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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 November 7 - 13  >  ‘Two major parties’ share the same line and inclinations: JCP Shii
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2007 November 7 - 13 TOP3 [POLITICS]

‘Two major parties’ share the same line and inclinations: JCP Shii

November 10, 2007
“The JCP’s criticism has been corroborated by the recent actions of the LDP and DPJ. Their argument for a ‘two-party’ system has clearly revealed that they share the same political line and inclination,” Shii said at the JCP Dietmembers’ Group meeting.

On November 10, the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties used their majority to extend the current Extraordinary Session of the Diet for 35 days.

At the Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers’ Group general meeting held earlier in the day, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo gave the following speech:

For renewed struggle to block the new anti-terrorism bill

The government and the ruling parties are about to extend the current session of the Diet for 35 days. This is aimed at forcing the enactment of the new Anti-terrorism Special Measures bill that they have introduced. In today’s House of Representatives Plenary Session, we of course will oppose such an extension in order to railroad through the undemocratic bill. I would like to share with you the determination that even if the Diet session is extended, we will do all we can to scrap the undemocratic bill.

True colors of ‘two major parties’ revealed

Recently, the leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party held two rounds of talks behind closed doors. After the second one DPJ President Ozawa Ichiro abruptly expressed his intention to resign as party leader. He later retracted the statement. I would like to comment on the recent events in this regard.

I think this latest sequence of events has provided an opportunity for the “two major parties” to reveal their true character.

LDP and DPJ share the same political line and inclinations

Regarding the movement toward establishing a “two-party system,” the DPJ has put more emphasis on its “confrontational tactics” since Mr. Ozawa became its leader. We have been consistent in pointing out that the LDP and the DPJ share the same political line concerning the main political issues. Our criticism has been corroborated by the two parties’ recent actions. In other words, their argument for a “two-party” system has clearly revealed that they share the same political line and inclination.

The concept of ‘grand coalition’ could revive at any time

We should note that the leaders of the LDP and the DPJ at one point agreed to aim to establish a coalition government. This is an established fact. Although the recent agreement came to nil, no one can erase the fact that the two leaders did reach an agreement on the idea of forming “grand coalition” government.

What’s more, Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo, who is the LDP leader, has expressed his willingness to continue discussions with the DPJ leader. Thus the LDP is repeatedly making an appeal for a “grand coalition”. Meanwhile, the DPJ set up a press conference for Mr. Ozawa to withdraw his intention to step down. However, Mr. Ozawa stopped short of admitting that it was a mistake to have reached an agreement with Mr. Fukuda on seeking a coalition government or that he would never repeat the same mistake. Without making any self-critical comment about what he did, Mr. Ozawa has left the groundwork for a future move toward a “grand coalition.” This shows that the same move may well be repeated in the future. You cannot tell when such an argument will revive or arise again. At any rate, this fact has made clear that this is what the talks of “two major parties” is really about.

They agreed on the need for a permanent law to dispatch SDF abroad in violation of the Constitution

What is the crux of the agreement reached by the two leaders on the issue of a “grand coalition”? They agreed to work together on passing legislation to allow Japan to dispatch the SDF abroad without a restrictive time-frame. There are minor differences between the two parties concerning their call for a “permanent law” to send SDF abroad whenever the need arises. While the LDP calls for the SDF to be dispatched abroad regardless of whether or not the United Nations has authorized such action, the DPJ leader Ozawa’s plan calls for the SDF to be dispatched only on condition that there is a UN decision. But it also makes clear that the SDF on overseas missions will be allowed to use arms, posing a serious constitutional concern.

Despite minor differences, both parties are in agreement on the need to establish a permanent law to allow the government to order the SDF to carry out missions throughout the world instead of dealing with individual conflicts on a case-by-case basis with a time-bound restraint.

Both the LDP and the DPJ have not denied this point of agreement. So, this agreement continues to be valid. Following the agreement on the need for permanent legislation allowing the SDF to be dispatched abroad even in violation of the constitution, the two parties at a stroke agreed to work to form a “grand coalition.” This testifies to the fact that the two parties are identical in terms of their stance on the important issues regarding breaching the Constitution.

There is no sign that the LDP and DPJ presidents in their recent meetings discussed the pressing public reaching an agreement on a permanent law to dispatch the SDF abroad in violation of the Constitution. It may be that, as Mr. Fukuda put it, the two leaders were in perfect tune concerning those other issues and that there was no need to discuss them. This means that they reached an agreement on a “grand coalition” by skipping the need to specify policy agreements.

Now is time for the JCP, a party for change, to play its part

The “grand coalition” concept is only instrumental for carrying out policies that go against the electoral verdict or popular will.

The LDP, which was given a severe verdict in the recent House of Councilors election, ought to have critically reviewed its policies and carried out necessary policy changes. Clinging to its past instead of moving away from it, the LDP is rushing into a numbers game to form a “grand coalition.” What about the DPJ? In the recent House of Councilors election, it campaigned under a banner of opposition to the LDP-Komei coalition government. If it rushes to form a grand coalition with the LDP, it will be an act betraying the public trust.

So, both the LDP and the DPJ ran counter to the will of the people. Although their attempt failed this time, the two parties show no sign of making any critical review of what they did, leaving the groundwork for such betrayal to be repeated at any time. The two parties have the identical inclination to share government power by establishing a coalition government. This is what the recent events have shown.

