JCP marks 81st anniversary with new hopes for change -- Akahata editorial, July 15

On July 15, the Japanese Communist Party marks the 81st year of its founding. JCP members observe this anniversary as they discuss the draft revised JCP Program in preparation for the JCP Congress scheduled for November.

How Japanese society should be

In the eyes of most young people, Japan's war of aggression ended 40 years before they were born, and the huge 1960 struggle against the revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the 1970 struggle calling for an end to the Security Treaty are things of the past. But many of them tend to embrace the JCP call for democratic reforms to free Japan from its extraordinary dependence on the United States and end the arrogant actions of large corporations. This is because the reality of Japanese society is demanding a fundamental review of what Japan should be, and because the draft revised JCP Program is a realistic response to what society needs.

Take the Iraq war, for example. The United States unilaterally started the war without United Nations resolutions and without evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Prime Minister Jun'ichiro Koizumi supported the lawless war, and citizens' criticisms are increasing of the Japanese government for obeying all U.S. orders. The climate is certainly moving forward to questioning Japan's extraordinary subservience to the United States, an aberration in the world.

In a media survey shortly before the Iraq war, 37 percent of the respondents said they were in favor of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, while 33 percent said the treaty should be transformed into a friendship treaty and 14 percent demanded the abrogation of the treaty in order to allow Japan to maintain neutrality (Mainichi Shimbun, January). Critic Terashima Jitsuro in his recent book commented on the lessons to be taken from the Iraq war. He proposed that Japan end its excessive dependence on and expectations about the United States and to regain the decision-making powers of an independent state.

Similar things can be said about the powers of large corporations and financial circles. Why should the economic recession persist, with the people's living conditions going from bad to worse? The difficulty arises from the arrogant actions of large corporations and financial circles, shown by the rampant corporate restructuring, squeezing and collecting of loans by large banks, as well as the "structural reform" policy of the Koizumi Cabinet giving top priority to corporate interests.

The summit meeting of the major industrial countries at Evian discussed for the first time the need to task business corporations with increased social responsibility. Teruoka Itsuko, professor emeritus at Saitama University in her book entitled "Conditions of Affluence" said that the society is asked to seek new ideas to replace the society based on the ideas that market powers are almighty. It is urgent to do something to defend citizens' livelihoods from the outrageous actions of large corporations.

For the first time in 1961, the JCP established a program that showed a clear idea of democratic reforms needed to break free from subordination to the United States and the predominance of large corporations obstructing such reforms. The draft revised JCP Program makes this idea more realistic and rational by giving details of democratic reforms to be pursued by a democratic coalition government. We are sure that the draft revised JCP Program, building on the achievements made during 42 years of JCP activities, can flexibly respond to changes in society and reflect public interests.

The draft revised JCP Program presents possible democratic reforms within the framework of capitalism and a vision to overcome capitalism to advance to a future society in the context of human liberation. Problems facing us today that cannot be easily solved under capitalism include repeated depressions, the North-South problem, and destruction of the global environment. Conditions for the vision of a future society now prevails for many people to eagerly embrace.

81 years of JCP history

The draft revised JCP Program is an achievement of the JCP activities having braved various difficulties and having adhered to the people's standpoint since the JCP founding in 1922. Recalling the course of JCP history, we will earnestly listen to people and foster a hope and aspiration for the future to work out the draft revised Program for our 23rd Congress.

When trying to solve the immediate problems that Japan faces and open the door for a future society, to make the JCP bigger and stronger will be essential to shape a democratic history in the 21st century. (end)

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