JCP representatives take part in Asian political party conference in Bangkok

The Japanese Communist Party's officials in charge of international relations took part in a major conference of Asian political parties, exchanging views with representatives of other political parties on a wide-ranging issues including efforts to defend peace and strengthen equitable economic cooperation.

JCP International Bureau Director Ogata Yasuo (House of Councilors member) and JCP International Bureau Vice-director Kasai Akira were among the 230 participants representing 76 political parties from 26 countries in the 2nd International Conference of Asian Pacific Political Parties (ICAPP) held in Bangkok, Thailand from November 23-24.

In his speech on the first day, Ogata spoke on the issue of peace, introducing the JCP proposal for Japan to cease to be a U.S. military ally and become non-aligned and neutral. As specific tasks, he spoke about the need to change Japan's diplomatic approach from one of following the U.S.-led diplomacy to one of sovereign independence, put emphasis on peaceful means instead of military means to solve international disputes, and the need to shift away from diplomacy centered on the United States to one that attaches greater importance to relations with the other Asian countries.

Referring to his recent tour of the Middle East, Ogata explained that the JCP and Middle Eastern government representatives shared the view that the Iraq question should be solved by peaceful means. He stressed the need to avoid war and defend the world order based on the U.N. Charter.

Ogata also stated that the JCP is a political party which views the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as an international source of peace and social progress.

Ogata and Kasai attended a dinner given by the prime minister of Thailand. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra thanked the JCP representatives for their participation in the conference. Ogata and Kasai thanked Prime Minister Thaksin for encouraging the Japanese anti-nuclear weapons movement by sending a message to the 2002 World Conference against A and H Bombs.

On the second day, JCP Kasai, at a workshop on economic issues, spoke about globalization and cooperation for economic development in Asia.

Kasai pointed out that the United States is using globalization as a means to impose on the world a system to ensure unrestricted profits for multinational corporations and international financial capital centering on the United States.

He said that the task now is to establish an equitable and democratic globalization governed by international rules, decrease the gap between rich and poor, eradicate poverty, and protect the global environment. Kasai said these efforts need enhanced cooperation and solidarity among Asian political parties. (end)