion that the world must “choose between two international orders”.
The current JCP Program stated, “It is particularly important to note that the major question today is that the world must choose between two international orders: one of peace based on the U.N. Charter and the other plagued with intervention, aggression, war, and oppression giving the United States freedom to be tyrannical.”
This was the issue raised at the JCP 22nd Congress held in 2000, and at that time, the U.S. aggressively strengthened military alliances in both Asia and Europe, and stepped up preparation for wars that would violate the U.N. Charter. In fact, in the course of the situation surrounding the 2003 Iraq War, this issue was literally highlighted as one of the central issues in international politics. In line with this, the issue was clearly stated in the last revision of the Program.
However, the description needs to be revised because while there is no doubt that U.S. militaristic hegemonism is a prominent danger in today’s world, the hegemonism seen in China and Russia also continues to expand and each pushes its own “hegemonistic international order” onto the world.
Therefore, in the draft amendment, this characterization is changed to a more comprehensive stipulation of “the fundamental choice between two international orders: one of peace based on the U.N. Charter and the other of a hegemonistic international order which violates the independence and sovereignty of nations.”
Moreover, the draft proposal emphasizes the proposition to “stop hegemonistic interventions, war, oppression and domination by any nation, establish an international order for peace.”
The JCP is a party of sovereign independence that has continued to fight against hegemonism regardless of whether it is the U.S., the former Soviet Union, or China. I would like to stress that this proposition of the draft revision is the proposition that is particularly unique to the program of the party with such experiences.
Part 4 of the Program -- The minimum necessary amendment is made in accordance with the amendment of Part 3
Next, I will report on Part 4: “Democratic Revolution and Democratic Coalition Government”.
In the draft proposal for amendments to the JCP Program, we propose that the following amendments be made to the amendment of Part 3. All of these are amendments related to section 12 of the present JCP Program i.e.section 13 of the draft revision, “a list of democratic reforms Japanese society needs at present”.
[National independence, security, and foreign relations]
In the first paragraph of clause 4, “friendship and exchanges with Asian countries” is supplemented with “establish a framework for regional cooperation for peace in Northeast Asia based on the principle of peaceful resolution of conflicts.” This description is based on the “Initiative for Peace and Cooperation in Northeast Asia” advocated at the JCP 26th Congress held in 2014.
[Constitution and democracy]
In the description of clause 3, “give all Japanese citizens who are 18 years of age or older the right to vote” has already been realized, hence will be deleted.
Clause 6 is reinforced by the supplementary wording, “Create a gender equal society” and “eliminate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
In clause 3, the present JCP Program covers the change in Japan’s policy for agriculture, forestry, and fisheries as well as its energy policy. In the draft revision, it is divided into two clauses and described as follows.
3. Fundamentally change Japan's policy for agriculture, forestry, and fisheries with the focus on the multifunctionality such as increasing the self-sufficiency of food, securing safe and reliable food, and preserving land; and promote agriculture as a key productive sector in the government's industrial policy.
4. Decommission existing nuclear power plants, abandon research and development of the nuclear fuel cycle, and create a ‘Japan free from nuclear power plants’; achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions at an early stage to protect the future of humankind from climate change; give importance to protect the environment and improve the country’s energy self-sufficiency rate; and promote a radical shift to renewable energy.
Each of these is a revision which accompanies the amendment of Part 3.
Part 5 of the Program – Social changes in developed capitalist countries are the high road to socialism or communism
Next, I would like to report on the amendments of Part 5 of the JCP Program “For a Socialist/Communist Society”.
This part was wholly rewritten during the revision of the JCP Program in 2004. Through the revising of the JCP Program, the present program puts the “socialization of the means of production” at the center of socialist transformation, and revives Marx’s original theory on a future society, which secures the “human development of all members of society” by realization of shorter working hours. These key elements of the revision of the JCP Program in 2004 have been fully carried over into the draft proposal for amendments to the JCP Program.
In the draft amendment, we reviewed the last section of Part 5 of the Program -Section 17 of the present JCP Program- which covers the historical and international conditions for the development of the move toward socialism.
Delete the characterization of the move to socialism driven by three currents
The present JCP Program stated in the first and second paragraphs of Section 17 that “the 21st century world will be an era characterized by an increase in currents toward overcoming capitalism and advancing to a new society”, and it arises from the three currents -- the popular movements in the developed capitalist countries; the efforts to explore their peculiar ways to socialism in countries that broke away from capitalism; the popular movements in many countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America that achieved political independence and seek their way for economic development.
However, this characterization needs to be reviewed. As I already mentioned, because "beginning a new quest for socialism” is no longer considered as “one of the important currents of world history in the 21st century”, the JCP proposes that this description will be deleted from the revised Program. From this standpoint, the characterization of the current toward socialism developed and reinforced by the three currents will no longer be held. Therefore, I would like to propose the first and second paragraphs of Section 17 of the present Program to be deleted.
