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Japan communist party rebel wants change to spur political opposition

MATSUTAKE Nobuyuki speaks at a press conference at the press club. (ANJ)
MATSUTAKE Nobuyuki speaks at a press conference at the press club. (ANJ)
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28 Feb 2023 09:02:59 GMT9
28 Feb 2023 09:02:59 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: The Japan Communist Party (JCP) has existed as a small thorn in the side of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party for many years with few changes to its policies and constitution, but now a Communist rebel is seeking changes.

MATSUTAKE Nobuyuki used to belong to the JCP but was expelled after calling for a vote to decide its leader. Kazuo Shii has been the JCP’s leader since 2000 but the process of choosing the party’s leader is not transparent, Matsutake told a press conference replying to a question from Arab News Japan.

“The current system is that at the congress the delegates will first choose the 200 members of the central committee and these central committee members will move to a separate room behind closed doors to the delegates and then they will decide and will come back and announce that they held a central committee meeting and the chairperson is ‘this person,’ so even the delegates do not know what is happening behind closed doors,” Matsutake said.

“I proposed an open, direct election and vote by all party members, but there can be many different ways. If the process of electing the chairman takes place involving all of the 270,000 party members, then there can be many different possibilities.”

MIYAMOTO Kenji previously led a splinter group within the party and eventually was able to become the party’s leader. 

“If thorough discussions take place within the party, there can be many possibilities.  Mr. Shii might be re-elected or I might be elected.  There are diverse views within the party, but to the public eye the JCP looks like a monolithic organization that does not have any diversity or does not allow any diversity.”

Matsutake says people want a strong opposition to the Liberal Democratic Party, which has had control of the government for most of the post-war era.

“A lot of people actually want the opposition parties to be stronger,” he says. “If the JCP can change, then the collaboration between the opposition parties will become stronger.”



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