Despite the Japanese Communist Party’s criticism of the Chinese Communist Party to differentiate itself from China’s ruling party, the JCP will not be able to stem its decline if its basic goal of seeking socialist reforms remains unchanged.
At a party convention held this month, the JCP for the first time in 16 years revised its party platform, which sets out its philosophies and goals. In a reversal of its positive outlook on China, the party highlights the country’s “strong-arm tactics and hegemonism” as being “counter to world peace and progress” in its new platform.
At a press conference, JCP Chairman Kazuo Shii explained that the new platform represents a revision based, among others, on China’s forcible maritime advances in the East and South China seas, as well as its human-rights violations in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. He also said that the behavior of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration is not worthy of being called communism.
Concerns that people could associate the JCP with the CCP, thereby causing a deterioration of the party’s image, are thought to be behind the shift.
The JCP’s attempt to expand its support base can be illustrated by the fact that it has increased the number of its female party officials, in addition to calls for promoting gender equality and eliminating discrimination against sexual minorities in the new platform.
The number of JCP members sharply decreased in the early 1990s, due to the influence of the Soviet Union’s dissolution. Meanwhile, the aging of its membership has continued.
At the party convention, the JCP cited a goal of achieving a 30% increase in the number of its members and the readership of its official organ Akahata by 2022, when the party marks its 100th anniversary. This is nothing less than a sign of the crisis in which the party finds itself.
Will the party be able to overcome the present situation without changing its fundamental principles, which have long been criticized?
The new platform states that “social change in a developed capitalist economy is the right path toward socialism and communism,” and that the party will seek to transform the nation into a socialist and then communist society through “democratic reforms possible within the framework of capitalism.”
The JCP remains unchanged in seeking to drastically reform the basis of the nation. The assertion that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty must be abolished and that the Self-Defense Forces should be “dissolved” in the future has been maintained.
The platform also states that the issue of maintaining or abolishing the Imperial system should be solved by seeking “public consensus when the time is ripe in the future,” maintaining the party’s stance of realizing a democratic republic without an Imperial system.
These assertions can only be described as being detached from the opinions of the general public. Anxiety persists among the Democratic Party for the People and other opposition parties with respect to the JCP’s vision of the state and its basic policy line.
The resolution adopted at the convention states that the JCP will pursue the goal of ensuring opposition parties establish a coalition government by 2022, while also claiming that the party would not bring aboard its outlook, with regard to the envisaged administration. Isn’t the JCP attempting to deceive the public by shelving fundamental differences between its vision of the state and those of other opposition parties, while talking about participation in a government administration?