Constitution of the Japanese Communist Party
Revised on November 24, 2000 at JCP 22nd Congress
(TRANSLATION BY JAPAN PRESS SERVICE)
Article 1 The name of the organization shall be the Japanese Communist Party.
Article 2 The Japanese Communist Party is the political party of the Japanese working class and the Japanese people. Its doors are open to anyone who is willing to work for democracy, national independence, peace, improvement of the people's living standards, and a progressive future of Japan.
Standing for the principle that the people are sovereign since its founding, the party is conscious of its responsibility for striving to realize the keen interests of the people, promote social progress, and play an enlightened and indomitable role in Japanese society. Its ultimate objective is to realize a community of truly equal and free human relations, free of exploitation of man by man, and free of any forms of oppression or war.
The party adopts scientific socialism as its theoretical basis.
Article 3 The party is a voluntary association of its members, and its organizational principle is democratic centralism, which provides that:
(1) the party shall make its decisions by a majority vote after a full democratic discussion is conducted.
(2) the party decisions shall be carried out by all party members. Unity of action is a political party's responsibility to the people.
(3) the party's leading bodies at all levels shall be formed by elections.
(4) factions and splinter groups shall not be allowed to be formed within the party.
(5) differences of opinion must not be used as a reason for excluding certain members from the organization.
Article 4 Any Japanese national 18 years of age or older who accepts the JCP Program and Constitution shall be eligible for membership. A party member shall work in a party organization and pay party dues as required.
Article 5 Members shall have the following duties and rights:
(1) duty to respect civic morals and social ethics, and discharge their responsibilities toward society;
(2) duty to work for the party's unity and cohesion, and refrain from engaging in hostile action against the party;
(3) right to elect and be elected to party positions;
(4) right to participate in discussions and make proposals on the party's policies and guidelines in party meetings;
(5) duty to consciously carry out the party's decisions. Every member has the right to reserve their opinion in the event of disagreement with a decision. Nevertheless, they shall carry out the decision. A party member must refrain from publishing without permission opinions in opposition to the party's decisions;
(6) right to criticize any party organization or member at party meetings. A party member can ask questions, express opinions, and seek answers from any party bodies, including the Central Committee;
(7) duty to read Party Congress and Central Committee decisions without delay, and study the JCP Program and guidelines as well as the theory of scientific socialism;
(8) duty to settle inner-party affairs within the party;
(9) duty to abide by the JCP Constitution, irrespective of one's party career and post;
(10) right to be present and express one's own opinion whenever decisions are taken at a party meeting regarding disciplinary procedures against themselves.
Article 6 Anyone who wants to join the party shall apply for party membership with the endorsement of two party members and the initiation fee.
Any person who is markedly anti-social and therefore may undermine public trust in the party shall not be admitted to the party.
Admission to the party shall be considered and decided individually by the party branch and shall be subject to the approval of the district committee.
District committees and higher leading bodies may also directly decide on the admission of new members.
Article 7 A member of another political party cannot simultaneously be a JCP member.
An applicant for membership who was once a member of another party must be approved by the prefectural committee or the Central Committee.
Article 8 A party organization, in the hope that each new member will develop properly, shall educate them at the earliest possible time on the JCP Program and Constitution, and help them acquire the basic knowledge necessary for working as a JCP member.
Article 9 When a party member needs to transfer from one party organization to another due to a change of place of work, occupation or residence, or due to retirement, the member and the party organization concerned shall process the transfer without delay.
Article 10 A party member can leave the party. A party member who wants to resign from the party must explain the reasons and circumstances to the party branch or to the party body concerned for approval. The party branch or party body concerned must examine the reasons, submit the matter to a meeting, approve the resignation, and report the matter to the next higher leading body. In cases of violations of party discipline, decisions on penalties for such violations will precede other action.
If any party member does not take part in party activities for more than a year, does not pay party dues for more than a year, and does not intend to work any longer as a party member, despite repeated efforts by the party organization, steps can be taken after consultation with the person in question for him/her to leave the party. Only when consultation is not possible, despite the efforts made by the party organization, does such consultation with the person become unnecessary.
Article 11 A party member can be removed from the membership register after careful examination and investigation, when that member is obviously disqualified for membership on the basis of Article 4, or undermines people's trust in the party due to the member's serious anti-social activity. When removing a person from the membership register, consultation must be held with the person in question. Such consultation does not need to take place when this is not possible despite the efforts made by the party organization. Such removal needs to be approved by the next higher leading body.
