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2023 May 24 - 30 TOP3 [JCP]

Shii answers questions from 'Akahata' readers and JCP supporters

May 28, 2023

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on May 27 held a dialogue with "Akahata" readers and JCP rank-and-file supporters in Funabashi City in Chiba Prefecture and answered their questions.

Question: What do you make of 'deterrence'?

Shii: The word "deterrence" sounds like "defensive" in Japanese, but the essence of deterrence is "a threat for a threat", throwing us into a vicious cycle of military escalation. The rhetoric "deterrence protects peace" is just an illusion. Posing a threat to each other can never be the path for building true peace. The need is to provide each other peace of mind through peace diplomacy, for Japan that means making the best use of its war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution.

Q: Why does LDP gov't kowtow to US?

Shii: In historically terms, I think there are three major factors: A "gene" of the U.S. absolutism was injected into Japan under U.S. occupation after the war; the Japan-U.S. security alliance was established as a system as a continuation of the U.S. occupation, continuing to provide the unlimited privileges that the occupation army had had; and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party after its "generational change" seems to be no longer aware of the extent of its subservience to the United States.

An overall trend we see transpiring in the world today is the attempt to realize a world without military alliances. The JCP is working to put Japan on the track of promoting this trend by abrogating the Japan-U.S. security alliance and instead concluding a bilateral friendship treaty based on the consent of a majority of the general public.

Q: Some criticize the JCP as opportunist as it suggests that the SDF be utilized to protect Japan 'in case of an emergency'. How do you feel about this?

Shii: The existence of the Self-Defense Forces obviously conflicts with Article 9 which stipulates the non-possession of war potential. The solution to this is to change the article to be matched to the current state or to put the SDF on a track toward the ideal the article calls for. Thanks to Article 9, the SDF has not killed anyone in other countries and no SDF personnel has been killed in battle since the end of WWII. In this sense, Article 9, in addition to people's antiwar movements, has been protecting the lives of SDF servicepersons.

An advance toward the ideal, however, cannot be made in one step. It must advance step by step to reach the ideal as a result of a majority consensus among the general public. If "by any chance" an emergency occurs during this process, it will be a matter of course for Japan to utilize every possible means, including the SDF, to defend the country.

The JCP takes responsibility for upholding what Article 9 lays out and making the best use of it in order to protect the peace and people's lives. The LDP government itself formerly stated that to exercise the right to collective self-defense and to possess the capability to attack enemy bases are in "violation of the Constitution". This LDP is now promoting what it previously said was unconstitutional without making a convincing explanation to the public for this change in definition. This is the very definition of "opportunism".

Q: Why does the JCP continue to refuse to accept the government subsidies provided to all political parties?

Shii: The reason is that the tax-funded political subsidy system goes against the Constitution and has a corrupting influence on political parties. If the JCP decides to apply for the government subsidy, the party will receive about 1.1 billion yen in state subsidies. On the other hand, the party last year received eight billion yen in individual donations. Many donors make contributions to the JCP despite their limited budgets. This indicates that the JCP’s funding base is established through support from people connected at the grassroots level, which is important. I believe the government subsidy system will be abolished sooner or later.

Q: Major media outlets have reported that the JCP is a political party intolerant of differing opinions within the party. Why do they bash the JCP, though it is a small party in the Diet?

Shii: The media’s description of the JCP is wrong. In this respect, I would like them to understand that the JCP operates in a democratic manner. All party members at their meetings can argue about and discuss party policies freely, and before the JCP holds its Congress, it sets a two-month period for an all-party discussion on draft party decisions and proposed resolutions.

The reason why the JCP is a target for bashing by the media is that the JCP is a party of revolution which aims to fundamentally transform Japanese society. In this regard, I would like to make reference to Engels’s statement at Marx’s funeral in 1883. He said that Marx was the most hated and most aggrieved person at the time because he was above all a revolutionary. As shown in this statement, the JCP-bashing provides proof that the JCP is a revolutionary party. We will confront and overcome such attempts at JCP bashing.
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