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The JCP's Bogus gResolute Struggleh
The g1932 Thesesh Advocating Democratic Revolution
( From "Storm Petrel" No.878 / July 21, 2002 )


At the 80 Anniversary Meeting of the Founding of the JCP, JCP Chairman Fuwa Tetsuzo proclaimed that in the prewar period of darkness, the JCP was the only party to raise the slogan of gpeace and democracy,h oppose the Emperor system, as well as oppose the war of invasion, and that the party should gabove all be proudh of its gresolute struggles.h Here we will examine the true nature of the JCPfs prewar struggles.

The Birth of the JCP and Its Prewar History

First of all, we need to briefly look back on the prewar history of the JCP. The JCP was created on July 15, 1922. This gFirsth Communist Party was organized on the basis of the directions of the Comintern, and so its draft program raised such slogans as the goverthrow of the monarchy,h but the party was composed of a hetergenous mixture of a social-democratic tendency represented by Yamakawa Hitoshi. and Sakai Toshihiko, a revolutionary syndicalist tendency headed by Arahata Kanso, as well as a rightwing social democratic tendency seen in Akamatsu Katsumaru, as well as members such as Nosaka Sanzou and Sano Manabu. In the words of Yamaka, this was gtotally unplanned and quickly thrown together and churned out.h Before the party was able to adopt a program it dissolved the year after its foundation, without having carried out any substantial activity.

The first serious activity of the JCP began after the reconstruction of the party in 1926, but at the time the JCP was led by Fukuomoto-ism. Fukumoto Kazuo rose to lead the party after criticizing Yamakawa for his gliquidationism,h but Fukumotofs own theory of gsplit followed by unityh was idealistic radicalism that couldnft distinguish between the party and the masses, arguing instead that the labor union Hyogikai should carry out party tasks. In this way, Fukumoto brought confusion into the labor union and party movements.

In 1927, the Comintern theses on Japan were issued, and this brought some order to the JCP. The g1927 Thesesh was the first programmatic document to be adopted by the JCP, and it defined the coming revolution in Japan as a gbourgeois democratic revolution that would rapidly become a socialist revolution.h This also adopted a program of action which opposed imperialist war and Japanese intervention in the Chinese revolution, defended the Soviet Union, called for complete independence for colonies, and called for the abolition of the monarchy, the right of suffrage for men and women over the age of 18, an 8-hour working day, unemployment insurance, and the confiscation of large land holdings.

Under this program, the party organ Akahata [Red Banner] was issued (starting in February 1928), the party participated in elections, and a campaign against the invasion of China was launched.

However, these struggles met with state repression in the form of the March 15 and April 16 arrests of party members, including most of the party leadership. With the economic depression of 1929 reaching Japan, a fierce strike wave of the working masses spread in 1930 and 1931, but the JCP was unable to lead this sufficiently. Leaders such as Tanaka Kiyoharu led the garmed May Dayh in Kawazaki in 1930, and ended up sowing confusion in the struggles of the labor unions.

Moreover, at the Tenth Congress of the Comintern, the gtheory of social fascismh was adopted, and this theory also had an impact in Japan. The Comintern thesis defined social-democratic parties as a particular form of fascism (social fascism), and called for a struggle to be waged against them. In Japan Zenkyo adopted a policy of attacking social democratic leadership, and heading in the direction of sectarian unions.

In 1931 a new political document was issued (the g1931 Thesesh). In the gTheses,h the Japanese state was defined as a dictatorship of finance capital, and the revolution was described as a gproletarian revolution that would widely incorporate bourgeois democratic tasks.h This was the rejection of the 1927 view of bourgeois democratic revolution and it caused vacillation within the party.

The following year, the JCP issued its ghistorical documenth of the g1932 Theses.h In this thesis, once again the revolution was revised to be ga bourgeois democratic revolution with a strong tendency moving towards a socialist revolution.h

Around the period of the g1932 Theses,h the state repression of the JCP intensified. The number of arrests under the Peace Preservation Law were 6,800 in 1930, 12,000 in 1931, 16,000 in 1932, and 18,000 in 1933. In this way, the JCP received a devastating blow that was followed by the gconversion statementsh of the leaders Sano and Nabeyama, an infestation of spies and provocateurs, and the party dissolved by the end of 1933.

