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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 June 24 - 30  > Shii answers questions from foreign journalists about JCP
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2015 June 24 - 30 TOP3 [JCP]

Shii answers questions from foreign journalists about JCP

June 26, 2015
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo answered questions raised about the JCP by foreign journalists after giving his luncheon speech regarding the controversial “security” legislation at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan on June 23.

Q: Mr. Shii, if you were to become the prime minister of Japan, which country would you like to visit first?

Shii: Even in a case where the Japanese Communist Party were to take power, we would most likely visit the United States of America because the JCP, in its main policy, seeks to replace the Japan-U.S. military alliance, a legacy of the Cold War era, with a truly equal, fair Japan-U.S. treaty of friendship.

I think that many people’s impression of communists is that they are anti-American. The JCP, however, takes no anti-American stance, though we raise a voice in protest against many U.S. government policies. We respect America’s great history and tradition of democracy which originated with the United States Declaration of Independence. When the JCP heads the government, the first task for us will be to revise the current Japan-U.S. relationship to one based on genuine equality and friendship.

Q: What is the JCP’s policy on national security or defense?

Shii: The JCP regards the Self-Defense Forces as an “armed force” prohibited by Article 9 of the Constitution. At the same time, we realize that it would be difficult to dissolve the SDF all at once. This should be done gradually by obtaining public consensus, we think.

To achieve this goal, the JCP is proposing to join the non-aligned movement and build a friendship relation based on an equal and mutual footing with Asian nations as well as nations in the rest of the world, and then, to dissolve the SDF, if the general public confirms that Japan has no security concern even without the SDF.

So, even under a JCP-led government, the SDF will be in existence for a certain period of time. If an emergency situation appears during this transient period, the government will cope with the situation by using all possible means at its disposal, including the use of the SDF.

Q: Does the JCP have an intention of cooperating with other opposition parties in regard to security policies?

Shii: The JCP has worked to cooperate with other opposition parties when conditions permit.

In last year’s general election, the opposition parties, including the JCP, fielded joint candidates in the four single-seat constituencies in Okinawa. With the united campaign promise to oppose the U.S. base construction in the prefecture, we fought jointly and all the four candidates beat their rivals supported by the ruling bloc. Wherever the conditions exist, the JCP will continue to pursue this kind of cooperation.

Frankly speaking, however, there are considerable differences in other policies promoted among opposition parties. It would be irresponsible of opposition parties to build an election partnership without taking those differences into careful consideration.

At present, the JCP is making its utmost effort to collaborate with other non-ruling parties to block the enactment of the war legislation.

Q: In practice, some problems may occur in Asia. What do you think of the possibility that Japan might be involved in a conflict with China?

Shii: There are territorial disputes between China and Japan as well as between China and the Southeast Asian nations.

In 2012, I met with the Chinese Ambassador to Japan and criticized Beijing for repeatedly sending vessels into Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. We also expressed our critical stance towards the unilateral actions China has taken in the South China Sea.

To resolve these conflicts, the most important thing is to maintain a willingness to work to settle the disputes through diplomatic negotiations.

For example, the ASEAN nations concluded in 1976 the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) and have called on other Asian countries to join the treaty. The TAC is a multilateral framework to solve every conflict through diplomatic negotiations.

The JCP has been calling for creating a TAC-like international framework for peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia.

The Abe government’s diplomacy is a sham. In fact, they are obsessed with exploring military options. They seem to have no comprehensive diplomatic vision similar to the JCP initiative.

What the Japanese administration has to do now is to formulate a diplomatic strategy for peace based on the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution.
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