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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 July 11 - 17  > JCP marks its 85th anniversary as ‘the only reliable party’
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2007 July 11 - 17 [JCP]
editorial 

JCP marks its 85th anniversary as ‘the only reliable party’

July 15, 2007
Akahata editorial

The Japanese Communist Party marked its 85th founding anniversary on July 15 amid the House of Councilors election campaign.

In the House of Councilors election, the JCP is calling on voters to “vote for the JCP, the only ‘reliable opposition party’ fighting to end poverty and defend Article 9 of the Constitution.” In its present activities, the JCP firmly stands for the undaunted 85 years of struggle it has waged in defense of living conditions and peace in defiance of the fierce suppression and many difficulties it faced.

Always with the public and without yielding to suppression

The JCP was founded 85 years ago when the brutal rule of the emperor-based government was rushing to its war of aggression and repression of the Japanese people. Despite all those difficulties, the JCP embarked on the road to a Japanese society in which the people would become the protagonists while opposing war.

That was an era in which no political party opposed to the emperor government was allowed to exist. Under the despotic regime, which was rare in the world at the time, the JCP was forced to carry out its activities underground. Despite the adverse circumstances, the JCP was courageous enough to fight for the abolition of the monarchy, the realization of universal suffrage and an 8-hour day, improvement in social welfare services, an end to Japanese intervention in foreign countries, and a troop withdrawal from foreign countries. This is how the JCP increased its influence among the public.

Since its founding, the JCP has been likened to a lodestar throughout its activities that have been inherited to this day. Before and during World War II, the JCP called for democracy and many of its concrete demands were met in the postwar process of establishing the Constitution and achieving democratization in various fields. It was very significant in the history of the Japanese people that the JCP clearly opposed war and called for democracy in defiance of the brutal despotic rule of the government at the time.

Even since the end of World War II, the JCP has been consistent in defending the people’s living conditions, democracy, and peace. Although it has faced many political upheavals since the war’s end, the JCP has never betrayed the people’s fundamental interests.

In the 1960s, the Liberal Democratic Party government set out for an economic growth policy that gave priority to benefiting large corporations. At that time, only the JCP opposed this move from the outset.

The Socialist Party of Japan at the time (now the Social Democratic Party) argued for an even higher growth rate than the LDP. The late Ito Masaya, secretary to Prime Minister Ikeda Hayato at the time, later said, “The JSP’s attitude to compete with the LDP convinced us that the LDP had won.”

The government’s high-rate economic growth policy led to serious environmental destruction and inflation. Unlike the JSP that catered to major corporations, the JCP’s firm opposition to the policy proved to be very valuable.

Later, with the LDP becoming unable to maintain power alone, opposition parties began to look to an alliance with the LDP. Since the early 1990s, all opposition parties except the JCP joined the LDP in coalition governments by accepting the LDP’s basic policy framework of maintaining the Japan-U.S. military alliance and economic policy primarily benefiting large corporations. Only the JCP stayed away from such coalition governments.

From ‘reliable opposition party’ to ‘reliable ruling party’

A recent TIME Magazine (June 22 issue) article said, “The largest parties in Japanese politics lack a clear and cohesive identity, functioning more as loose alliances of interest with few discernible political differences” and that “the JCP often functions as the only genuine opposition to politics-as-usual in Tokyo.“

The JCP is emphasizing that its role as a “reliable opposition party” will lead to playing the role as a “reliable ruling party” at some point in the future. If the JCP, with its proud 85 years of opposition, is successful in the House of Councilors election, it will be able to exert the most reliable power to change Japan’s politics. - Akahata, July 15, 2007
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