From For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy
February 15, 1953, No. 7, (171)

Basis of the New Programme of the Communist Party of Japan

Kyuichi Tokuda
General Secretary, Communist Party of Japan

1. New Programme of Communist Party Expresses Interests of Entire People

Nearly four months have passed since the New Programme of the Communist Party of Japan was published.

The overwhelming majority of the workers and peasants unanimously support our New Programme. They say: “Now for the first time we have a clear goal for wholehearted struggle.”

Most people of mental labour, with the exception of a small section influenced by the Right-wing Socialists and Trotskyite elements, also warmly support the programme.

Accordingly as the war in Korea is extended, not only the working class and peasantry, but also people of mental labour, are subjected more and more to slavish exploitation. Strikes and peasant struggle are crushed by brute force. Repression was intensified after the San Francisco conference. Big strikes were fought recently by workers and office employees in the coal and electrical industries, on the privately owned and state railways, by post and telegraph workers, and by state and municipal employees. A feature of these strikes is that they are taking place in conditions of brutal repressions by the occupation troops and the Yoshida Government; but despite this they end, in most cases, in victory by the strikers.

Even textile workers, the bulk of whom are women, and the staffs of department stalls and hotels, who, until now, have been at the mercy of the capitalists, are waging a stubborn struggle. Together with the industrial workers, people of mental labour and the intelligentsia are taking part in the struggle which, in all cases, is closely linked with the fight against the separate “peace” treaty.

Consequently, the strike movement is not only growing in scale, it is also growing politically.

Disbelieving the fraudulent promises of the Liberal Party to abolish control over rice production and consumption, the peasantry is fighting vigorously to abolish the compulsory quotas for agricultural products. At the same time, the demand for a revolutionary land reform is growing steadily.

Since the middle of 1950, the struggle for peace, fought under the slogan “Hands off Korea”, against the separate “peace” treaty, against the Japanese-American “security pact” and remilitarisation, has become a vital question in the life of the nation.

Despite the repressions, women, youth, intelligentsia and clergy are actively participating in this struggle. As a result, six million signatures have been collected to date for a Peace Pact of the five Great Powers.

The overwhelming majority of the intelligentsia are taking part in the movement for peace, resolutely opposing the U.S.-dictated treaties. They support the struggle of the workers and peasants and, in this way, play an extremely important role. For instance, in connection with the international conference of physicians and health specialists, scheduled for Rome, veteran personalities and specialists in the sphere of medicine and public health in Japan have decided to take part in the work of the conference preparatory committee.

There are, too, among the small and medium manufacturers and national capitalists many who express readiness to support the Programme of our Party. Small and medium manufacturers who constitute the bulk of Japanese capitalists, are opposed to the policy of ruining civilian industry and expanding war industry. They are categorically opposed to U.S. interference in the guise of so-called defence of the free world, and are beginning to speak more and more insistently for establishing friendly relations with the Soviet Union, the new China, and with all countries in Asia.

These sentiments even affect certain sections of the big capitalists for whom trade with the U.S.S.R. and the Chinese People’s Republic is at present a matter of the greatest significance. As a result, representatives of these circles, too, express a desire to take part in the international economic conference to be held in Moscow.

These circumstances facilitate the broadening of the united national-liberation democratic front and, naturally, have considerable influence on all political parties. The split in the Socialist Party is most indicative in this respect.

Different factors gave rise to the inevitable split in the Socialist Party. But the main reason is that arising from the ratification of the separate “peace” treaty and the “security pact”, foisted on Japan by the United States of America, the rank-and-file of the Socialist Party as well as the workers and peasants under its influence have begun to express greater discontent with the actions of the Socialist Party. Our Programme intensified this discontent.

