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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 January 5 - 11  > JCP Chair Shii gives New Year address
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2022 January 5 - 11 [JCP]

JCP Chair Shii gives New Year address

January 5, 2022
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on January 4 delivered a New Year address at the JCP head office in Tokyo with his eyes set on the prospects for Japan's future course in diplomacy and improving the economy, and called on JCP members, "Let us gather together all our might in the House of Councilors election scheduled to be held in half a year in order to make a major breakthrough prior to the party's centennial anniversary!"

Shii said that the JCP Central Committee's 4th Plenum in December 2021 clarified the process of the battle between ruling forces and opposition forces from the viewpoint of "dialectical discussions of political conflicts". A political scholar who had had no contact with the JCP sent feedback to the party, "The 4th Plenum worked out a well-analyzed, well-calculated strategy. The ruling camps' anti-communist attacks (during the election campaign) mean that the JCP's position, which had not been generally acknowledged, has reached the first stage." Shii said that the scholar has the same understanding as the JCP has, which is that the party's challenge to replace the present government has entered "a new stage". He then called on JCP members to read and discuss the 4th Plenum report and to put it into practice.

Shii stressed the need to deepen the "three convictions" in order to take action to gain public support in the upcoming Upper House election.

The first conviction is that there is a widespread expectation among people who used to have no contact with the JCP. Shii said that the JCP works honestly on opposition parties' joint struggles as well as on major global and domestic issues such as of climate change and gender equality. By sharing his experience after the general election, he said that such a JCP stance is attracting sympathy and trust from many people.

The second is a matter of how to confront the Kishida government and to make an appeal to people regarding Japan's future course in diplomacy and economy.

JCP proposes to make East Asia a region of peace and cooperation

Shii criticized the Kishida government for its subservience to the United States and for seeking to allow the country to possess the capability to attack enemy bases in response to the intensifying U.S.-China power game. He also criticized the government's intent to adversely revise the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution for strengthening the ability to send Japanese troops overseas on military missions. He said that a signature-collection campaign should be started to prevent the adverse revision of Article 9 and presented the JCP proposal for ways to make Northeast Asia a region of peace and cooperation.

Shii pointed out that the East Asia Summit (EAS), which consists of ten ASEAN countries plus eight countries including the U.S., China, and Japan, holds a summit every year and is developing as a regional framework of peace. Noting that ASEAN leaders in 2019 adopted the "ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)", he said that this is a grand initiative envisioning the whole of East Asia to be a "region of dialogue and cooperation instead of rivalry", in other words, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) with an East Asia focus.

He then said, "The Japanese government should not beef up its military capability which could lead to a catastrophic war. The need is to enhance the EAS as a forum for 'dialogue and cooperation' and to have the TAC cover the whole of East Asia while continuing to address disputes by engaging in peaceful negotiations." He demanded that the Japanese government employ diplomatic efforts to achieve this.

Let's build 'kind and strong economy' by departing from neoliberalism

Shii moved on to the topic of the future of Japan's economy. He said, "Let us inform the general public of the need to shift away from neoliberalism and build a 'kind and strong economy'."

Shii pointed out that neoliberalism has deregulated labor legislation, discarded social security, increased the consumption tax rate, reduced taxes for the rich and large corporations, and created a "cold, fragile and vulnerable society" that imposes "self-responsibility" on the general public. He said that Japan has become a country which is "economically unviable, vulnerable to crises, and not competitive" and emphasized the need to build a "kind and strong economy" through drastic reforms such as "establishing decent work rules by making a shift from relaxation of the restrictions currently placed under labor legislation".

The third conviction is that the party's effort to pass a communist baton on to younger generations is moving forward. Shii pointed out that the Democratic Youth League of Japan (DYLJ) in 2021 increased the number of its members for the first time in 19 years. He said, "If the JCP, together with the DYLJ, makes serious efforts, we can certainly make a difference."

Shii said that in Okinawa in 2022, there will be important elections: mayoral elections in seven out of eleven cities, prefecture-wide local elections, and a gubernatorial election. He called on JCP members throughout Japan to strengthen their solidarity with and give support to the "All Okinawa" camp in these elections taking place in the 50th anniversary year of Okinawa's reversion to Japan.

This year marks the centennial anniversary of the JCP's founding. In concluding his talk, Shii said, "The JCP for 100 years has never given in to oppression and has continued fighting unrelentingly. The JCP always analyzes changing situations rationally from the aspect of scientific socialism. The JCP continually explores and develops its theory, policies, platform, and organization." He again called for a JCP victory in the House of Councilors election to honor its 100-year history.
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