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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 August 5 - 11  > Shii on web news site talks about cooperation among opposition parties
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2015 August 5 - 11 [JCP]

Shii on web news site talks about cooperation among opposition parties

August 4, 2015
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo appeared on an online news show and answered questions regarding the controversial war bills, including the JCP viewpoint toward cooperation among opposition parties and the JCP position on the Senkaku issue. The program is available for viewing on the “videonews.com” website.

What is important now for cooperation among opposition parties?

Q: The Abe administration is maintaining a firm stance in support of the war bills. It may be because the ruling Liberal Democratic Party believes that even if it faces a tough fight in national elections, it could secure its majority force in the Diet. To scrap the war bills is the current priority, but what do you think about seeking cooperation with other political parties in upcoming elections?

Shii: I think, now is not the time to think about electoral cooperation among opposition parties.

I know there are some arguments that despite all of efforts made by opposition parties, the war bills will be enacted. However, I believe that if opposition parties succeed in isolating the Abe Cabinet with overwhelming public opposition inspired by Diet deliberations and public movements, this will make it impossible for the government to hold a vote on the bills.

In the Lower House discussions, the JCP placed emphasis on joint efforts among opposition parties. Leaders of the JCP, the Democratic Party of Japan, the Japan Innovation Party, the Social Democratic Party and the People’s Life Party repeatedly held talks. The five parties put aside differences in position on the bills and jointly worked to oppose their forcible passage through the Lower House.

At present, all I can say is that to scrap the war bills in collaboration with all opposition parties in the Upper House is the top priority.

What is needed to solve Senkaku issues?

Q: Supporters of the war bills are using the Senkaku Islands issue as the reason for the need to enact the bills. What do you think about this?

Shii: The JCP has been openly criticizing China’s behavior regarding the Senkaku issue as well as in another territorial issue in the South China Sea. For example, when Chinese ships entered Japanese waters near the Senkakus, I met with the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo and urged that China should refrain from such actions.

However, we must be cognizant of the fact that the Chinese government has not dispatched military ships. If the Japanese government sends the Maritime Self-Defense Force to that disputed area, Beijing in response could dispatch its naval ships. Japan should stick to diplomatic measures to resolve the Senkaku issue.

The JCP studied all historical documents and materials going back to the Shino-Japanese War era and issued a statement which describes Japan’s possession of the islands as legitimate. The Japanese government should convince the international community and the government and people of China of the legitimacy of Japan’s claim over the Senkakus and refute China’s arguments in the arena of diplomatic negotiations. The need now for the Japanese government is to adopt a definite stance to resolve the Senkaku issue through informed diplomacy.

Basically, I think that the Japan Coast Guard should deal with Chinese vessels’ entry into Japanese territorial water.

The Senkaku issue has nothing to do with discussions regarding Japan’s exercise of the collective self-defense right. In order to deal with such an issue, Japan needs policing by the Japan Coast Guard, not a resort to the use of military capability.
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