Thus, the prewar activity of the JCP basically was limited to a period of six or seven years starting in 1927. During this period the JCP raised the slogans gabolish the monarchyh and goppose the war of invasion,h but at the same time the party sowed a great deal of confusion, and rather than positively leading the workersf struggles, they brought orchestrated confusion and splits. For this reason we certainly cannot glorify the prewar JCP.

The 1932 Theses and the Struggle Against the Emperor System

Next, letfs look at the struggle against the Emperor system and for democracy in relation to the g1932 Theses.h According to the JCP, the 1932 Thesis gwas epoch-making in terms of indicating the path to be taking to advance the Japanese revolutionary movement, and this question is directly connected to the revolutionary theory of the prewar JCP.

The 1932 Thesis saw the nature of the coming revolution in Japan as ga bourgeois revolution with a strong tendency to turn into a socialist revolution.h gThe Japanese Communist Party, whose main objective is the achievement of socialism, under the present-day relations in Japan, must clearly understand that the dictatorship of the proletariat can only be reached through the path of bourgeois democratic revolution, that is through the path of overthrowing the emperor system, appropriating the landlords, and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry.h

This is what has been called the Communist Partyfs (Stalinistsf) gtwo-stage theory of revolution,h in which prior to the socialist revolution it is said to be necessary to overthrow the emperor system and establish bourgeois democracy.

In evaluating this theory, the question centers on the nature of the ruling system at the time, but the gThesesh characterized the state as a bloc of three elements—the absolutist emperor system, landlords, and monopoly capital—saying that the emperor system was gwas the main pillar of domestic political reaction and all of the feudalistic remnants,h and that the emperor system state structure was gthe strong backbone of the existing dictatorship of the exploiting classes, but this view made unclear the question of which was the truly ruling element.

In Japan, capitalistic development was opened up by means of the Meiji Restoration, and in this period became a full-fledged imperialist country. Already capitalistic relations had spread to the totality of Japanese society, demonstrated by the impact of the Showa financial crisis and 1929 world depression in Japan in which the capitalistic contradictions were the determining factor. The masses were suffering not from the lack of the development of capitalism, but rather from capitalistic contradictions, such as overproduction.

Granted parasitic landownership remained in the countryside and there were certainly various feudalistic remnants, but the dominant system at the time was the rule of monopoly capital represented by such firms as Mitsui and Mitsubushi. The emperor system could not exist apart from the class interests of this monopoly capital.

In this situation, to say that a stage of democratic revolution was necessary before socialist revolution meant that the fight for socialism was pushed into the distant future. After the war, this gtwo-stage theory of revolutionh was readapted in the form of calling for a national-democratic revolution to free Japan from American dominance, and this drove workers away from socialist revolution with the view, characteristic of opportunism and reformism, that at the given stage various democratic reforms must be dealt with first.

In the Seventy Year History of the Communist Party, the significance of the  g1932 Thesesh was explained in the following way:

gThe idea, elucidated in the 1932 Theses, that the political line of the party was not to immediately advance to socialism, but to emphasize democratic reforms within the framework of capitalism, was a view appropriate to a scientific socialist theory of the movement wherein changes in Japanese society were advanced to according to the necessary stage, while following the principled path of breaking through the contradictions of Japanese society to better the lives of the people.h

In short, this is the view that according to a gscientific socialist theory of the movementh (in fact vulgar reformism), it is meaningful to place the priority on democratic reforms within the framework of capitalism, and that this was the gprincipledh approach, and that in this way change can step by step by means of stages.

Therefore, it is clear that this form of struggle against the emperor system and wars of aggression was fundamentally opportunistic. There is thus little to be proud of in Fuwafs statement that in a dark period of history the JCP was the only party to fight for gdemocracy and peace.h

Moreover, this encompasses several errors subsequent to the g1932 Thesesh that Fuwa himself admits to, such as those related to the core of understanding the situation such as gtheory of generalized crisis,h gUSSR=socialism,h or tactical strategic problems such as the theory of social fascism and sectarianism. Thus, the prewar JCPfs struggles were filled with mistakes and cannot be called gunyielding struggles.h

The JCPfs gStruggle for Peaceh

The JCPfs gopposition to wars of aggression,h was fundamentally also a struggle for gdemocracy.h After the g1927 Thesis,h with the invasion of China, the JCP raised the slogan of gopposition to wars of invasion,h but since their theory of revolution was opportunistic this struggle also cannot be highly considered.

