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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 July 19 - 25  > JCP Social Sciences Institute head Fuwa talks about party’s 95-year history
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2017 July 19 - 25 TOP3 [JCP]

JCP Social Sciences Institute head Fuwa talks about party’s 95-year history

July 20, 2017

The director of the Japanese Communist Party-affiliated Social Sciences Institute, Fuwa Tetsuzo, on July 19 gave a lecture at a JCP assembly held in Tokyo to celebrate the party’s 95th anniversary. He started his lecture by saying, “The party’s 95-year history consists of our forerunners’ work and their pioneering spirit.” Looking back on his own experience in the JCP, he spoke about “three struggles” in the JCP history.

The first was the struggle against the prewar regime of darkness in Japan.

Fuwa said he was a militaristic young boy indoctrinated with the Imperial Rescript on Education and the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers. He believed in a victory of “divine land Japan” in the war. The defeat of Japan, however, disproved this belief. He recollected how shocked he was when he knew that the JCP began its activities openly after the abolition of the Maintenance of Public Order Law. He recounted the historic significance of the party in the prewar era where the JCP members boldly resisted brutal suppression by the despotic militarist government under the absolute emperor system. Their wartime resistance left a great legacy to postwar Japan where movements for a new society grew.

Ahead of Hitler’s violent dictatorship in Germany, the Imperial Japanese government with the Maintenance of Public Order Law cruelly cracked down on the JCP in the most brutal and severe way which had never been seen in other capitalist countries at that time. However, to counter such oppression, Marxism became influential in the academic sector, leading to the creation of “proletarian culture” in the performing arts, movies, music, and arts. Despite being in the darkest period, many people in Japan enjoyed this cultural development hoping it would open up a bright future.

The second struggle Fuwa referred to was the fight against hegemonic intervention from the former Soviet Union and the Maoist sect of the Communist Party of China mainly during the 1960s and 1970s.

To fight against their interference, though these were surprise attacks on the whole party, JCP members studied very hard to arm themselves with theoretical knowledge. Meanwhile, all the Japanese media ignored the issue of outside intervention, and the then Socialist Party broke its collaborative relationship with the JCP and began taking side with the interventionists. Fuwa recalled, “It was really a ‘lonely struggle’ on the domestic front.”

However, while fighting against the two hegemonic interventions, the JCP in succession made a great leap in elections at home. In the end, both the Soviet and the CPC had no choice but to admit their mistakes. Fuwa said, “We won. We won in an unprecedented battle against foreign intervention. The party’s all-out effort brought about this historic victory.”

Freed from outside influence, the JCP cut all ties with the Soviet-style of “Marxism-Leninism” and started to independently explore Marx theory. The party has since stood firm with its independent stance, striving hard for the theory to be further developed in modern Japan. The JCP Program adopted in 2004 is a fruit of such activities.

He called on the audience to continue working for the JCP to become a party which embodies the ‘renaissance’ of socialism. Fuwa received thunderous applause when he said, “Let us celebrate the fact that the JCP in capitalist Japan always stands in the forefront of political and theoretical activities!”

The third was the fight against a “wall” that was built to sideline the JCP in the political arena.

On January 10, 1980, the then Socialist Party and Komei Party made an agreement to, in principle, exclude the JCP from their talks on the formation of a coalition government. As a result, a political wall was established to keep the JCP away from the main stage of Japanese politics.

Under this structure, most politicians inside the wall were tainted with collusion and money politics which led to a serious crisis of the political system dominated by the Liberal Democratic Party. As a new strategy to dodge this crisis, those involved in the money politics initiated a so-called “political reform”. The key component of this reform package was the introduction of the single-seat constituency electoral system.

Fuwa pointed out, “The strategy was designed to reduce the JCP presence in the Diet with the single-member election system and establish a two-party system in Japan so that the LDP and an opposition alliance excluding the JCP could take power in turns on the common basis of the LDP-style politics.” Abe was the last prime minister who served under this strategy.

Fuwa described the Abe-style politics, which is now the mainstream in the LDP, as a mixture of subordination to the U.S. and an excessively pro-business stance as well as a desire to revive values of pre-war Japan shared among ultra rightists such as members of the Japan Conference.

Regarding what is behind Abe’s power, Fuwa cited three points: the single-member constituency system allows Abe as the president of the LDP to exercise authority over his party’s Dietmembers; the state secrets protection law enables Abe to be without pertinent information; and after the Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs was launched, the Prime Minister’s Office obtained absolute control over state bureaucrats. He stated, “Thus, PM Abe became more and more inclined to use national politics for his own interests. The problem is not only the scandals involving the “Moritomo” and “Kake” school corporations but also the privatization of the entire government by the extreme nationalist forces.”

Then, what about people’s movements critical of the LDP? With popular movements opposing the war laws mounting, the “all-except-JCP wall” collapsed. The joint struggle joining opposition parties with concerned citizens marked the start of a new era and opened up new prospects, although difficulties remain.

Fuwa stressed that the LDP-style politics is declining because of its ultra-rightist nature, and that meaningless measures such as a cabinet reshuffling will not reverse the declining trend. He called on the audience to keep working to create a new politics through the advance of the JCP in elections and the development of the opposition parties-citizens collaboration.

In conclusion, mentioning the adoption of the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty and the popular movement opposing the Abe government, Fuwa stated that now is the time to demonstrate the true value of the JCP Program concerning both domestic and international issues. He said, “We are celebrating the 95th anniversary of the JCP foundation amid the ongoing political transition. The JCP’s history consists of strenuous efforts that our members have made since the party was inaugurated. Our party’s struggles and activities have brought about today’s political scene. We have to carry on the will of comrades who fell along the way. Let’s open a new glorious page in JCP history.”
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