JCP

What is the JCP?

A Profile of the Japanese Communist Party

(November, 2021)

JCP IN FIGURES

Membership:

Approximately 270,000 in 18,000 branches across the country.

Newspaper:

Newspaper Akahata (Red Flag) was launched in 1928 and is now published in both daily and weekly editions, with a combined readership of about 1 million. It has correspondents in 5 cities around the world: Beijing, Hanoi, Cairo, Berlin and Washington, D.C.

Diet (parliament) members:

10 seats out of 465 seats in the House of Representatives (in the 2021 general election, the JCP received 4.16 million votes, or 7.25%) 13 seats out of 242 seats in the House of Councilors (in the 2019 election, the JCP received 4.48 million votes, or 8.95%).

Local Assembly Members:

The total number of JCP members in local assemblies is about 2662 (January 2020).

JCP History

The JCP was founded on July 15, 1922. At the time, Japan was subjected to the despotic rule under the Tenno (Emperor) system. Japanese citizens were deprived of all democratic rights and Japan took the path of wars of aggression against other Asian countries and implemented colonial rule over them.

Outlawed from the outset of its founding, the JCP suffered all kinds of oppression and persecution. It was the only political party in Japan that opposed the wars of aggression. Upholding the banner of freedom and human rights, the party fought for the liberation of Korea and Taiwan, both colonies of Japanese imperialism, and for the full independence of other colonial and semi-colonial nations in Asia.

1945 The Pacific War ended with the defeat of Japanese imperialism. The JCP for the first time won legal status and was allowed to engage in political activity, which marked the beginning of new advances for the party.

1947 The Constitution of Japan came into effect. It expresses the resolve of the Japanese people that "never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government" and declares that "sovereign power resides with the people." This proved the correctness of the longstanding position of the JCP that had consistently opposed wars of aggression and called for people’s sovereignty.

1950-1955 Repression by the U.S. occupation forces engulfed Japan, and the JCP was split by a group of party activists connected with the Soviet Union and China. The group worked to bring into Japan fallacious policies dictated from abroad. This brought considerable difficulties to the JCP for the next several years (referred to as the "1950 Question").

1958-1961 Two JCP Congresses fully resolved the problems associated with the party split and restored party unity, establishing a new course as set out below:

1. A new Party Program of democratic revolution with the central task being the full restoration of Japan's sovereignty and democratic change in politics and the economy; and

2. Sovereign independent position that does not allow interference from outside in the Japanese people's struggle for social justice.

1964 The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) began its interference and attacks on the JCP.

1966 The Communist Party of China (CPC) started its interference and attacks on the JCP.

1968 The JCP opposed the Soviet military intervention in Czechoslovakia.

1979 When the CPSU admitted that it had erred in interfering in the internal affairs of the JCP, JCP-CPSU relations were normalized.

1979 The JCP opposed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and squarely fought against it.

1998 JCP-CPC relations were normalized when the CPC made clear its attitude of "serious examination and rectification" about the “error” it had made by its past interference in the internal affairs of the JCP.

2004 At the 23rd Congress, the JCP revised its Program.

2020 At the 28th Congress, the JCP partially revised its Program.

The JCP Program sets forth a path for a future society which overcomes capitalism and advances to socialism/communism. The party advocates taking the position of a “step-by-step advance,” in which social change can only be made when people think such change is necessary and conditions for it are in place. The party stands by the principle of “revolution by the majority” which states that any changes in social development will be brought about only after the majority of the general public have agreed to support the changes.

From this position, the JCP is working to realize the following changes in Japanese politics for the immediate future, through “democratic change within the framework of capitalism”:

1. Break away from the Japan-U.S. military alliance (Japan-U.S. Security Treaty), to fully restore our national sovereignty, and aim to establish a non-aligned and neutral path;

2. Change Japan’s economic policy of serving the interests of large corporations and business circles to one of defending the interests of the people, and establish democratic rules that will check the undue influence and power of large corporations and protect the rights and livelihoods of the people; and

3. Never allow the adverse revision of the Japanese Constitution, promote democracy, and establish a Japan free from militarism.

The JCP is working hard to establish a democratic coalition government in the early part of the 21st century by together winning the majority of seats in the Diet, and shift Japan’s course to a democratic and peaceful direction.

Cooperation among Opposition Parties

At present, the JCP is working to help establish a coalition government consisting of opposition parties through joint struggles with concerned citizens and opposition parties. Recently, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe changed the government interpretation of the Constitution of Japan to allow the nation to exercise the right to collective self-defense, and the governing coalition enacted new security laws which enable Japan to engage in wars overseas. This was a fundamental departure from the long-standing self-defense security position of Japan over the past five decades.

