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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 11 - 18  > Shii speaks on revised-JCP Program and coalition gov't in magazine interview
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2020 February 11 - 18 TOP3 [JCP]

Shii speaks on revised-JCP Program and coalition gov't in magazine interview

February 12, 2020

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo gave an interview to Mainichi Shimbun senior writer Kurashige Atsuro which will appear in the February 23 issue of the major weekly news magazine Sunday Mainichi.

Kurashige said he pays attention to the JCP as the party "has been developing its presence in opposition parties' cooperation in three national elections over the past five years". He said he also notes that the JCP revised its Program in its Congress last month and stopped recognizing China as a country pursuing socialism and instead "fiercely criticizes that country for seeking big-power chauvinism and hegemonism".

Courageous decision

Shii pointed out that hegemonism and human rights violations have become very serious in China and said, "What's going on in China has nothing to do with socialism. There is no longer a rationale for us to see China as a country seeking socialism. Today's China wants to become economically as powerful as the United States, creating many grave problems. We believe that these are things that cannot be overlooked and so we decided to clarify in our Program how we view China."

Kurashige said, "That decision is very courageous." Shii responded by saying, "Yes, I also think that the change in our perception about China was a good decision. If China were a socialist country, people would think that 'capitalist countries are better' and would neither understand the contradictions in capitalism nor the advantages of socialism."

'Another half step'

Kurashige asked Shii, "How do you summarize the 5-year-coalition between opposition parties and concerned citizens?" Shii answered, "We have fought in three national elections. Our joint efforts won eleven seats in the House of Councilors single-seat constituencies in 2016 and ten seats in 2019. We succeeded in keeping pro-revisionists to below a two-third majority of the Diet seats which is needed to initiate constitutional revision. If we had not been successful, we would have seen these revisionists proposing amendments to the Constitution by now." Kurashige credited electoral cooperation for the success.

Kurashige said, "You called on other opposition party leaders in August last year to hold talks on future cooperation." Shii explained that he met with leaders of four parties - the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People, the Social Democratic Party, and the "Reiwa Shinsengumi" party. The four leaders and Shii then reached an agreement to replace the Abe regime with a new one to restore constitutionalism, said Shii. However, he added, "In regard to a coalition government that includes the JCP, no agreements were reached. The important thing is for opposition parties to confirm their willingness to work together to establish a new coalition government. This attempt took half a step forward over the past six months, and I hope we will soon take another half a step forward."

As an important step, Shii cited the Tokyo gubernatorial election which is slated for July 5. He stated, "Our party will not allow a defeat to occur because of the failure to run a united candidate backed by opposition parties." He predicted that if a result is achieved from joint efforts in this election, it will make a significant difference.

Admitting that the next governor race in Tokyo will be a big political showdown, Kurashige in conclusion said, "Your role of coordinating opposition parties' joint struggle will certainly be put to the test."
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