When a former party member, who was removed from the membership register, wants to rejoin the party, re-admission shall be decided by the prefectural committee after examining the case at the party branch and the district committee.
Article 12 The party structure is based on branches in workplaces, localities, and on campuses and composed of branches, district committees, prefectural committees, and the Central Committee.
Article 13 Leading bodies at all levels shall be elected by a Party Congress, a party conference, or a branch plenary meeting through elections. To be elected to the officials of the Central Committee, prefectural committees, or district committees, at least two years of party membership is necessary.
Members can freely nominate candidates. The party's leading bodies shall nominate candidates to serve on respective committees for the coming term. Electors shall assess candidates with regard to their personal qualities, abilities, and career record.
All elections must be by secret ballot. A vote must be taken on each nominated candidate separately.
Article 14 A quorum of a Congress and prefectural, district, and branch conferences shall each consist of a majority of delegates. A quorum of a branch plenary meeting shall consist of a majority of its members. A quorum of plenary meetings of the Central Committee, prefectural committees, district committees, or a branch meeting shall consist of a majority of their respective memberships.
Article 15 Party bodies shall take decisions after carefully listening to party organizations and members as well as by collecting and studying information on their experiences. They must promptly deal with any opinions and problems party members may raise, as well as listen to their grievances. Party members and party organizations must hold inner-party discussion on the party's policies and guidelines so that their opinions can be reflected in party bodies.
Article 16 Party organizations are responsible for the implementation of decisions of higher party bodies. When they conclude that a decision is not in accord with the actual circumstances, they can ask the higher body to alter the decision. If the higher body still insists that the decision be carried out, they are obliged to do so while reserving their own opinions.
Article 17 To ensure that overall party action is united on matters of an international or national character individual party organizations and party members shall not arbitrarily publish their own opinions contrary to the party's national policy.
On matters of a local character, the prefectural committee and district committee concerned shall autonomously handle those matters in accordance with the actual situation in the locality.
Article 18 When a new branch or a district organization is to be set up or the area of jurisdiction of a district organization is to be changed, application must be made to the next higher leading body for approval.
A prefectural committee may set up an auxiliary leading body whenever it is necessary to do so in order to promote activity in a large area such as a large city covering several districts.
A district committee or prefectural committee may set up an auxiliary leading body as necessary when there are several branches in a place of employment or locality (ward, city, town or village) and on a campus.
The setting up of an auxiliary leading body must be approved by the next higher leading body, and it shall consist of members elected from the corresponding district committees and branches.
The duties and activities of auxiliary leading bodies shall be to deal with the activities of the corresponding local governments, and the common tasks in the locality, workplace or on campus, and shall not substitute for the basic leadership of a district committee or prefectural committee.
Article 19 The highest body of the party is the Congress. A Party Congress shall be convened by the Central Committee every two to three years, but under special circumstances, the convening of a Congress may be postponed by a Central Committee decision. The Central Committee shall inform the entire party of the date and agenda of the Congress at least three months in advance.
If the Central Committee recognizes it as necessary and passes a resolution to this effect, or if one-third of all prefectural organizations call for it, an extraordinary Congress must be held within three months by the delegates to the previous Congress.
The method of electing delegates to a Congress and the basis of representation are determined by the Central Committee.
Central Committee members and alternate members who are not elected as delegates have the right to speak in the Congress, but have no voting rights.
Article 20 The Party Congress shall perform the following tasks:
(1) discuss the Central Committee report and confirm whether it is correct or not;
(2) discuss and decide on agenda items proposed by the Central Committee;
(3) change the JCP Program and/or Constitution when necessary; and,
(4) elect the Central Committee, and may elect alternate Central Committee members.
Article 21 The leading body between congresses is the Central Committee. The Central Committee is responsible for carrying out Party Congress decisions. Its main duties are as follows:
(1) represent the party externally and lead the party;
(2) publish the central organ papers;
(3) drive home to all members the party's policies and guidelines, and carry them out and develop them properly based on experiences the party has gained;
(4) be responsible for handling matters of an international or national character;
(5) carry out the party's theoretical activity based on scientific socialism;
(6) systematically develop leading party activists and position them properly in light of the interests of the party as a whole and divide the party work;
(7) give necessary advice on matters to be dealt with by local party organizations;
(8) undertake the leadership and management of the party's financial activities.