Moreover, the JCP often spoke of gopposing wars of invasion,h but they were unable to regard the Pacific War (WWII) as an imperialist war. For the JCP, the gSocialist motherland of the USSR,h allied with the U.S. and Britain, was waging the war gfor democracy against fascism,h and the JCP defended the struggles of the gdemocratich camp (actually one alliance of bourgeois imperialist states). This mistake led them to call the U.S. occupation army in Japan gan army of liberation.h

Even though it can be said that the JCP was the only party to raise the slogan of opposition to wars of invasion, the party itself fell apart and hardly waged any real struggle at a time when such a struggle was truly necessary. In other words, during the 15-year war from the gManchurian Incidenth in 1931 to 1945, there were only two or three years in which the JCP carried out a substantial gstruggle for peace.h By 1933, the central committee of the party was in a state of collapse and from this point there no real struggles were waged. The JCP used the g18-Years in Prisonh experience of a handful of its members who had opposed the war as a sort of alibi.

The JCP may have raised the slogan of the fight for democracy and peace in a difficult period of history, but the content of this struggle is nothing to be proud of. On the whole, this was a petty bourgeois struggle, not a class struggle of workers aiming for socialism.

This struggle instead sowed confusion in the ranks of the workers and played the harmful role of limiting their development. Workers can place no trust in the grevolutionary traditionh of the JCP.

(Written by Akito Yamada, Translated by Roy West)


Adhesion to Postwar gDemocratich System
The Distorted View of gNational Liberationh
( From "Storm Petrel" No.878 / July 21, 2002


Fuwa Testuzo characterized the twentieth century as an age of ghuman rights and the principle of sovereignty resting in the people,h as well as the gingrained desire for peace,h and added that the JCP since its founding has fought for this. But this only exposes the fact that the JCP is a party that has nothing to do with the working class and socialism. Here we will examine the postwar activities of the JCP.

Glorifying the Occupation Forces as an gArmy of Liberationh

Regarding postwar Japan, Fuwa says that, gafter the enormous turning point that Japan experienced with the end of the war, Japan essentially fell into the state of being a nation subordinate to the United States,h and that the consistent point of the JCPfs postwar struggles was the struggle gagainst Japanfs transformation into a subordinate countryh and the struggle for gindependence and the return of sovereignty.h

Fuwa says that Japan became a gsubordinate countryh when the U.S. ignored the Potsdam Declaration and instead chose a solo occupation of Japan. He adds:

gWhen Japan lost the war, the Potsdam Declaration was accepted. This was the common demand of the allied powers. To guarantee the implementation of this, the allied powers placed Japan under occupation. This had international validity.h

Fuwa says that the Potsdam Declaration, expressing the will of the Japanese people, stated that the occupation army would be immediately removed once a government with peaceful intentions had been established, but the American government, gin the midst of the occupation, basically replaced it with a solo American occupation, and sought to establish their military system in Japan for the long term, with its plan to set up permanent military bases.h

Fuwa glorifies the Potsdam Declaration as being ginternationally justifiedh and accuses the U.S. of betraying it. However, the Potsdam Declaration was not in contradiction to the United Statesf solo occupation of Japan.

The Potsdam Declaration was a tripartite agreement between the United States, Britain, and the USSR that sough Japanfs gunconditional surrender.h The declaration called for the end of the rule of the militarists in Japan, an allied occupation army, the disarming of the Japanese military, trials for war criminals, and the dissolution of the arms industry. In other words, the victorious imperialist countries judged the vanquished imperialist country as a criminal state.