The left wing in the leadership of the General Council of the Trade Unions – biggest trade union amalgamation in Japan – criticised the Socialist Party in an endeavour to prevent it from becoming an anti-labour party. Despite persistent attempts by Suzuki, General Secretary of the Socialist Party, who heads the so-called “left” in this Party, to reach a compromise with the right-wing leadership, the Socialist Party, nevertheless, split. The workers insist that the Socialists disassociate themselves from support for the separate “peace” treaty and the “security Pact”, and are determined to withdraw their confidence from the socialists if they fail to comply with this demand.

The Right wing of the Socialists is a medley of rotten and corrupt politicians, who, earlier, succeeded in gaining the upper hand in the Executive Committee of the Party. However, by actually support the separate “peace” treaty and the “security pact”, and by adopting an obviously pro-American position, they have almost completely lost the support of the masses in the trade unions and in the peasant union. At present they have the support of only a small number of Right elements in the leadership of these organizations. Thus, the Right wing of the Socialist Party, the leadership of which is in the hands of illegally acquitted war criminals, has become an out and out lackey of the anti-national capitalists.

In connection with the disagreement on the ratification of the separate “peace” treaty and the “security pact” plotted in the U.S., a progressive opposition group, headed by representatives of the national capitalists, also appeared in the People’s Democratic Party. Several of the members of the People’s Democratic Party in Parliament voted against ratification of the “treaty” and the “pact”, and were forced to leave the Party on this account. This added to the vacillations in the People’s Democratic party.

Even in the “Liberal”-reactionary Party the influence of those with anti-American and anti-Yishida sentiments is gradually making itself felt. These sentiments became more pronounced after the local government elections in the spring of 1951. A number of people decided to leave the Liberal Party. Among the prominent figures now openly expressing discontent with Yoshida’s policy are Fusanusoke Kuhara, a big monopolist who was Minister of Communications in the Tanaka Cabinet, and Tanzan Ishibashi, ex-Minister of Finance in the Yoshida Cabinet.

Recently in the Kochi Prefecture – birthplace of Yoshida and stronghold of the Liberal Party – the candidate nominated by the anti-American and anti-Yoshida groups was elected Governor. Thus, since the ratification of the “treaty” and the “pact”, anti-American and anti-Yoshida sentiments have grown steadily among the people.

As a result of the sharply-growing isolation of the anti-national and pro-American elements headed by Yoshida, Vice-President of the U.S. Barkley, Dulles, Counsellor of the State Secretary, Rusk, Assistant State Secretary, and Dodge, Economic Counsellor, who came to Japan to speed up the conclusion of the so-called administration agreement concerning the presence of U.S. troops in Japan and its rearmament, had to return without definite results. The popular protests prevent the Yoshida clique from openly embarking on rearmament and force it to deceit, to rearmament in the guise of strengthening the police forces.

Our New Programme is, in practice, becoming the programme of the whole people.

The Right-wing Social Democrats fiercely attack our Programme seeking to defame it and waken its effect on the masses. The treachery of the Right-wing Social Democrats and other groupings hostile to the working class is that, in their activity, they secretly help the U.S. occupation army and the Yoshida Government in their brutal repressions against our Party. Briefly, in vilifying our Party, they seek to conceal their anti-national, counter-revolutionary actions and to deceive the masses. We must expose their slander and direct all our efforts towards deepening the class and political consciousness of the entire people, towards further strengthening the revolutionary forces and consolidating the united national-liberation democratic front.

II. Why We Define the Revolution as a National-Liberation Democratic Revolution

As pointed out in the New Programme, at present the most serious question for the Japanese nation is the fact that the U.S. occupation brings suffering to the Japanese people, that the Yoshida Government is is the moral-political pillar of the occupation regime.

Those questions are elucidated in the New Programme with the utmost clarity. Precisely for this reason the New Programme has the support of the majority of the people, with the workers and peasants in the fore. The already difficult position of our nation was further aggravated by signing in San Francisco the separate “peace” treaty and the “Security pact”, and also by the open transformation of Japan into a military base for the U.S. which is preparing aggression against the Soviet Union, new China and the countries of Asia. The American imperialists assert over and over again that they are acting on the basis of “equality” and “respect the sovereignty”, in the “interests of peace”. Clearly, there is nothing of the kind in their actions.