Article 22 The Central Committee shall meet at least twice a year. A Central Committee plenum shall be convened at the request of one-third of its membership. Central Committee alternate members can attend a Central Committee plenum with the right to take part in the discussion.
Article 23 The Central Committee shall elect from its ranks members of the Executive Committee of the Central Committee, the Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons of the Executive Committee, and the Head of the Secretariat. It may elect the Central Committee Chairperson.
The Central Committee membership may be added to from among alternate members if necessary. Any Central Committee member or Alternate Central Committee member who is unable to continue to perform allotted tasks for unavoidable reasons may be released from Central Committee membership by a two-thirds majority vote of the Central Committee, with the consent of the member concerned. Such releases must be reported to the next Party Congress for approval.
Article 24 The Executive Committee of the Central Committee is responsible for carrying on the duties of the Central Committee between Central Committee plenums.
The Executive Committee shall elect a Standing Executive Committee. The Standing Executive Committee shall perform the duties of the Executive Committee on a daily basis.
The Executive Committee shall set up a Secretariat with the Head of the Secretariat and appoint Secretariat members. The Secretariat shall handle the day-to-day activities of the party center under the leadership of the Executive Committee and the Standing Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee shall appoint members of the Central Organ Paper Editors Commission.
Article 25 The Central Committee shall appoint members of the Petition Commission. The Petition Commission shall work for a speedy settlement of appeals and requests from people inside and outside the party on concrete matters in relation to the leadership of party bodies and other party activities.
Article 26 The Central Committee shall appoint members of the Disciplinary Commission. The Disciplinary Commission shall perform the following duties:
(1) investigate and judge party members' breaches of party discipline;
(2) investigate any appeal made by a party member with regard to decisions for expulsion and any other penalties by party organizations at all levels.
Article 27 The Central Committee shall appoint an Audit Commission. The Audit Commission shall audit all accounts, undertakings, and assets of the central body.
Article 28 The Central Committee may appoint officers emeritus. When they are appointed, it must be reported to the Congress for approval.
Article 29 The highest body of the party's prefectural organizations is the prefectural conference. A prefectural party conference shall be convened by the prefectural party committee once a year. Under special circumstances, the convening of a prefectural party conference may be postponed with the approval of the Central Committee.
An extraordinary prefectural party conference shall be convened without delay by the delegates of the previous party conference when such a conference is regarded as necessary by a resolution of the prefectural party committee, or when it is requested by more than one-third of the district party organizations.
The method of electing delegates and the basis of representation to a prefectural party conference are determined by the prefectural committee.
Prefectural committee members and alternate members who are not elected as delegates have the right to speak at the conference but have no voting rights.
Article 30 A prefectural party conference is responsible for carrying out the following tasks:
(1) discuss the report of the prefectural party committee and confirm whether it is correct or not;
(2) specify the guidelines and policy of the Party Congress and the Central Committee to be applied to that region and decide the guidelines and policy of the party in the prefecture;
(3) elect the prefectural party committee, which may include alternate members;
(4) elect delegates to a Party Congress when it is to take place.
Article 31 The leading body between prefectural party conferences is the prefectural party committee. The prefectural party committee is responsible for carrying out the decisions of the prefectural party conference, and its main duties are as follows:
(1) represent the party in its prefecture and lead the party organizations in the prefecture;
(2) drive home Central Committee decisions, specify them, and carry them out;
(3) with regard to matters of local concern, the prefectural party committee shall handle them on its own in conformity with the conditions in the locality;
(4) systematically develop leading party activists and position them properly and divide the party work;
(5) may give necessary advice even on matters to be dealt with by district party organizations;
(6) handle and give guidance on the financial activities of the prefectural party organizations.
Article 32 A prefectural party committee shall elect the chairperson and a standing committee. It may elect vice-chairpersons and a secretary if deemed necessary.
The standing prefectural committee is responsible for carrying out the prefectural committee's duties between the plenary sessions of the prefectural committee.
The prefectural committee membership may be added to from among alternate members if necessary. Any prefectural committee member or alternate member who cannot continue to perform their duties for unavoidable reasons may be released from committee membership by a two-thirds majority vote of the prefectural committee, subject to consent of the member concerned. Such releases must be reported to the next prefectural party conference for approval.
A prefectural committee may set up an audit commission to audit its accounts, undertakings and assets.
Article 33 A prefectural committee may appoint officers emeritus, and such appointments must be reported to the prefectural party conference for approval.
