Soka Gakkai, North Korea, and JCP -- Akahata "Current" column, April 23

Three years ago, many municipalities presented Ikeda Daisaku, Soka Gakkai honorary president, with a letter to express thanks for his "contribution to the happiness of people of the world." It provided a good topic of conversation at the time.

It was the Komei Party and its parent religious organization Soka Gakkai that asked municipalities to send letters of thanks to Mr. Ikeda. Some municipal officials revealed that they drafted their letters in consultation with them.

This is similar to a campaign we witnessed in 1972. It was a drive to organize the sending of "gifts" to North Korean President Kim Il Sung on his 61st birthday. Requests for such gifts were made to many Japanese organizations, politicians, and municipality heads. That was when a delegation of the Komei Party, which is part of Soka Gakkai, visited Pyongyang and extolled the Kim Il Sung thought.

Twenty-five years later, the Komei Party leader lauded the Kim Jong Il regime. In its congratulatory telegram he stated, "We wish your country prosperity under the leadership of Your Excellency Kim Jong Il who carries over the spirit of His Excellency Kim Il Sung."

Personality's cults have nothing in common with socialism, a quest for a society in which everyone is a key player.

The Japanese Communist Party has been critical of North Korea's personality cult. When a supra-party parliamentary delegation visited Pyongyang in 1999, JCP House of Councilors member Ogata Yasuo and House of Representatives member Kokuta Keiji did not bow to the statue to pay respect. Komei Party members bowed deeply to the statue.

And now, why is the Komei Party attacking the JCP using North Korea as an excuse?

A former Soka Gakkai head office employee said, "Soka Gakkai with the despotic rule of honorary president Ikeda and the personality cult is similar to North Korea. ... The major aim of the attack against the JCP is to avert the criticism of members and to paint the JCP in the same color as North Korea." (end)

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