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Issue # 1410      13 May 2009

Japanese Communist Party enjoys upsurge

In the wake of an upsurge in popularity polls, and a membership growing at the rate of 1,000 new members per month, the Japanese Communist Party on April 25-26 held a seminar on workplace issues at the JCP head office for the first time in three years.

Participants shared experiences in struggles against arbitrary corporate massive dismissals by large corporations and exchanged views on the drive in preparation for the upcoming House of Representatives general election and the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election.

JCP Chair Shii Kazuo in the keynote speech said, “The collapse of the job market caused by large corporations is threatening workers’ lives and livelihoods from its very foundation. It is now a major social issue that casts a shadow over the future of the Japanese economy and society. On the other hand, the most impressive aspect of this crisis is that workers are rising up nationwide in struggles to defend their basic rights.”

Reporting that a total of more than 5,000 workers have joined or established their unions –110 newly established unions and 125 existing unions – and that JCP members throughout the country are pressing corporations through petitioning and holding meetings with various organisations, Shii stated that workers’ struggles against mass dismissals will have a bearing on what Japanese society should be and that it will be one of the major political issues in the general election.

Shii emphasised that compared with the two major parties, the Liberal Democratic and Democratic parties, the JCP’s existence itself stands out because it is a party with members who understand and support workers’ hardships and work hard to reduce them, that it speaks up against big businesses’ arrogance and greed, and that it exposes contradictions in capitalism and shows the way to overcome them.

Referring to the significance of a JCP victory in the upcoming general election and the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, he stated, “When the JCP truly represents a majority of workers, it can pave the way for a democratic government that puts the people first. In order to mark the first step in the two upcoming major elections, I call on every JCP member to do his or her best.”

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