Article 34 The supreme body of the party's district organizations is the district party conference. The district party conference shall be convened by the district party committee once a year. Under special circumstances, the convening of a district party conference may be postponed with the approval of both the prefectural party committee and the Central Committee.
When the district committee resolves that it is necessary to convene an extraordinary district party conference, or when more than one-third of the branches in the district demand it, the district committee convenes an extraordinary district party conference without delay, consisting of the delegates of the previous district conference.
The method of electing the delegates to a district party conference and the basis of representation are decided by the district committee.
District committee members and alternate members who are not elected as delegates have the right to speak at the conference but have no voting rights.
Article 35 A district party conference is responsible for carrying out the following work:
(1) discuss the district committee report and confirm whether it is proper or not;
(2) specify the guidelines and policies of central and prefectural party bodies to be applied to the district, and determine the guidelines and policies for the district;
(3) elect the district committee, which may include alternate members;
(4) elect delegates to the prefectural party conference when it is held.
Article 36 The leading body between district party conferences is the district committee. The district committee is responsible for carrying out the decisions of the district party conference, and its main duties are as follows:
(1) represent the party in the district, and lead party organizations in the district;
(2) bring home decisions of the Central and prefectural party bodies, specify them to be applied to the district, and carry them out;
(3) handle matters of district concern on its own in accordance with the actual situation in the district;
(4) give the branches friendly guidance and assistance as the body in charge of guiding branch activities;
(5) systematically develop the party's leading activists, position them properly, and divide the work; and,
(6) deal with and lead the financial activity of the district party organizations.
Article 37 A district committee shall elect the chairperson and a standing committee, and vice-chairpersons if necessary. The standing committee performs the district committee's duties between district committee plenary meetings.
District committee members may be added if necessary from among alternate members. Any district committee member or alternate member who cannot continue to perform allotted tasks due to unavoidable reasons may be released from committee membership by a two-thirds majority of the district committee, subject to the consent of the member concerned. Such releases must be reported to the next district party conference for approval.
Article 38 Branches may be established in workplaces, localities, and on campuses wherever there are three or more party members. The branch is the basic organization of the party, representing the JCP in the workplace, locality, or campus.
In certain circumstances a branch can be formed on the basis of common conditions in social life or social activity.
When there are less than three party members in any given place, the members may either join a neighboring branch or form a branch preparatory committee.
Article 39 The highest body of the branch is the branch plenary meeting or the branch conference. The plenary meeting or conference shall be convened at least once every six months.
A branch plenary conference or meeting is responsible for carrying out the following tasks:
(1) review and summarize its past activities, implement the decisions of higher bodies, and decide its action plan;
(2) elect the committee and /or head of the branch;
(3) elect delegates to the district party conference when it is convened.
Article 40 The branch shall have the following duties:
(1) represent the party in workplaces, localities, or on campuses;
(2) develop activities by establishing policies in response to public demands, with targets and a plan for expanding party strength based on the long-term task of getting support from the majority of the people in the workplace, locality, or campus;
(3) hold branch meetings regularly (once a week in principle) and collect party dues. The branch must thoroughly discuss the decisions of the Party Congress and the Central Committee, and apply them to branch activities. It must actively participate in activities to realize public demands and increase party membership, and in organ paper activities.
(4) organize collective study and other forms of study to help party members willingly study the JCP Program and history, and the theory of scientific socialism;
(5) establish a network of liaison and solidarity between party members, give attention to every member's activity and conditions, make efforts to encourage all members to participate in activities using their strong points, and establish close human relations in which members help each other;
(6) party members who belong to a workplace branch shall work with branches in their place of residence as well.
Article 41 The leading body between branch plenary meetings (conferences) of a branch is the branch committee. The branch committee elects the head of the branch. If a branch has only a few members, the branch head can serve as the leading body. In both cases vice-heads of the branch can be elected if the situation requires.
A branch may set up sub-branches within it, each led by a sub-branch leader.
Article 42 When there are three and more party members in the standing body of an organization outside the party, a party group may be organized and led by an elected head.
Such a party group must be approved by the leading body in charge of the group for its composition and the election of the head. It works under the guidance of the body. It is the duty of the party group to respect the rules of the organization concerned in its activities.
A party group must perform daily party tasks similar to a branch.
Article 43 Party members who have been elected to the Diet shall organize a Dietmembers group.
