Grass-roots efforts for progressive change discussed in national assembly

Over 200 people from throughout the country and various circles on July 5 attended the annual assembly in Tokyo of the National Forum for Peace, Democracy and Progressive Unity (Kakushinkon), an organization to help develop grass-roots efforts for progressive change in politics.

In proposing an action plan for the next twelve months on behalf of the board of coordinators, Naruse Noboru stated that the accumulated people's energy seeking to break away from the Liberal Democratic Party framework of politics need to be combined with Kakushinkon's three progressive goals: peace, democracy, and better living conditions.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi in his speech stressed the important role Kakushinkon is playing in addressing the present international and domestic situations, particularly in its support of grass-roots movements in opposition to the Iraq war and the contingency legislation.

Referring to the world's adverse current represented by the U.S. Bush administration and the Koizumi government which is subservient to the United States, Ichida said that the JCP as a political party and Kakushinkon through the grass-roots movement can truly confront LDP policies in pursuit of progressive change.

In the discussion, 30 participants spoke about their experiences in different communities to bring together various grass-roots demands and movements to build joint actions for political change.

A representative of an Osaka Kakushinkon said that they used the names of artists, comic story tellers, academics, athletes, and lawyers in issuing an appeal to the local government workers, and that his Kakushinkon includes middle-managers and retirees as well as employees of all union affiliations.

A speaker from Nagano reported on Kakushinkon's plan to hold an international tribunal on the Iraq war with 24 municipality heads and a local bank's chairman, with the prefectural governor supporting the project.

A representative of Kochi Prefectural Kakushinkon stated that Kakushinkon is present in every local struggle. This effort has enabled Kakushinkon to build cooperative relationships with the prefectural governor and municipal heads, he said.

The Kakushinkon Movement started in 1981 with 75 Kakushinkon groups. The number is now 575. (end)

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