Main subject of Section 18 of the Program -- Significance of social changes in a developed capitalist country
Removing this provision does not, of course, deny the possibility for socialist transformation in countries where capitalist development has been delayed, such as developing and emerging countries. Anywhere a capitalist contradiction exists, a possibility always exists for socialist transformation in any country.
At the same time, if we summarize the historical experience of countries that have taken a path of breaking away from capitalism after the Russian revolution, socialist transformation in countries where capitalist development has been delayed is extremely difficult. History has already shown this to be true. The direct cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union was the result of the wrong path taken by the Stalin and other successive Soviet leaders. However, behind this background existed historical constraints which originated in the social and economic backwardness in capitalist development it faced at the start. Regarding China, it is necessary to point out that the historical constraints of starting from the status as an underdeveloped country lie at the root of various political and economic problems that are occurring there today.
Based on these historical experiences, the draft amendment puts forward a proposition that “social changes in a developed capitalist country are the high road to socialism or communism”. Then, it changed the main subject of Section 17 of the present JCP Program - Section 18 of the revised Program - to one that discussed the significance of socialist transformation in a developed capitalist country.
Quest for the unexplored -- A task faced with special difficulties but rich and great potential as well
<Socialist transformation of a developed capitalist country is a new historic task in the 21st century>
The first paragraph of Section 18 of the draft revision is transferred from Section 15 of the present JCP Program, and it states that working to advance toward socialism/communist in a developed capitalist country is a new historic task in the 21st century. This means that the JCP will try to explore an unprecedented path that no nation has ever taken.
The following description is inserted in the text.
“Socialist transformation emanating from a developed capitalist country is a task faced with special difficulties but rich and great potential as well. Based on the socialization of the means of production, this transformation will be realized by further developing the gains made in the capitalist era, such as high productivity fostered under capitalism, a system to socially regulate and manage economy, rules to protect people’s lives and rights, institutions of freedom and democracy as well as historical experiences of people’s struggles, and the rich individuality of human beings. Social changes in a developed capitalist country are the high road to socialism or communism. The role that the JCP should play is extremely important worldwide.”
<“Special difficulties” and the power to overcome them>
The first sentence states that socialist transformation in a developed capitalist country is a task with “special difficulties” as well as “rich and great potential”.
Surely, there are “special difficulties” that need to be faced. In regard to the task of implementing progressive social change in Japan, the ruling forces are laying a dense network of domination linked with huge economic power in both urban and rural areas. In particular, the fact that the ruling forces in developed capitalist countries have corporate media under their control and exert a great influence on the intellectual life of the people is one of the particularly difficult conditions we need to recognize and confront.
I would like to stress that in order to succeed in initiating social changes in such a country, we need to have a powerful party that takes root deeply among the populace and is dedicated to realizing the public interest, as well as the development of a united front force.
<“Rich and great potential” – Specify its five elements>
At the same time, the “rich and great potential” that human beings have never experienced before lies ahead of socialist transformation for a developed capitalist country.
Here, the “rich and great potential” means that highly developed capitalism itself creates various subjective and objective conditions to enable progress toward a future society to be made. The draft revision enumerates the five elements in the following texts.
-- The first is “high productivity fostered under capitalism”.
The countries that broke away from capitalism and begun a quest for socialism were forced to develop the economy itself in its post-revolution era sufficient to form the foundation for socialism and faced many difficulties and setbacks.
However, socialist transformation of a developed capitalist country will not have to face so many difficulties. The transformation will inherit a high productivity fostered under capitalism, and will wipe out a wide range of waste associated with the capitalist economy through the socialization of the means of production, and will pave the way for a dramatic development in both societal and economic dimensions.
-- The second is a “system to socially regulate and manage economy”.
Karl Marx emphasizes in his works such as “Das Kapital” that accompanying the development of capitalism, managing and regulating systems are prepared in the womb of capitalism, and that indicates an inherent necessity for making progress toward socialism.
Marx, for example, stresses that there is no doubt that the system for socially managing and regulating the economy that developed under capitalism, such as the development of the credit and banking system, will serve as a “powerful lever” when promoting socialist transformation. Even in this respect, developed capitalism creates elements that can be adapted by a future society in various ways.
-- The third is “rules to protect people’s lives and rights”.
The Central Committee Report to the JCP 25th Congress held in 2010 explains that the “economy governed by rules” described in the Party Program is a goal to be realized within the framework of capitalism. After stating, “Many of the fruits to be achieved through these reforms should be carried over to future society”, the reports explains why the goal should not be characterized as a “capitalism governed by rules”, as follows.
“The ‘economy governed by rules’ as set out in the Party Program is a goal to be realized within the framework of capitalism. Why is it not described as a ‘capitalism governed by rules’ in the Program? That is because in our vision, many of the achievements through reforms for an ‘economy governed by rules,’ including drastic reduction of working hours, gender equality and equal rights, and a social security system to support a high quality of life, will be passed on to future society.”