Saying that this Potsdam Declaration was ginternationally justified,h amounts to glorifying it, while ignoring its imperialistic essence. Fuwa adopts this view of the Potsdam Declaration because he shares the standpoint of Stalin according to which the Second World War was ga war between fascism and democracy,h rather than an imperialist war. The damage caused by Stalinfs view of the Second World War is witnessed by the decision of the postwar JCP to define the American occupation army as gan army of liberation.h

Upon their release from prison in October 1945, the JCP leaders Tokuda and Shiga presented their gDeclaration to the People,h in which they said that gthanks to the occupation of the allied occupation forces who seek world liberation, Japan was at the beginning of a democratic revolution, and we express our deep gratitude.h At the Fourth Party Congress held at the end of the same year, illusions concerning the occupation army were spread with the declaration that:

gThe allied army is not our enemy. In fact, they are an influential ally in the democratic revolution, and for us they are an army of liberation.h

This, however, was nothing but a fantasy, which became clear starting with the suppression of the February 1 general strike, the U.S. purge of the JCP leadership, the banning of party publications, etc.

The friendly relations between the U.S. and Soviet Union began to fade when the certainty of the allied victory and conflict between the two nations became clear. The U.S. decision to seek the exclusive occupation of Japan stemmed from their reflection on the experience of sharing the occupation of Germany with the Soviet Union. In order to block Soviet influence in Japan, the U.S. tried to establish their own complete rule. This U.S.-Soviet conflict reached a peak in 1948. The U.S. changed its policy from one of seeking the dissolution of Japanese monopolies, to actually reviving them. At the same time, the suppression of the workers movement was intensified. This was done to prevent Japan from gturning communist,h and turning it instead into a gbulwark against communism.h The consistent interests of American imperialism are reflected in its occupation of Japan.

The view of the U.S. occupation army as gan army of liberation,h which brought great confusion into the postwar workers movement and led to the breakdown in their revolutionary struggles, was an inevitable outcome of the Stalinist view of the Second World War.

The U.S.-Japan Peace Treaty and Security Treaty

Fuwa goes on to say that the beginning of the subordination of Japan to the United States began with the San Francisco peace treaty and the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty (AMPO). He says:

gThe plan for subordination took the concrete form of a etreatyh with the signing of the   Peace Treaty and Security Treaty signed at the San Francisco peace conference.h gSimply put, this security treaty forced on Japan, in the form of a treaty, the framework of the system of military bases under the occupation.h

Through the 1952 San Francisco peace treaty, Japan regained its gsovereignty.h However, China and the Soviet Union were not included in this treaty. At the time, the JCP and Socialist Party called for a gfull-fledged peace agreementh including USSR, China and other gcommunisth countries. Since the USSR and China were not included in the San Francisco treaty, they opposed it as a maneuver of the United States and the other liberal states.

The essence of the question is that the monopoly bourgeoisie in Japan were able to free themselves from the occupation and regain political power in their own hands. It thus became clearer that task of the workersf struggles was to overthrow Japanese monopoly capital. This was the significance of the treaty for workers. However, the JCP was unable to grasp this significance, and claimed that the peace treaty meant that gformally and substantially, a new occupational system was forged,h and that in this way gJapan was being occupied permanently.h

The JCP said that the gsemi-permanent occupationh of Japan was the basis of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty signed at the same time as the peace treaty.

According to the Security Treaty, the United States was provided military bases to prevent a foreign invasion (this was seen as possibly coming from the USSR or China) and the U.S. military presence was recognized, while Japan was gradually able to build up its military. Moreover, the treaty provided the Japanese government the possibility of calling on the U.S. military to stamp out any large-scale domestic disturbances that might occur.

The Japanese government provided the U.S. with military bases and accepted the occupation, while viewing the USSR and Chin as potential enemies, within the situation in which the world was divided into two large camps: the Soviet one and the American one, and so politically and economically speaking an alliance with the United States was unavoidable. But moreover, for Japanese monopoly capital, lacking its own military force, they could seek their own class interests within the overall reliance on the military power of the United States.

Of course, for Japanese monopoly capital, the Security Treaty included some gunequalh content—Japan was not allowed to assume its gdefense responsibilities,h the clause on internal strife, and there was no deadline for the treaty. Moreover, with the rapid development of Japanese capitalism, amending this ginequalityh became a task of monopoly capital. With the 1960 revision of the Security Treaty, it was advocated for the U.S. Army to take on the task of defending Japan, but in ten years time the treaty could be annulled if one of the two countries so desired. Furthermore, the Japanese bourgeoisie, citing the gdignitary of an independent state,h asked for the article on internal disturbances to be eliminated.@An administrative agreement between the Japan and the U.S. was also made which called for gconsultationh prior to any U.S. military action.