As mentioned above, the content of the so-called administration concerning conditions for implementation of the “security pact” has not yet been published, nevertheless, it is already being put into effect. This is evident from the following facts:

U.S. air force bases are being built at 32 places in the country, the largest being the base at Tatikawa, suburb of Tokyo. These bases are being built in pockets – from three to six installations in one area, with the surrounding zone used entirely for the needs of the military base. For example, the area of the base centred in Tatikawa stretches South-West to Yokohama and Yokosuka, South-East to Kisarazu, and North-West to Yokota. In addition to the old Tokyo, practically the entire area of the Tokyo prefecture is used for the needs of this base. An oil-pipe line is being laid from Yokohama to Yokota through Tatikawa. Between Yokosuka and Yokota stores, ports, dwellings, repair-assembly military shops, etc. are being built and a wide highway for transporting equipment to all these installations is under construction. In this way a vast area is used for this military base.

Moreover, at 14 points in the country, old naval bases, in the first instance Yokosuka, Kure and Sasebo along with such important ports and convenient harbours as Kobe, Yokohama and others, have been taken over for use as naval bases. Altogether, these bases are three times greater than the number of former naval bases in Japan. As for bases for ground forces, they are being built by Americans at their discretion in different parts of the country. Military manoeuvres are held wherever the Americans please. Because of these American army manoeuvres and as the result of the war in Korea, the population is suffering heavy losses for which there is no compensation.

Actually, the U.S. army uses, exclusively for its own purposes, from 70 to 80 per cent of the state railways, the state post, telegraph and telephone communication system, and also such vital branches of industry as the electrical, iron and steel, oil, coal, chemical, and others. The occupation army freely uses the main highways, hotels, etc.

For the purposes of maintaining and using these huge military bases, U.S. army control over Japan’s economy is being increased. Recently, this control has been extended to monopoly enterprises and finances, which are now in a state of complete dependence on the Americans.

Even big capitalists working on orders for the American occupation army, suffer losses because of the reduced prices for the goods supplied by them. Only a small group of the monopolists acting contrary to the interests of the nation, makes huge profits from fulfilling orders for the occupation army. The main burden of the situation, however, is placed, in the first instance, on the shoulders of the working class. The number of accidents in industry has increased sharply; the health of the workers is breaking down. The recent period has seen a rapid increase in the number of lung disease cases; at present nearly 30 per cent of all workers suffer from lung trouble.

At the same time peasant impoverishment is on the increase due to the fact that on the vast territory taken over for military bases the land of the peasants is being confiscated and cultivation curtailed.

Thus, there is taking place on an enormous scale the ruin of the entire nation.

To attain its military aims, the U.S. occupationists not only impose a definite economic policy for Japan, they resort also to veritable fascist methods of crushing the resistance of the people, restricting freedom of speech, assembly and organisation and establishing control over education.

Despite the signing of the “peace” treaty, the American occupation regime, far from becoming milder, has, on the contrary, become even more brutal. This is evident, for example, from the fact that orders issued by Dodge sufficed to get next year’s budget completely altered. The Yoshida Government has released nearly all the war criminals. It intends to submit legislation providing for control over organisations, and an anti-strike law. The cult of emperor worship is being revived. The reserve police corps and the naval guard, due to be converted into a huge army and for which enormous funds will be spent, are being fitted out and equipped by the U.S. They are being trained and commanded by American officers. Thus, the Yoshida Government, revealing more and more openly its fascist features, loyally serves the United States of America. The anti-national reactionary forces in Japan, which cling to power only with the help of the U.S., are pursuing an extremely anti-national policy, aimed at securing their own interests. These anti-national actions inevitably reduce the nation to a state of slavery, as clearly seen from the example of Greece, Western Germany, the Latin-American countries and even Britain, France and other West European countries.