In his work “Das Kapital”, Marx states the significance of the establishment of the Factory Acts that regulates working hours throughout the industry as follows. “The general extension of factory legislation” matures “the elements for the formation of a new society and the forces for exploding the old one”.
As capitalism develops, the spread of rules for shortening working hours realized by people’s struggles creates various subjective and objective conditions to enable progress toward a future society – this is the vision of the future society that Marx theorized. In this respect, highly developed capitalism creates the rich conditions for the birth of a future socialist society.
-- The fourth is “institutions of freedom and democracy as well as historical experiences of people’s struggles”.
In both the former Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, and Cuba, the political system has a de facto single-party system, and the “leadership of communist party” is clearly stated in each country’s constitution. This is related to seizing power through revolutionary wars and not through parliamentary processes, under conditions where neither parliamentary systems nor democratic experience existed.
In many developed capitalist countries, including Japan, this will never occur. In the Party Program, the JCP makes a commitment to further developing all valuable gains from the capitalist era, including the concepts of democracy and freedom. However, it is not just a commitment made in the Party Program. In Japan, after World War II, people’s sovereignty, fundamental human rights, and parliamentary democracy have been developed under the Japanese Constitution for over 70 years by the people standing up against various adverse currents. Based on that, those valuable gains will be fully passed on to the future society.
In this regard, I would like you to pay attention to the fact that the draft amendment mentions “institutions of freedom and democracy” as well as “historical experiences of people’s struggles”. Even if the system of “freedom and democracy” is institutionally guaranteed in a country, it can happen that the country will degenerate into a despotic state. For example, Germany had the experience of Nazi Germany that took power under the Weimar Constitution after the World War I. However, in Japan, there is a historical accumulation of people’s struggles that have defended and developed institutions of freedom and democracy for over 70 years after the war. Here, I would like to emphasize that the guarantee that freedom and democracy will be passed on in a richer form and flourish in a future society.
-- The fifth is the “rich individuality of human beings”.
In the first draft of “Das Kapital” - “the 1857-1858 Economic Manuscript”, Marx attempted to theoretically capture the development of individuality with a historical perspective, and argued that personal independence founded on the objective dependence of exploitative social constraints was being formed under the capitalistic development of society, and that such potentiality of universally developed individuality would be an important condition for shaping a future society.
In this respect, there is also a decisive difference between the revolution of countries that start under conditions where capitalist development has been delayed and conditions that prevail in advanced capitalist economies. In these countries, serious objective difficulties were already in place since individuality of human beings, fundamental human rights, or a sense of citizenship had not been sufficiently formed, along with the underdeveloped condition of productivity.
Socialist transformation of a developed capitalist country will be able to create a future society by incorporating the valuable gains achieved under capitalism that promoted the “rich individuality of human beings”. There is an immeasurable “rich and great potential” here.
In the draft proposal for amendments to the JCP Program, the five elements that exist in developed capitalism are listed, and all of them will be inherited, further developed, and flourish in a future society with the socialization of the means of production. In light of the whole, the draft amendment stipulates that “social changes in a developed capitalist country are the high road to socialism or communism.”
Prospect from the law of development of world history drawn by Marx and Engels
When Marx and Engels looked forward to a socialist revolution that broke away from capitalism, they expected that this revolution would begin in the countries where capitalism was most advanced: Britain, Germany and France. They repeatedly stressed that a revolution in Britain, which had occupied the dominant position in world capitalism at that time, had a decisive significance no matter which country initiated revolutionary change. Moves toward socialism in those countries will become a model and prime example, and will lead the underdeveloped countries to the path of socialism by going through several stages. This was the developmental prospect of the world history that they drew.
It is important to identify the prospects for socialist transformation in the world of the 21st century by incorporating this theoretic assertion on the development of world history drawn by Marx and Engels.
The role that the JCP should play is extremely important worldwide
The draft revision emphasizes at the conclusion of this paragraph that “the role that the JCP should play is extremely important worldwide.”
The development of capitalism creates the objective conditions for the transformation to a future society, however, no matter how mature the objective conditions are, social changes cannot be realized unless the subjective conditions for changes are created. In this light, the position in which the JCP is placed is also important worldwide.
A party of sovereign independence in defense of scientific socialism, the JCP fought against all forms of hegemonism, including Soviet hegemonism; developed the JCP Program line; deeply linked itself with the general public; made persistent efforts to create more favorable conditions to promote progressive social change in Japan; and has gained a solid political foothold in Japanese society.
As a party with such a pioneering history, our party has a special role to play in the task to pave the way for progressive social transformation in the world of the 21st century. Comrades across the country, let us be deeply aware of this historical struggle, and continue to struggle!
I hereby conclude my report.