Concerning the revisions of the Security Treaty, the JCP said that they would make Japan even more connected to the U.S. and strengthen their dependence on the United States, and the JCP sought independence from the U.S. and called for an ganti-American, patriotich struggle.

This view, however, completely missed the mark. The essence of the 1960 revision of the Security Treaty was that Japanese monopoly capital had been revived and strengthened after the war, and sought to create a more equal relationship with the United States more appropriate to their new position. Therefore, the task of the struggle was to expose the rule of Japanese monopoly capital, and organize workers to overthrow this rule. The JCP, however, didnft call for such a struggle against monopoly capital, and called instead for a struggle against the U.S. to achieve independence from Japanfs gsemi-colonialh position. The JCP played the reactionary role of bringing nationalism into the struggles of the workers, thereby confusing and breaking down their class consciousness.

The JCPfs Destructive Nationalism

The postwar development of Japanese monopoly capital made it increasingly clear that the JCPfs view of Japanfs sovereignty being robbed by the U.S. was simply a dogma.

In 1972, the JCP said that Okinawa would never be returned under a LDP government, but this in fact occured. In 1981, Prime Minister Suzuki and U.S. President Reagan agreed on the expression gJapan-U.S. allianceh to describe the relationship between the two countries. This symbolized the change in this relationship. Seen internationally, with the relative decline of the U.S. economy following the end of the gold standard e(1971), Japan overcame the second goil shock,h and forced its way into being an economic superpower by rapidly increasing its export of commodities and capital.

In the eighties and nineties, it became clear to everyone that the Security Treaty was an alliance between two imperialist countries. Japanese monopoly capital ignored the constitution and openly dispatched the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) abroad. In the new guidelines established in 1997, the new concept of gemergencies in the periphery of Japanh was introduced so that the SDFfs range of activity could be expanded from Japanfs gterritorial watersh in the Pacific Ocean all of the way to the Middle East. This signifies that Japanese monopoly capital has set out to participate actively in the maintenance of the imperialist world order. However, for Fuwa Tetsuzo the expansion of the SDFfs activities to a global scale and the joint actions of the U.S. and Japan, are said to represent the intensification of Japanese gdependenceh on the United States.

Fuwa says that the reality of dependence cannot be hidden with the word galliance.h As an example of the gclear realityh of Japanfs dependence on the U.S., Fuwa raises the example of the huge U.S. military bases in Japan and the gdamage a wide segment of people receive on a daily basis,h and the fact that faced with the use of these basis in the U.S. wars in Vietnam, the Middle East, and Afghanistan, the Japanese government has been unable to raise an objections.

Clearly there is still some ginequalityh in the Japan-U.S. relationship that remains. This reflects the power relationship between the most powerful imperialist state in the world and Japanese imperialism. Japan lacks nuclear weapons and has placed itself under the nuclear umbrella of the U.S., and has relied on the U.S. for the gsecurityh of Japan (i.e. rule of monopoly capital). Japan has provided military bases to the U.S. and accepted military presence not because this was unilaterally imposed on them by the U.S., but rather because of the intentions of monopoly capital in Japan. Fuwa, however, sees only American dominance in the U.S.-Japan galliance,h and says that Japan is a gsubordinate stateh that acts as a lackey to the U.S.

In reality, however, there are clearly moves being made toward overcoming the limitations on the military forces in the treaty and revising the war-renouncing gpeace constitution.h Moreover, recent statements by government spokesman Fukuda hinting at the possibility of possessing nuclear weapons in the future show that there is a trend towards militarization and lessening Japanese dependence on U.S. military force.  as well as Fukudafs statement aboutc, it is clear that military build up is undergoing, and these reactionary maneuvers will no doubt escalate in the future.

In this situation, the JCP only plays the role of assisting the reactionariesf maneuvers when they spread nationalistic rhetoric about how gstrange it is for an economic superpower with a population of 125 million people such as Japan to be basically a dependent state for over half a century,h and call for gthe restoration of state sovereignty as one of the greatest tasks for Japan in the 21st century.h

(Written by Kiichiro Taguchi, Translated by Roy West)



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