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2022 June 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

Shii on HuffPo Japan speaks to younger generations about JCP

June 15, 2022

The Internet media HuffPost Japan on June 10 distributed an interview of Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in which he spoke to young people about the JCP vision.

Interviewer Nojo Momoko of the “NO YOUTH NO JAPAN”, the media outlet which covers news and social issues for the younger generation, asked what kind of Japan the JCP wants to leave for the youth of today and future generations.

Shii answered, “We aspire for a truly independent Japan.” He pointed out problems such as that Japan’s domestic laws are not applied to the U.S. Forces Japan, and that Japan, shackled by U.S. nuclear policy, is not willing to join the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Shii also pointed out that the construction of a U.S. military base is in progress in Okinawa despite the continuous stiff opposition from Okinawans. He said, “As the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is the root cause of these problems, our fundamental goal is the abrogation of this military alliance. We envision a truly-equal friendship between Japan and the United States after abandoning the security treaty and concluding a treaty of amity based on the consent of a majority of the general public. This is our grand vision.”

Proceeding to the next topic, Nojo said that many young people now feel despair, having to worry about their lives and future. She then asked, “What do you think politicians should work to resolve?”

Shii said, “Many European countries have clear rules to protect people’s livelihoods while Japan doesn’t.” Pointing to excessively long working hours, high tuition fees, and the gender gap in wages in Japan, he stressed, “Equality of pay between men and women will make it possible for women to exercise their full potential and will lead to a ‘kind and strong economy’ which offers young people decent jobs as a result. Many Japanese women are not financially independent and this underlies the issue of domestic violence. In this sense as well, an equalized pay system is very important.”

Nojo said that she thinks it is also important to promote the diversity of Dietmembers with the participation of more women and LGBTQ people.

Shii in response explained that the JCP places importance on achieving gender equality. He said, “We are currently making efforts so that more than half of our proportional-representation candidates will be women in this summer’s Upper House election, and we will work hard to achieve the victory of as many women candidates as possible. We will strive to build a JCP where LGBTQ members will be active in national and local politics and in diverse areas of party activities.”

Asked about the JCP’s policy on climate change, Shii gave a brief introduction to the “JCP 2030 strategy” which calls for the diffusion of renewable energy sources, the phase-out of coal-fired thermal power, and an immediate end to nuclear power generation. He called on Nojo’s organization “NO YOUTH NO JAPAN” to work together in this field by saying, “This strategy will bring about a silver lining in the Japanese economy. So, we look forward to working with young people.”

Nojo in response said that zero-nuclear, zero-coal power is preferable and added, “But some people think it’s not realistic.”

Shii said, “Let’s take a look at the total cost of nuclear power generation and that of renewable power generation. The cost pertaining to renewables is now lower than nuclear energy.” He continued to say that it must be kept in mind that the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident is not over yet as many class-action lawsuits are still being fought across Japan and a safe way to dispose of radioactive water at the crippled power plant is still not available. He stated, “Only when Japan makes a political decision to break away from nuclear power and coal-fired power can the country earnestly work on promoting renewables and implementing stricter energy-saving measures.”

Past related articles:
> JCP publishes July Upper House election platform [June 9, 2022]
> Top court rules TEPCO to be liable to compensate Fukushima evacuees for damages [March 5 & 7, 2022]
> JCP calls public attention to its strategy for 50-60% CO2 cut by 2030 [September 23 & 24, 2021]
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