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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 August 31 - September 6  > Shii speaks at 9th ICAPP General Assembly
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2016 August 31 - September 6 TOP3 [JCP]

Shii speaks at 9th ICAPP General Assembly

September 4, 2016
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on September 3 delivered a speech entitled, “How to Create a Peaceful East Asia and a World Without Nuclear Weapons” at the Ninth General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Shii took the speaker’s platform at the beginning of the second day of the assembly. He said that the ASEAN epitomizes a historic transformation of Asia characterized as moving from “division and hostility” to “peace and cooperation”, and that the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) teaches a lot of lessons related to establishing frameworks for peace in the region.

On the issue regarding the South China Sea, Shii expressed his appreciation for a joint statement issued by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in July. Amid the growing complexity of the situation, the statement reaffirms the need for a peaceful resolution to disputes based on the principles of “international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea” and “full respect for legal and diplomatic processes”. Shii expressed his hope that the situation would improve accordingly.

Regarding the issues confronting the Northeast Asia region, Shii said that the JCP, while recognizing the region is facing potential conflicts and increased tensions, has proposed the Initiative for Peace and Cooperation in Northeast Asia. He asked for attendees’ understanding of and support for this initiative by saying, “I believe our initiative offers a practical way to bring about peace and stability in the region.”

In order to create an order of peace in East Asia, Shii highlighted two important points which can be applied to both Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia.

One is to avoid being caught in a vicious cycle in which “military measures invite further military countermeasures” and to persevere in seeking a diplomatic and peaceful solution to any conflict.

Another is to refrain from conducting any act which could escalate tensions in regard to territorial disputes. A threat or use of force or implementation of a unilateral change in the status quo by coercive measures must also be refrained actions as required by the universally recognized principles of international law, he added.

Shii called for ASEAN’s practices to be expanded to all of Asia in order to advance “One Asia” characterized by peace, cooperation, and unity in diversity.

He then moved on to the topic of nuclear weapons. The UN Open-Ended Working Group on nuclear disarmament in August adopted a report that recommends the UN General Assembly to convene a conference next year for an actual start of international negotiations to conclude a Nuclear Weapons Convention. Shii said that the JCP highly welcomes this recommendation as “an epoch-making development”. What enabled such progress to be made, he pointed out, is efforts made by governments in cooperation with citizens’ movements led by A-bomb survivors (Hibakusha) working for the abolition of nuclear weapons around the world.

Following the ICAPP commitment to realize a nuclear weapons-free world, Shii said, “From here, Kuala Lumpur, let us again call on the international community to immediately launch negotiations on a convention to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons.”
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