This is vividly borne out by the Japanese-American “security pact”, the first point of which refers to “assistance given at the express request of the Japanese Government to put down large-scale internal riots and disturbances in Japan caused through instigation or intervention by an outside Power or Powers”.

Such “assistance” will be a pretext for continual and direct interference by the American army in Japan’s home affairs. These facts show quite clearly the real “free world” that the U.S. talks about, and the nature of the “peace treaty” fabricated by it. In reality, this is the highway leading to a most severe and destructive war. Such is the essence of U.S. monopoly capital which is ready to sacrifice the entire world for the sake of profits.

It is now absolutely indisputable that Japan has been turned into a country completely dependent on America.

What is the fundamental standpoint from which the Communist Parties approach the problems of the revolutionary movement in the colonial and dependent countries? Replying to this question, Comrade Stalin said in his report to the Joint Plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the C.P.S.U. (B.) on August 1, 1927:

“It is a strict differentiation between revolution in imperialist countries, countries that oppress other peoples, and revolution in colonial and dependent countries, countries that suffer from the imperialist oppression of other states. Revolution in imperialist countries is one thing; in those countries the bourgeoisie is the oppressor of other people; it is counter-revolutionary in all stages of the revolution; the national element, as an element in the struggle for emancipation, is absent in these countries. Revolution in colonial and dependent countries is another thing; in these countries the oppression exercised by the imperialism of other states is one of the factors of revolution; this oppression cannot but effect the national bourgeoisie also; the national bourgeoisie, at a certain stage and for a certain period, may support the revolutionary movement of its country against imperialism, and the national element, as an element in the struggle for emancipation, is a revolutionary factor.

Not to make this differentiation, not to understand this difference and to identify revolution in imperialist countries with revolution in colonial countries, is to depart from the road of Marxism, from the road of Leninism, and adopt the road of those who support the Second International”.

This is the theoretical basis of the New Programme of our Party.

Our Party defines the future revolution in Japan as a national-liberation democratic revolution. Corresponding to Corresponding to the character of the revolution our Party advances the aim of overthrowing the Yoshida “liberal” reactionary Government and of creating a coalition government which would represent the interests of all the progressive and liberation forces in the country. From this there follows the necessity and possibility of expanding the revolutionary forces to the maximum, of forming a broad, united, national-liberation democratic front.

We think that, in the external and internal political situation that has taken shape in Japan as a result of its occupation by the American imperialists, it is not excluded that many capitalists will support the struggle for a free and independent Japan living its independent economic, political and cultural life, others will maintain a friendly neutrality in this struggle.

Now, for the first time, we have been able to clear up this basic question which, hitherto, was not properly understood by us. This enabled us to publish our New Programme with the greatest confidence.

III. Why does the Programme Attach Serious Significance to Agrarian Question and Abolition of Feudal Relations in Countryside

The New Programme sets the aim of a national-liberation democratic revolution.

This revolution aims at doing away with the feudal survivals in Japanese society. Since in present-day Japan the democratic revolution will be closely linked with national liberation, it will, undoubtedly, develop on a large scale.

The New Programme reads: “Speaking of the Yoshida Government we have in mind those reactionary and anti-national forces in Japan which support and inspire the ‘liberal’-reactionary Party and the Yoshida Government. These forces include the Emperor of Japan, the old reactionary military clique, the privileged bureaucracy, landlords and capitalist monopolies, that is, all who exploit or foster the exploitation of the Japanese people”. These reactionary forces are either the landowners whose land is subject to confiscation or those whose interests are linked with those of the landowners. The Programme stresses that the “first and decisive step along the path of liberating Japan from the occupation regime” is to overthrow all these forces and deprive the U.S. occupation regime of its pillar.

