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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 November 15 - 21  > Town meeting held between JCP Chair Shii and young people
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2023 November 15 - 21 TOP3 [JCP]

Town meeting held between JCP Chair Shii and young people

November 19, 2023

Japanese Community Party Chair Shii Kazuo, at a town meeting with young people on November 18 in Tokyo, answered questions raised by them about various issues such as the situation in Gaza, school tuition fees, gender equality, and the future of Japan.

Shii answered each question by using diagrams, photos, and documents. The meeting was streamed live on YouTube and viewed in many locations in Japan. Through this event, more than a dozen young people joined the JCP.

To the question of what they themselves can do to save lives and secure peace in Gaza, Shii answered, “You can increase international public opinion criticizing the genocide taking place against Palestinians in Gaza. Let us together shout ‘Stop the genocide! Stop murdering children!’ to help to make a breakthrough in the current humanitarian crisis!”

To the questions of how Japan without a counterattack capability can respond to the Chinese military force and if Japan can get on well with China into the future, Shii said, “The Japanese government insists that the deterrence by the Japan-U.S. military alliance would protect peace, but the ‘deterrence’ here means the ‘threat of force’ to deter an enemy country from taking offensive military action. So, it is an illusion to believe that deterrence can build world peace.”

Shii emphasized the importance of diplomatic activities to build relations of friendship and peace with China. Shii explained that the 2008 Japan-China joint statement pledges to “not become threats to each other”, that the 2014 Japan-China agreement affirms their commitment to resolving the tension in the waters off the Senkaku Islands and the East China Sea through “dialogue and consultation”, and that both Japan and China support the peaceful ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP). Shii said that the JCP proposes that these three points be the common basis for the two countries, and that only by forging positive breakthroughs in Japan-China relations can true peace be built.

To the question what a socialist or communist society the JCP envisions is like, Shii answered that it would be where human liberty can be guaranteed. From three angles, he characterized human freedoms.

One is freedom from the profit-first principle. Capitalism based on this principle has widened disparities between the rich and the poor on an unprecedented scale and has worsened the climate crisis as well. Shii said, “Shifting the ownership of the means of production from private capitalist corporations to society as a whole will bring about a change in the purpose of production. The purpose will be human and societal development and not the pursuit of profit at any cost.”

Second is free and full human development. Shii said that all people hold enormous potentialities, and that it was Marx and Engels who had continued to strive to help create a society where free development can be guaranteed for all people. He explained, “They concluded that radical cuts in working hours will make free time for everyone and will lead to the development of individuals’ abilities.”

Some young people worry that a socialist or communist society may be like China or the former Soviet Union. Shii cited the tremendous potentialities of highly-developed capitalist countries as the third angle. The former Soviet Union and China had no freedom. Major causes were, Shii said, “In addition to their leaders’ mistakes, their starting point toward achieving socialism and communism was when their economies were still premature. What about Japan? Japan is a highly-developed capitalist country. Going beyond the achievements of highly-developed capitalism will further develop freedom, democracy, and people’s potentials.”

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