JCP champions freedom of libraries against Komei Party's interference

The Japanese Communist Party in Tokyo's Chuo Ward on May 28 requested the board of education to defend the freedom of libraries and the freedom of speech and publication against the Komei Party's interference.

In March, a Komei Party member in the assembly blamed three public libraries for keeping books and magazines which contain criticism of Soka Gakkai, the parent religious organization of the Komei Party.

He demanded the disclosure of the names of staff members assigned to selecting books for purchase, and even a personnel change to correct the "biased selection."

In its representations to the board of education, the JCP referred to the Declaration on the Freedom of Libraries published in 1979 by the Japan Library Association. The declaration states that the freedom of libraries is part of fundamental human rights, and that this right should be thoroughly defended.

The JCP called on ward libraries not to yield to pressure and interference, and to defend the freedom of libraries and the freedom of speech and publication.

A similar move took place in a ward assembly of Ota Ward in Tokyo in March 2000 in which a Komei Party assembly member tried to rid ward libraries of publications critical of Soka Gakkai. (end)