The type of coalition government the JCP will attempt to form will promote the following : ① restore constitutionalism, democracy, and pacifism based on the constitution; ② correct income disparities, and change the political discourse to supporting citizens’ lives and households first; and, ③ build a political system that values diversity and respects the dignity of individuals.
The JCP along with other opposition parties and various citizens’ movements worked together for the first time in the national election in July 2016, demanding the repeal of the war laws, a return to constitutionalism, and the resignation of the Abe cabinet. Currently, opposition parties, including the JCP, have advanced holding discussions for cooperation regarding specific policies, tactics to promote and refine election campaigns, and form a consensus regarding the formation of a coalition government.

Principles of JCP’s Diplomacy

(1) Adhere to Independent Position

The JCP attaches importance to respect for the right to national self-determination. It has strongly opposed any expression of hegemonism by any power which violates the sovereignty of other nations. It opposed the U.S. war of aggression against Vietnam as well as the former Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan.
It has maintained the position of sovereign independence, never allowing interference in the internal affairs of the JCP by any big power. It fought against the interference and attacks by the former Soviet Union and China’s Mao Zedong group, and eventually both countries acknowledged their wrongdoings and normalized relations with the JCP.

(2) JCP Proposes Peace Diplomacy for a New Japan

The JCP sets out in its Program the following basic points that a new Japan should seek in its peace diplomacy:

  • 1.Reflecting on the wars of aggression and colonial rule Japan perpetrated in the past, we will attach importance to friendly relations and exchanges with other Asian nations and establish a framework for regional cooperation for peace in Northeast Asia based on the principle of peaceful resolutions of conflicts.
  • 2. Defending the international order for peace provided for in the UN Charter, we will oppose any hegemonic attempt which would violate or destroy that order;
  • 3. We will work for the prevention of nuclear war and the elimination of nuclear weapons, which pose an existential threat to humanity; safeguard the right of nations to self-determination; and general disarmament, dismantling of all military alliances, and the withdrawal of foreign military bases;
  • 4. We will oppose both indiscriminate terrorist actions and retaliatory wars which sacrifice the lives of innocent people, and try to develop international public opinion and develop joint actions to eliminate terrorism;
  • 5. We will work for the reversion of the Chishima (Kurile) Islands, and Habomai and Shikotan Islands, which are Japan’s historical territories;
  • 6. We will take action to control irresponsible activities of transnational corporations, protect the environment of the earth, and check the economic hegemonism of big powers. We will work to establish a democratic international economic order based on respect for the economic sovereignty of all nations and their equality and impartiality;
  • 7. We will work for the peaceful solution of conflicts. We will also actively engage in international aid activity by non-military means, with the aim of resolving humanitarian problems, including issues related to natural disasters, refugees, poverty and starvation; and
  • 8. We will make efforts to establish relations of peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems, and of dialogue and coexistence among civilizations with diverse values.

(3) Proposition to achieve “Initiative for Peace and Cooperation in Northeast Asia”

Regional cooperation for peace has been increasing in Southeast Asia and Latin America. In particular, the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has developed as a regional community working for peace based on their treaty which advocates working for a peaceful resolution of conflicts. The JCP has proposed the “Initiative for Peace and Cooperation in Northeast Asia” at the 26th Congress and appealed to international society and concerned nations to support its adoption. The following four principles are at the core of the proposal:

 -Conclude a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Northeast Asia with rules for peace which member countries have to abide by, including renunciation of the use of force, peaceful resolution of conflicts, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and promotion of effective dialogue and cooperation to underline the need for confidence building.
 -Return to the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks issued in September 2005, creates a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, realize a comprehensive resolution in regard to nuclear weapons, missiles, and the abduction issue as well as unsolved historical issues, and develop this framework into one that can create and maintain peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
 -Engage in diplomatic negotiations in a calm manner based on historical facts and international law as means to solve territorial disputes that continue to exist in the region. Strictly refrain from actions that could escalate into conflicts, such as any forcible change in the status quo and use or threat to use force, and conclude a code of conduct for the countries concerned to solve conflicts through friendly consultations and negotiations in accordance with international law.
 -Japan’s remorse over its past war of aggression and colonial rule is essential to develop amity and cooperation in Northeast Asia. Swiftly resolve Japan’s military sex slavery issue and other unresolved issues and block the rise of adverse forces trying to revise the historical record.

 (4) Relations with Foreign Political Parties and Governments

The JCP makes extensive efforts to establish friendship and exchanges with foreign political parties. Our basic position is that we will be open to establishing relations with any party if we share an interest in beginning mutual exchanges in accordance with the principles of sovereign independence, equal rights, and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, regardless of whether that party is considered to be conservative or progressive, and whether it is a ruling party or an opposition party. Wherever and whenever there are conditions for us to take common action, we would like to do so for the cause of peace in Asia and the rest of the world.

As for relations with foreign governments, the JCP is making efforts to develop exchanges with them to discuss issues of peace, global warming, and social progress.

From this position, the JCP in the past two decades sent delegations to numerous countries in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe and Americas. The JCP also attended the meetings of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), the Summit Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation as well as the UN-related conferences such as the COPs of UNFCCC and the conference on the treaty on prohibition of nuclear weapons (2017).


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