50th anniversary marked by national organization of democratic small
producers and traders

The National Federation of Merchant and Industrialist's Organizations
(Zenshoren), the national organization of democratic small- and medium-sized
producers and traders, marked their 50th anniversary in October.

The 44th extraordinary general assembly on October 21 in Tokyo expressed
Zenshoren's determination to carry over the tradition and to further develop
the national movement to defend their businesses and livelihoods.

Zenshoren was established in 1951. It was the first national independent
organization of democratic producers and traders. Since then it has worked
as a national stronghold for such producers and traders in their struggles
to defend the peace and democratic principles of the Constitution. The
members were 18,000 in 1951, and now the number exceeds 300,000.

In the general assembly, secretary general Uchida Takeshi stressed that
through the activities during the past 50 years, Zenshoren played an active
role in bringing about the progress and development of Japanese society for
the benefit of the people. The meeting adopted a resolution to not accept
the pain and sacrifice which the Koizumi Cabinet is intending to impose on
the people by opposing both terrorism and wars of retaliation.

About 1,000 people from various circles attended the commemorative event
which took place on October 22.

Speaking on behalf of the Japanese Communist Party, Secretariat Head
Ichida Tadayoshi said that every act of democratic producers and traders
contributes to increasing the courage and dynamism needed towards creating a
better tomorrow. (end)