Chance to argue about Japan's course in the 21st century: JCP's Shii on general election

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in a TV program aired on August 7 stated that the next general election will be a chance to discuss and select a new way for Japan to take in the 21st century, and that a JCP advance in the election is the surest way to achieve it.

Asked by an Asahi Newstar interviewer to comment on the agreed upon merger between the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Party, Shii answered:

"The JCP is carefully watching what policies the new party will set out as an opposition party, especially on their key policies as an alternative to the Liberal Democratic Party government."

Also asked about the issue of establishing a political frame of two major parties for a smooth rotation of political power, Shii referred to the history of the Hosokawa coalition government which ended the LDP's single-party rule in 1993, and said:

"The Hosokawa Cabinet claimed that it would continue the LDP's basic lines but, after all, collapsed. Contrary to its call for 'political reform,' the cabinet allowed political donations from corporations and organizations, a hotbed of political corruption, to continue." Whether or not the DPJ-LP coalition will completely ban such donations is a key matter.

To a question on whether the focal point in the general election will likely be an option between the LDP and the DPJ-LP coalition, Shii answered:

"The JCP regards the general election as a good chance to judge Japan's new course to be taken in the 21st century, instead of making it a storm in a teacup. We should completely review Japan's foreign policy as to whether Japan should still act in subjugation to the United States under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Japan's new course should be in support of a world current against U.S. unilateralism and in favor of multilateral world setup."

On economic issues, Shii said, "Japan is in a deadlock that requires an overall change in economic policies to improve people's living conditions. In particular, political parties must investigate the social responsibilities of major corporations in this regard. However, no parties other than the JCP are tackling this."

"A JCP advance in the general election will be the surest way toward a genuine remaking of Japan, and have a good effect on the opposition camp as a whole. Therefore, whether the JCP makes an advance or not is the greatest issue in the general election," Shii stated. (end)

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