(Asahi: October 16, 2015 – p. 1)
By Norihisa Hoshino
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Chairman Kazuo Shii held a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo on Oct. 15. He stated that if the “national coalition government” the JCP advocates is formed, his party will “carry on within the framework of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the Self-Defense Forces will be utilized if Japan faces an imminent unlawful threat.” The “national coalition government” would aim for repeal of the security laws. He indicated that the abolition of the Security Treaty, the disbanding of the SDF, and such other policies in the party’s political platform will be suspended. He emphasized that the JCP will embrace a pragmatic stance in its effort to unite the opposition parties to challenge the Abe administration.
Shii said at the news conference: “We believe that at this point a national coalition government is the only realistic alternative government framework to the Abe administration.” He added: “We are willing to set aside differences and find common ground for the sake of uniting under the great cause of repealing the war laws and returning to constitutionalism.”
He further explained that while the policy of seeking the “abolition” of the Security Treaty will remain in the JCP’s platform, “this will be suspended under the national coalition government. We will carry on within the framework of the existing Security Treaty and the coalition government will not seek its abolition.”
The JCP’s platform also calls for “disbanding” the SDF. However, Shii said: “Even if (the national coalition government) repeals the war laws, the SDF will be retained. It goes without saying that in the event of an imminent unlawful threat to Japan’s sovereignty, the SDF will be utilized,” having in mind a situation such as an armed attack on Japan.
With regard to U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ), Shii said: “Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty stipulates that the two countries will respond jointly to an armed attack on Japan. The (national coalition) government will respond based on the Security Treaty.”
Shii indicated a plan to coordinate with the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and other opposition parties on fielding candidates in single-seat districts for the House of Councillors election next year. He pointed out: “The election in the 32 single-seat districts is extremely important. We will strive for opposition cooperation in all these districts to defeat the Liberal Democratic Party and achieve victory.”
It is reckoned that the JCP is adopting a flexible stance even on basic policies in the party’s platform to demonstrate how “serious” it is about toppling the Abe administration for the purpose of promoting election cooperation with the DPJ and other opposition parties.