The Japanese Communist Party (JCP) (日本共産党), founded on July 15, 1922, as an underground political association, is a political party of Japan based on scientific socialism. The JCP envisions the development of a future society that overcomes capitalism and steers Japan towards democracy and peace and away from the revival of militarism. It proposes to accomplish democratic change within the framework of capitalism in order to achieve its goals while still struggling against imperialism and its subordinate ally, monopoly capital. The JCP adheres to the idea of a democratic revolution to achieve democratic change in politics and the economy, and strives for the complete restoration of Japan's national sovereignty. It has about 400,000 members belonging to 25,000 branches.
Outlawed from the outset of its founding, the JCP was subjected to repression and persecution by the military and police of Imperial Japan. It was the only political party in Japan that stood firmly in opposition to the war of aggression. It was only until 1945, with the end of the Pacific War, that the JCP for the first time won legality. However, from 1950-1955, as repression by the U.S. occupation forces swept Japan, the JCP was forced to split by a group connected with the Soviet Union and China. This brought considerable difficulties and damages to the JCP for the next several years. Party unity was restored after two JCP congresses that took place during the period of 1958-1961. These congresses completely resolved the problems related to the party split and established a new course as set down in the JCP Program.
One of the JCP’s main objectives is the breaking away from the Japan-U.S. military alliance and the dismantling of all U.S. military bases in Japan. It does so for the purpose of building a non-aligned and neutral Japan and in the strict defense of the right and recovery of self-determination and national sovereignty. (In Japan there are about 130 U.S. military bases and other related facilities, Okinawa having the largest U.S. military base in Asia).
The JCP also strives to change the nation's economic policy of what it sees as serving the interests of large corporations and banks to one of defending the interests of the people, and establish democratic rules that will check the activities of large corporations and protect the lives and basic rights of the people.
It also stands in firm opposition to nuclear weapons, military blocs, and struggles to build a Japan that does not tolerate any attempt to adversely revise the Constitution, mainly Article 9, which expresses that "never again …... [Japan] be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government" and declares that "sovereign power resides with the people." The realization of peaceful negotiation has been the long-standing position of the JCP.
In international activities it has placed emphasis on the importance of respecting the right of every nation to self-determination, and has rigorously opposed any hegemonism which encroaches on national sovereignty, regardless of who is the perpetrator power. This position has translated into its opposition to the Japan-U.S. military alliance, which puts Japan virtually in a militarily subordinate position to the United States. This also applies to international questions like the Soviet aggression against Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan as well as the U.S. war of aggression against Vietnam.
Regarding the issue of the international economy, the JCP has advocated establishing a new international democratic economic order on the basis of respect for the economic sovereignty of each country. Under capitalism, the internationalization of trade, investment, and marketing is a tendency inherent in this economic system. However, it sees the United States, transnational corporations and international financial capital as pushing a kind of economic order under the name of “globalization” that is seriously affecting the global economy, including the monetary and financial problems, as well as North-South and environmental problems. The JCP views democratic regulation of activities by transnational corporations and international financial capital on an international scale as one of the important pillars of the new economic order, and calls for common action and solidarity with the movements striving for social progress.
The JCP has called for immediate changes in Japan’s foreign policy and has developed, in line with them, its diplomacy as an opposition party. Regarding the resolution of disputes, it upholds that priority must be given to peaceful means through negotiations, not to military solutions. The JCP upholds that Japan adhere to the peace order established in the U.N. Charter. It also adheres to the idea that Japan as an Asian country must stop putting emphasis on diplomacy centering on relations with the United States and the G8 Summit and put Asian diplomacy at the center of its foreign relations. It supports Japan in establishing an independent foreign policy in the interests of the Japanese people and refutes the notion of uncritically following any foreign power. It also advocates that Japan’s expression of remorse and apologies for its war of aggression and colonial rule is a prerequisite for developing relations with the rest of Asia.
The JCP stance on International terrorism is that only by encircling the forces of terror through strong international solidarity with the United Nations at the center can terrorism be eliminated. It supports the notion that waging war as a response to terrorism produces a rift and contradictions in international solidarity, which instead expands the breeding ground of terrorism.