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Shii calls for advance of true opposition party

On August 30, at the start of the Japanese Communist Party campaign for the general election, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo set forth four reasons why a JCP advance is necessary to protect public interests in his speech in Tokyo.

The first reason is that the JCP is the most reliable force capable of blocking the government policies of destroying people's livelihoods in the name of "reform." He said that the privatization of the postal services, which is put forward by Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro as the only election issue, is part of his attempt to put more burdens on citizens and increase support for business circles.

The second reason Shii gave was that the JCP's Diet seats are essential to represent citizens' voices in opposition to a major tax increase and revision of Article 9, sought by the "two major parties", the Liberal Democratic and Democratic parties.

Thirdly, the JCP chair said that the JCP has served as a vehicle sending citizens' keen demands to parliament. Shii said that although the JCP had only 9 seats in the House of Representatives, it has made significant achievements together with extra-parliamentary struggles, including the effort to eliminate unpaid overtime work and to reduce the maximum class size to 30 students. "If our Diet seats increase, we will be able to make more achievements," he said.

Finally, Shii stressed that the JCP has carried out diplomatic efforts on its own initiative by reaching out to other Asian countries and other countries throughout the world. He spoke about the JCP's "opposition party diplomacy" for building international cooperation in opposition to the Iraq war as well as its initiative to solve issues caused by the prime minister's visit to Yasukuni Shrine. -- Akahata, August 31, 2005

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