The Right-wing Social Democrats and “left” adventurers attack the policy of our Party in respect to the peasantry, alleging that we know nothing about the position of the peasants. They assert that the land has already been divided among the peasants as a result of the “agrarian reform” carried out after the war under the U.S. occupation army, and that the question now is that agriculture, in present-day conditions, is unprofitable and that capital investment in agriculture is extremely inadequate. They consider it correct to leave the forests in the hands of the government. Hence, their argument that agrarian reform is nl longer necessary. In point of fact, the unbearable financial burden placed on the shoulders of the poor and middle peasants is the result of this pseudo “agrarian reform”. The peasants have been reduced to a position which leads inevitably to loss of their land. At present the landlords are, in effect, reviving the semi-feudal system of landownership. Utilising the feudal survivals, the American imperialists and the anti-national reactionary forces seek to turn the peasants into their slaves and the countryside into a major source of cannon-fodder.

Thus, the viewpoint of the Right-wing Social Democrats expresses the interests of the landlords and, in essence, differs not one iota from that of the present Government.

The aim which we intend to realise as a result of agrarian reform is the abolition of the different aspects of feudal survivals in the life of the people, and, on this basis, to develop agriculture and raise the standard of living of the peasants. Consequently, this is not a question confined to arable land but also of mountain-forest areas and wastelands, irrigation and other agricultural undertakings as well as obligatory delivery of agricultural products, taxes, etc. The Soviet Union, the countries in Eastern Europe and the New China are a living example of how, as a result of abolishing feudal survivals, the peasants in the countryside, displaying remarkable creative energy in all respects, achieve an enormous development of agricultural production. This can be obtained only on the basis of a revolutionary land reform which would give the peasants all land belonging to landlords without compensation.

The mountain-forest areas, vital for agriculture, must be divided among the peasants. Sectors which can be cultivated should be converted into fields. Melioration work should be carried out on sectors which can be turned into meadows and pastures. Tree planting should be done by the peasants themselves and improvement and irrigation should result from the joint effort of peasant organisations.

Large-scale agricultural production and, on this basis, a higher standard of life for the peasants can be obtained only of the Government supports the efforts of the peasants and renders them any possible aid.

Our Programme clearly defines also the demands on the problem of the working class. Our Programme demands the abolition of semi-feudal exploitation of labour, freedom for trade union organisations of the working class and a serious improvement of the material conditions of the workers.

The New Programme attaches serious significance to the agrarian question and to the abolition of feudal relations in the countryside. Consequently, we must correctly define the actual demands of the peasantry and achieve their realisation.

Arising from this, the Programme of our Party clearly shows that the realisation of these tasks, realisation of revolutionary democratic transformations in Japan, realisation of the national-liberation democratic revolution, are possible only with the forces of a broad, united, national-liberation democratic front. The base of the front is the alliance of the workers and peasants – the main force of the liberation struggle of the Japanese people. They will be joined by artisans and small traders, the small and medium factory owners and also by a considerable part of the industrialists and merchants suffering from the occupation regime and the reactionary laws of the Yoshida Government. Opportunists like Yamakawa advocate revolution solely with the forces of the working class, put the interests of the peasantry on a par with those of the landlords and kulaks and ignore the national capitalists. Clearly, such a policy means dividing the people and isolating the working class; it serves the interests of the imperialists and the national reactionary forces and is designed to strangle the revolution.

IV. Under Banner of Peace and Democracy

Until recently the struggle for independence, freedom and peace in our country was not developed with sufficient vigour. Among some sections of our people there were those who in one way or another acted as lackeys to the Americans. They regarded the policy of U.S. imperialism, aimed at establishing world domination, as being so strong that resistance to it was impossible. The facts show, however, that American imperialism is in the nature of a paper tiger. When, in October, 1950, the Chinese people’s volunteers rallied to the aid of Korea, and all Chinese democratic organisations, headed by the Communist Party, declared that American imperialism was a paper tiger, and boldly rose in struggle against it, many did not believe in the success of this struggle. But the further course of the war in Korea clearly revealed the weakness of U.S. imperialism.