Under the leadership of the Central Committee, the Dietmembers group shall establish necessary leading bodies and work in the Diet in accordance with the guidelines and policy of the party. Its main tasks are as follows:
(1) represent the party in the Diet in the struggle for the public interests, participating in discussions of national political affairs, deliberate on the budget, and draw up bills and other activities;
(2) link up with the extra-parliamentary struggles of the people and strive to win their demands;
(3) report to the people on the party's activities in the Diet.
If a party Dietmember breaches party discipline or is called to account for causing serious damage to the people's interests, he/she must resign the Dietmember's position in accordance with a decision to that effect.
Article 44 Party members who have been elected to municipal assemblies at any level shall without fail organize an assembly party group based on an appropriate unit. All assembly members in principle lead their party life in JCP assembly members' groups. A JCP assembly members group works under the leadership of the party body at the corresponding level.
JCP members of local assemblies and their groups shall work serving the interests and welfare of local residents following the provisions of Article 43 which defines activities of Dietmembers group.
Prefectural committees and district committees shall be responsible for leading their party municipal assembly members and their groups.
Article 45 The party's funds are furnished by party dues, income from party undertakings, donations to the party by individuals, and other sources.
Article 46 The rates of membership dues shall be one percent of the member's net income.
Party dues must be paid monthly or at other certain periods in advance.
Party dues of a party member who is extremely destitute, such as one who is unemployed, or who depends on family assistance because of old age or illness can be reduced or waived.
Article 47 The Central Committee, prefectural committees, and district committees shall take charge of their own funds and assets.
Article 48 Any member who seriously damages the interests of the party and the people in contravention of the JCP Constitution and its spirit is subject to penalties for a breach of party discipline.
Any member under investigation and deliberation on suspicion of violating discipline, may have his/her rights as a member as provided for in Article 5 restricted as may be found necessary. However any period of restricted rights must not exceed six months.
Article 49 Any penalty imposed for a breach of party discipline must be carefully decided on the basis of facts.
Penalties are classified as warnings, suspension of rights (partial or total), dismissal from a party body, or expulsion from the party.
The period for suspension of rights must not exceed one year. Dismissal from a party body may be accompanied by the suspension of rights.
Article 50 The penalty for a party member is decided by a party conference or a plenary meeting of a branch to which the member belongs, and will come into effect after being approved by the next higher leading body.
Under special circumstances, the Central Committee, a prefectural committee, and a district committee may penalize a party member. In such cases, the penalty imposed by a district committee takes effect only after it has been approved by the prefectural committee concerned, and the penalty imposed by a prefectural committee takes effect only after it has been approved by the Central Committee.
Article 51 Suspension of rights, dismissal from a party body, or expulsion from the party of a member or an alternate member of a prefectural or district committee must be decided by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the committee concerned, and with the approval of the next higher leading body. Such penalties must then come up for approval at the next party conference.
When it is urgent and necessary, the Central Committee may impose a penalty on an official of a prefectural or district committee for a breach of party discipline.
Article 52 Suspension of rights, dismissal from a party body or expulsion from the party of a member or an alternate member of the Central Committee must be decided by a two-thirds majority vote of the Central Committee, and must be approved by the next Party Congress.
Article 53 A penalty against a party member who is concurrently a member or an alternate member of more than two bodies is first decided by the higher party body to be followed by the lower.
Article 54 A decision to expel a party member from the party must be arrived at most carefully, this being the maximum penalty that the party can impose. When the expulsion of a party member is to be decided or approved, all the relevant evidence must be impartially examined and the plea by the party member concerned must be heard.
The re-admission of any person who was expelled from the party can only be decided by the Central Committee.
Article 55 When the penalty against a party member is discussed and decided, the charged party member must be given an adequate opportunity by the party organization which the member belongs to, except in special cases, to express an opinion. Once the penalty has been decided, the member concerned must be informed of the reasons for the penalty. The leading bodies at any levels shall report to the Central Committee without delay on the violations of discipline and the penalty.
If a party member who has been penalized objects to the penalty, the member can request a re-examination of the case from the party organization which decided on the penalty. He/she can also appeal to the higher party bodies. If a party member who was expelled from the party objects to such expulsion, he/she may request a re-examination by the Central Committee and/or a Party Congress.
Article 56 Matters not provided for in this Constitution may be disposed of by the Central Committee, in accordance with the spirit of this Constitution.
Article 57 The Program and/or Constitution of the party can only be amended by a Party Congress.
This Constitution takes effect from November 24, 2000.