JCP demands halt to ceremony to commemorate 'Japan's restoration of sovereignty' & using Emperor for political purposes

April 23, 2013

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo issued a statement on April 22, demanding that the central government cancel its plan to hold a ceremony to commemorate "Japan's restoration of its sovereignty" and abandon its policy to request the Emperor to attend the ceremony. Following is an excerpt from the statement:

Public criticism is growing against the Abe Cabinet's decision to hold a ceremony to commemorate "Japan's restoration of its sovereignty" on April 28, the day the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into effect in 1952.

In Okinawa, April 28 has been commemorated as "The Day of Humiliation" because the peace treaty separated Okinawa from Japan and put it under the administrative jurisdiction of the United States. The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly has adopted a resolution across party lines in opposition to the ceremony, and a large-scale protest rally is planned on the same day.

A survey by Okinawa Times shows that out of 47 prefectural governors, only 19 are to participate in the ceremony in person.

In the previous statement on March 14, the JCP called for a halt to the ceremony, pointing out the historical fact that Japan regained its sovereignty only in form by concluding the San Francisco Peace Treaty and that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in reality put Japan in a subordinate position, without true sovereignty, to the U.S. It is clear that there is no national consensus on "celebrating" such a day.

In addition to this, it is of grave concern that the Abe Cabinet decided to request the Emperor to participate in the ceremony.

Article 4 of the Japanese Constitution says, "The Emperor shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in this Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government."

Based on this article, to call on the Emperor to attend the event to commemorate the day when the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into effect, the day when Okinawa, Amami, and Ogasawara islands were put under the administration of the United States, the day when Japan renounced its sovereignty over the Chishima Islands, and the day when the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty took effect amounts to the use of the Emperor for political purposes and thus is unconstitutional.

The Constitution also stipulates, "The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the People, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power." To involve him in the issue that divides public opinion also goes against the spirit of the Constitution.

It is a matter of course for citizens to shout out, "Don't use the Emperor for political reasons!" and, "Don't get him involved in the matter!"

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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