Following the example of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia and the people’s revolution in China, the peoples of South-East Asia and of Vietnam in the first instance, rose in struggle against imperialist intervention and for independence. This national-liberation movement has already won success that no imperialists can obliterate. Its influence has spread to the Near and Middle East and also to the peoples of North Africa. The liberation struggle in these countries has developed into an unprecedented force. The aggressive policy of American imperialism against the peace camp headed by the Soviet Union, quite clearly is suffering defeat even in capitalist Europe. The so-called “aid” of U.S. imperialists signifies running the economy of the countries receiving it, intervention in their internal affairs, turning them into dependent countries and establishing a “European army” for aggression against the camp of peace. At present, in all these countries, the financial system and the economy are breaking down and impoverishment is growing every day. As a result a tendency is making itself felt to reject participation in the mercenary troops of the U.S. imperialists. Consequently, their plans for creating huge war bases are obviously doomed to failure.

The entire course of history since the birth of the Soviet Union as a result of the Great October Socialist Revolution, testifies to the peace policy of the Soviet Union, led by the standard-bearer of peace, leader and teacher of the working people – J. V. Stalin. It was precisely this policy which served as a base for building the world-wide peace camp. On the contrary, we see with our own eyes, that the U.S. imperialists are always seeking war. Even in America the man on the street understands that the monopoly capitalists advocating world domination and their political henchmen, are but a clique of gangsters. As a result, a situation has been created when people who do not belong to this gangster clique cannot count on a place in the civil service unless they show “loyalty” towards fascism under supervision of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. At present U.S. workers are resorting more and more frequently to strike action, despite the orders of the capitalists and the ban on strikes, soldiers are losing their fighting quality and rank-and-file citizens, ever more openly express discontent with the policy of the Government.

The international situation shows most clearly that the international peace camp is a powerful ally of our national-liberation democratic front. Most harmful for us at present is fear of the threats of the occupation troops, the illusions about the “free world” and the attempt to maintain a position of neutrality.

An attempt to rely on American imperialism would be fatal for Japan. This is evident from the past experience of Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini.

The situation in People’s China shows that in the new conditions even capitalists can participate in the national-liberation movement. Consequently, the capitalists in our country must also change their way of thinking.

If we weaken the spirit of resistance to the American occupation troops and the anti-national Yoshida Government, then the reactionaries will, without doubt, become even more brutal. They have already trampled underfoot the Potsdam and Cairo declarations, the Yalta agreement and the decisions of the Far Eastern Commission, which defined occupation policy. They are engaged in various enterprises designed to use the Japanese armed forces, now being rebuilt, in the military operations of Onu troops in Korea, disregarding the fact that this leads to loss of life and destruction of property. They refuse compensation for damage caused by air accidents and accidental bomb explosions, to say nothing of other everyday losses. We must resolutely organise the people’s revolutionary struggle against the reactionary forces in Japan, for the overthrow of the reactionary Yoshida Government which is the moral-political pillar of the occupation regime; we must combat the unlawful actions of the of the U.S. imperialists. If we wage such a resolute struggle, the U.S. imperialists will be forced to retreat and we will achieve victory.

Our programme clearly shows that its basis is struggle for an independent, democratic and peace-loving Japan. This struggle will not be successful unless it is linked with the struggle for the everyday political and economic demands of the working class, the peasantry and the entire people. This struggle will be successful only if it develops on the basis of a close alliance of the workers and peasants who constitute the vast majority of the population of Japan.

The successful struggle of the various sections of the people is bound to develop on the basis of this alliance. Proof of this fact is, incidentally, the appeal of the intelligentsia for struggle against the separate “peace” treaty concocted by America and against the so-called “security pact”.

We resolutely reject the swindling policy of the adventurers who ignore the interests of the workers and peasants. Only by following the course outlined in the Programme will we be able to effect our national-liberation democratic revolution.

The Communist Party of Japan calls, first of all, on the workers, peasants and intelligentsia and also on the small and medium manufacturers and other capitalists to take a most active part in the united national-liberation front and to fight resolutely under the banner of peace and democracy.

December 20, 1951.

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