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Kakushinkon holds annual national exchange meeting with largest number of participants ever


   The National Association for a Peaceful, Democratic and Progressive Japan (Kakushinkon) on November 17 and 18 held its annual national exchange meeting in Kanazawa City in which 1,152 activists, the largest number of participants ever, took part.


   Kakushinkon Representative Coordinator Himei Jiro, who is also the chair of the Democratic Youth League of Japan, reported that 16 Kakushinkon organizations in local communities and workplaces have been founded since the last national exchange meeting a year ago, making the total number 764, and that the circulation of Kakushinkon newspaper has also reached the largest number in its history.


   gThe public is intensifying their search for a new framework of politics. This is the time for the Kakushinkon movement to play its unique role,h Himei said. Stressing that the opportunity has arisen for the association to greatly develop its movement, he called on the participants to make further efforts.


   Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo, who is also the Kakushinkon representative coordinator, in his speech proposed a drastic review of the current Japanese election system as the issue that most concerns creating a true democracy. He called for a national discussion on this issue that involves a wide range of people regardless of political affiliation.


   gIt has been 13 years since the single-seat constituency system and the government subsidies to political parties were introduced in the name of epolitical reform.f These systems are exerting even more negative impacts than the JCP warned of at the time,h Shii said.


   Shii pointed out that the single-seat constituency system distorts the popular will by overwhelmingly favoring the largest party, and that this system created a gfictitious majorityh in the 2005 general election when the Liberal Democratic Party gained 73 percent of the seats with only 48 percent of votes cast in single-seat constituencies.


   He also stated that although the government subsidies to political parties were introduced under the pretext of eradicating political corruption, those political parties that receive the subsidies have largely lost their connection with the public and have deepened their depravity.


gUnder the single-seat constituency system, an intensive campaign to promote a etwo-party systemf is underway in order to exclude smaller parties from the political scene. The general public is forced to choose between the two, and the range of discussion is limited. Whether such a system should continue is now called into question,h said Shii.


   In the meeting in which a large number of young activists took part, participants exchanged their experiences in organizing study sessions in defense of Article 9, holding street campaigns against the new anti-terrorism special measures bill, and creating new Kakushinkon organizations.


Kakushinkonfs three common goals are: to reform Japanfs economy to be based on the will of citizens in order to improve their living conditions; to make full use of the Constitution and develop freedom, human rights, and democracy; and to abrogate the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and create an independent and peaceful Japan free of nuclear weapons or military alliances.
              - Akahata, November 18, 2007



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