Uri Party extends invitation to JCP Chair Shii to attend 4th International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP)

Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair and International Department Director Ogata Yasuo on March 30 met with 4th International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) Organizing Committee Chair Kim Myung-ja and Vice Chair Chung Eui-yong who visited the JCP head office to extend an invitation to JCP Chair Shii Kazuo to attend to the 4th ICAPP.

The two ICAPP officials are Uri Party members of South Korea's National Assembly. Kim is a former environment minister and Chung is the Uri Party's Foreign Relations Committee chair.

Kim said that the 4th ICAPP, which will be held September 7-10 in Seoul under the main theme "Peace and Prosperity in Asia" will be hosted by South Korea's ruling Uri Party and attended by all other South Korean parties and that the invitation letter will be sent to more than 120 political parties in 50 countries. He also explained that the ICAPP began with the aim of strengthening party-to-party cooperation in Asia with a view to establishing a regional community of nations.

Referring to the sub-themes of the ICAPP, "Asian security and political stability," "poverty eradication and good governance," and "regional cooperation and movements toward an Asian Community," she said, "The JCP is kindly requested to take part in the conference so as to make the event even more meaningful."

Ogata thanked the two representatives for their visit and said he thinks that the 4th ICAPP will have more participants and even greater significance than the second meeting in 2002 in Bangkok and the third in 2004 in Beijing. "The JCP will take an active part in the Seoul conference and make every effort to contribute to making a success of the conference in cooperation with other participants," Ogata added.

On the recent Japan-South Korea relations, Chung stated that despite the stalemate at the government-to-government level due to the differences of historical views, there has been some good news such as over the introduction of a visa waiver program for South Korean visitors to Japan and the application of Japan's domestic measures for supporting former leprosy patients who were kept in isolation in South Korea under Japanese colonial rule. He requested that the JCP play a positive role in granting the right to vote in local elections to Korean residents in Japan.

Chung expressed hope that the Uri Party and the JCP will increase bilateral discussions and cooperation in the effort to resolve the pending issues between South Korea and Japan.

Ogata said that the JCP also wants to increase relations with the Uri Party and explained the JCP views on the historical issues and on granting voting rights for foreign residents in Japan.
- Akahata, March 31, 2006

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