After the 73th World Health Assembly, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on May 21 issued a statement on calling for global solidarity and cooperation to overcome COVID-19 pandemic as follows:
For Global Solidarity and Cooperation to Overcome COVID-19 Pandemic
Chair, Japanese Communist Party
Member of the House of Representatives of Japan
May 21, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has become one of the worst pandemics in recent human history.
The international community has a valuable history of collaboration in fighting diseases including, among others, the elimination of the Variola virus and the US-Soviet cooperation to develop the polio vaccines. A recent examples of such cooperation is the international containment effort effectively led by the UN during the Ebola virus epidemic.
However, as the outcome of the latest round of the WHO World Health Assembly shows, coordinated global action which is required to contain the COVID-19 pandemic has been prevented by the political antagonism generated between the U.S and China. This has serious consequences for the world.
The U.S Trump administration has caused severe difficulty in fostering international cooperation by its unilateral actions such as its refusal to fund the WHO and its threat to withdraw from the organization which it perceives as not going the way it wants.
On the other hand, China has also created an obstacle to the strengthening of global cooperation by its failing to meet the world’s demand of detailed information sharing in a transparent manner regarding China’s initial actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak as Chinese President Xi Jinping only praised his own government responses as beyond reproach, noting “All along, we have acted with openness, transparency and responsibility.”
Despite these difficult conditions, the WHO General Assembly adopted unanimously a resolution to call for the strengthening of UN-centered international cooperation to address the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to notice that the resolution asks to “initiate a stepwise process of impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” in regard to past measures taken by the WHO.
The JCP strongly demands that the international community, including the U.S and China make further efforts to promote solidarity and cooperation in order to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic based on the adopted resolution.
The other serious issue is the question of granting observer status to Taiwan in the WHO General Assembly. The JCP supports Taiwan’s inclusion as observer into the WHO General Assembly. The battle to contain pandemics is global in nature and no nation or geographical area should be excluded. Taiwan’s observer status should be accepted to enable Taiwan to access the WHO’s international practices without restriction, and to enable the international society to share Taiwan’s valuable experience in its fight against the spread of the coronavirus.
We believe that Taiwan’s inclusion as observer is well-founded in the WHO Constitution, which states, “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being, without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition. The health of all peoples is fundamental to the attainment of peace and security and is dependent upon the fullest co-operation of individuals and States.”
In order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in Japan, it is essential for us to succeed in overcoming the pandemic both nationally and internationally.
Based on this standpoint, the JCP strongly demands that the Japanese government make diplomatic efforts to strengthen solidarity and cooperation in the international community while making every efforts to effectively deal with COVID-19 outbreak in Japan.