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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 11 - 18  > Koike speaks to Japanese and South Korean journalists
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2020 February 11 - 18 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Koike speaks to Japanese and South Korean journalists

February 12, 2020
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira was invited to a seminar held for Japanese and South Korean journalists and interested citizens on February 10 in Tokyo and spoke about the JCP’s efforts to replace the Abe government with a coalition government composed of the current opposition parties.

This event is organized monthly by a former vice chief editor of the official paper of the Korean Residents Union in Japan (Mindan) and invites guest speakers and experts in various fields.

Koike started his guest lecture by citing a news report that the South Korean movie “Parasite” won Best Picture at the 2020 Academy Awards. He said that the film is themed on social disparities and that this is a big challenge for Japanese politics to tackle. Koike talked about the JCP Diet deliberations on the scandal regarding the government-hosted cherry blossom-viewing party and on the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces to the Middle East. His lecture also covered the opposition parties’ electoral cooperation in the Kochi gubernatorial election last year and the amendments to the JCP Program approved by the JCP Congress last month.

Koike said that in order to achieve victory in the general election which is expected to be held in the fall, it is essential for the opposition parties to reach an agreement to form a coalition government of opposition parties which includes the JCP.

Koike also talked about the issue of Korean victims of wartime forced labor at Japanese companies. In 2018, the South Korean top court delivered its rulings on the forced labor issue, which led to the confrontation and the soured relationship at present between Tokyo and Seoul. He stressed that the Japanese government and companies concerned have the responsibility to restore the honor and dignity of the forced labor victims who suffered serious human rights violations, and that the two countries should work together to fully address the issue.

In the Q and A session, one of the participants asked Koike if conservative politicians in Japan are unwilling to work to improve the bilateral relationships.

Koike pointed out that the supra-partisan Japan-South Korea Parliamentarians’ Union in November last year published a joint statement with its counterpart in South Korea to call for the settlement of the issue based on the spirit of the 1998 Japan-ROK Partnership Declaration. He said that the JCP will collaborate with a wide range of people, including conservatives, to improve relations.

Past related articles:
> Japanese and S. Korean lawyers jointly hold symposium on wartime forced labor issue [April 21, 2019]
> Shii calls for cool-headed approach to Korean forced laborer issue [November 2, 2018]
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