March 24, 2011
Determined to show the undefeatable strength of the Japanese Communist Party based on its revolutionary tradition, during the worst postwar disaster with many people experiencing severe suffering, the JCP held a meeting of activists on March 23 at its head office to discuss providing relief to the victims of the Great East Japan Disaster and achieving a victory in the simultaneous local elections.
JCP Chair Shii Kazuo gave a report on how the JCP should deal with the national crisis and how the party should carry out the local election campaigns. Many JCP members all over the country listened to Shii and watched through in-house communication links and the Internet.
Shii first expressed his deep condolences to the victims of the disaster and to the deceased and their bereaved families. The participants responded by paying silent tribute. He also expressed his sincere respect to all the people engaged in relieving the victims and dealing with the nuclear power plant accidents who are at the forefront of the crisis amid difficult conditions.
He reported on the ongoing efforts made by the JCP task forces in Tokyo and in the disaster-hit region. As well as JCP Dietmembers, JCP local members and local assembly representatives, who are often victims themselves, are working hard to help others in difficulty, showing the founding spirit of the JCP to lessen hardships on the people. He said that national solidarity in this respect bore fruit in raising over 250 million yen in donations called for by JCP organizations nationwide for disaster relief. Shii said that the activity should be enhanced.
The JCP proposed that the simultaneous local elections be nationally postponed in order to focus all efforts on relief and reconstruction activities, but was foiled by objections from the Democratic, Liberal Democratic and Komei parties, Shii explained.
The JCP chair stressed that JCP activities for the time being should focus on two points: To work all out for the relief and reconstruction of the devastated areas, and to engage in the local election campaigns by maintaining this principle.
Shii said that the JCP must take on the local election campaigns as an opportunity to break through the biggest national crisis in the postwar years and build a new society by giving a full play to people’s power.
Shii announced the following four fundamental points the JCP will call for during the elections.
1) To tackle the two urgent tasks to provide relief for victims and to avert further disasters at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima.
2) To join with various forces to reconstruct following the unprecedented disaster. Shii proposed that support and compensation be provided beyond the existing framework for individual victims, municipalities, farmers, fishers, and smaller businesses. He called for a drastic revision of the national budget and a release of some of the internal reserves amassed by large corporations.
3) To drastically change the course of nuclear power administration and energy policy. Pointing out that the administration of nuclear power plants must put its top priority on safety, Shii stressed that a decision should be made to strategically develop natural energy resources.
4) To create a city of welfare and disaster prevention. Offering welfare programs to residents and protecting their lives from disasters are both responsibilities of local governments, Shii said.
Stressing the need to carefully consider and respond to the people’s needs amid the current situation, Shii stated that it is important for party members to develop voters’ support for the JCP based on their connectedness. He also emphasized that the JCP will not join the move to “voluntarily refrain” from conducting election campaigns, citing a local paper, Ise Shimbun, which criticized such moves as impinging on voters’ rights.
The JCP chair finally called on all party organizations and members to exercise the JCP’s strength and develop a nationwide solidarity with the disaster-hit areas.