With the “two major parties” in such a circumstance, the JCP has an active role to play in getting rid of the rancid effects of LDP politics and achieving political change by putting an end to policies favoring the United States and large corporations. Convinced of this new development, we would like to take an active part in the upcoming struggle.

Scrap the new anti-terrorism bill using power of public opinion

The new anti-terrorism special measures law will be the main issue in the extended Extraordinary Session of the Diet. While we are aware of what’s going on regarding the “two major parties” as I explained earlier, we in the Diet do not rule out cooperation based on agreed opinions. At the same time, we should look at the fact that the “two major parties” have the type of relationship that I have just outlined. Bearing this in mind, we need to increase our struggles. At this point, we cannot predict how Diet discussions relating to the new anti-terrorism special measures bill will develop.

Under these circumstances, what should be the basis for our struggle? I would like to stress that we should rely on the power of sound and reasoned argument and of the national popular movement.

Unchanged aim of anti-terrorism bill’s true aim: unconstitutionally supporting war of retaliation

JCP lawmakers’ efforts at Diet discussions have revealed the three issues of the bill.

The first is that the true aim of the bill is to support the U.S. war of retaliation. The government explains that the new bill will limit the SDF activities to providing fuel to other countries’ ships as part of the effort to fight terrorism. But, in answer to JCP Dietmembers’ questions, the government had to admit that U.S. forces are engaged in three operations at the same time: Afghanistan, Iraq, and maritime safety. In answering our questions in the Diet, the government admitted that the SDF is allowed to refuel warships assigned to more than one mission.

This means that it is possible that oil provided by the SDF to foreign war ships is used for air strikes against Afghanistan. However, you cannot rule out the use of fuel provided by Japanese ships for attacking Iraq. The recent Diet discussions have revealed that the proposed anti-terrorism special measures bill is essentially a bill to assist in the war of retaliation, which is banned by the Constitution. We must keep this point in mind.

The bill is about going back on the effort to eradicate terrorism, and we need to present reasoned argument to eliminate terrorism

The second problem is that this is legislation that runs counter to the effort to eradicate terrorism. The last six years have proven that the war of retaliation launched as a response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks has come to an impasse.

In Afghanistan, in the effort to break away from the path of war on the Taliban, the Karzai government has set out a policy of developing negotiations for peace and reconciliation with Taliban elements that are not part of Al Qaeda. Afghanistan’s National Assembly has adopted a resolution requesting that foreign military forces stop their operations in order to push ahead with the peace process. Peace talks will not be possible while bombing missions are being carried out. Given the ongoing effort for peace in Afghanistan, the need now is for Japan to support this peace process in order to help eradicate terrorism and bring stability to the nation.

The JCP has used parliamentary deliberations to make these proposals. The prime minister in response has said, “I support the peace process.” He then added, “The war is also necessary.” How contradictory his remarks are! That is a tall order, promoting peace while carrying on war. If he really supports the peace process, he should make efforts to end the war and stop supporting the war. The JCP continues to urge the government to do so.

The Japanese government acts at the beck and call of the United States instead of thinking on its own. Thus, whatever the situation in Afghanistan is or no matter how terrorism spreads in the world, Japan does not care at all. Opposing the idea of sending troops anywhere as requested by the United States, the JCP proposals would help to bring stability to Afghanistan and help to eradicate terrorism. Firmly convinced that this is the only way to peace, the JCP will continue to fight without hesitation.

Scandals of fuel diversions, cover-ups, and special defense interests should be thoroughly investigated

The third problem is that the Japanese defense organization, which is responsible for the enforcement of the law to support the retaliatory war is being deeply tainted with scandals.

There are three major scandals: (i) the fuel the SDF gave to U.S. ships may have been diverted for the Iraq War; (ii) the true amount of fuel provided to foreign ships may have been deliberately covered up; and (iii) suspicions of corruption related to special defense-related interests. An ex-executive of the arms trading firm in question, a partner of former Vice Defense Minister Moriya Takemasa, was arrested on November 8 to be brought to justice at last.

An organization is not qualified to talk about global peace or international contributions if it breaks laws, covers up law-breaking acts, and seeks to make profits in collusion with major war industries. It is also necessary to thoroughly unravel this point.

In particular, the need now is to thoroughly look into the cozy ties between the war industries, politicians, and the SDF. In reply to a JCP question, former Vice Defense Minister Moriya Takemasa admitted that politicians, including former directors general of the Defense Agency (now the Ministry of Defense), had also been involved in these scandals.

Firmly grasping these points, the JCP will put up strong arguments to scrap the bill. Above all, the JCP will work together with popular movements to block the bill. That is how the JCP will follow through in the extended Diet deliberations.

Let’s prove the true capacity of JCP in extended Diet session and open a path for victory in the next House of Representatives general election!

The “two major parties” have revealed their true colors. In contrast, it has become easier to understand that people’s demands can come met if we stand for the cause of eradicating the root causes of the undemocratic government that is subservient to the United States and that gives priority to defending the interests of major corporations. The JCP will give full play to its capacity in the extended Diet session and open a path for a JCP advance in the general election.
- Akahata, November 10, 2007
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