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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 12 - 18  > Shii at Japan National Press Club speaks about JCP strategy for upcoming Upper House election
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2019 June 12 - 18 TOP3 [JCP]

Shii at Japan National Press Club speaks about JCP strategy for upcoming Upper House election

June 14, 2019

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on June 13 at the Japan National Press Club spoke about the party’s basic strategy for the House of Councilors election next month. He said that the party will work to achieve the success of the joint struggle of opposition parties and concerned citizens as well as a major JCP advance in order to replace the Abe government with a new one.

Shii said that the JCP in its 6th Central Committee Plenum in May confirmed two important points in regard to the upcoming election campaign policy: to not just criticize the Abe government but also present JCP policies that enable people to have hope for a better future and make efforts to increase support for the party by informing voters about various attractive points of the JCP. He went on to say that when criticizing the Abe government, the JCP will make clear the anti-people nature of PM Abe’s politics based on facts and reason. At the same time, Shii noted, the JCP will present its counter proposals in a convincing manner. Specifically, Shii explained the three key proposals which the JCP published last month, and proposals on how to secure necessary government funds without raising the consumption tax rate as well as measures to promote gender equality and LGBTQ rights.

JCP views on international issues

After explaining the election strategy, Shii received questions from reporters. In response to questions about the North Korea issue, he said that Pyongyang should abandon its nuclear weapons development program. Shii said that the U.S.-North Korea and inter-Korean summit meetings have made a move to work for a resolution through dialogue. He stressed, “There is no other way than having dialogue to solve the North Korea issue. Parties concerned should keep making efforts to follow this course.”

Asked how the JCP views China, Shii said that the JCP 27th Congress Resolution points out that “a new form of great-power chauvinism and hegemonism is emerging in China”. He noted that at the same time, Japan should not go forward with its military buildups as a response to China’s actions backed by military power because such a response will only create a vicious cycle. Shii stressed that learning from ASEAN countries ‘efforts, it is important for Japan to establish rules on settling disputes diplomatically.

Post Abe/LDP gov't

Asked about the possibility of JCP participation in a new political setup after the Abe-led LDP government, Shii answered, "Yes, we are willing to be part of a new framework as we've been calling for a coalition government consisting of opposition parties."

New emperor

Asked why the JCP in the Diet had voted in favor of a congratulatory message on the new emperor's enthronement, Shii pointed to Article 1 and Article 4 of the Constitution which respectively stipulates that the emperor's position is derived "from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power" and he does "not have powers related to government".

Shii pointed out that the postwar Constitution removed the absolutist prewar/wartime emperor system, and that the existing system, unlike the old one, does not impede social progress.

Shii said that the JCP in the 2004 revision of its Program deleted "the abolition of monarchy" from the JCP tasks, adding, "Most importantly, we should bind power to strictly comply with all the constitutional stipulations, including Article 4, and to not use the emperor for political purposes."

The JCP Program states that the emperor system "contradicts democracy and the principle that all people are equal", and that the JCP calls for "a political system to be established under a democratic republic".

Shii said, "Our Program at the same time says, 'The emperor system is a system provided for by the present Constitution, and its continuation or discontinuation should be decided by the will of the majority of the people in future, when the time is ripe to do so.' So, we would probably coexist with the emperor system for many more decades. The JCP declares in its Program that we will abide by each article of the Constitution, including articles pertaining to the emperor."

Shii finally said, "We believe it is natural, under the present Constitution, to show an attitude of courtesy to the Emperor, but we are opposed to worshipping the Emperor as a god as had been the case before."

Past related article:
> Shii in Q & A session comments on celebration of coronation of new emperor and emperor system [May 10, 2019]
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