Concerning the Situation in Japan

(January 8, 1950)

J. V. Stalin

The CPSU (b) after the Second World War was requested by a number of communist parties, including the CP of India, to help clarify programmatic questions in their countries. This Cominform article by Stalin1 played an important part in guiding the Communist Party of Japan much in the same way as the Cominform article of January 27th later in the month had in criticising the ‘Trotskyist-Titoist’ line of socialist revolution supported by the Ranadive leadership of the CPI2. The article of Stalin focussed on the situation in Japan where the US had occupied the country. Equally important was the criticism of the views of Stalin on the political line of Nosaka who had suggested that the American occupation troops were playing a progressive role in Japan which would facilitate the ‘peaceful advance to socialism’ in the country. The views of Stalin in the matter are of importance as they show forcefully the critical views of the Soviet leader on the possibilities of the peacible, national, parliamentary path to socialism. Representatives of the CPSU (b) – Stalin, Molotov, Malenkov and Grigorian – met the leadership of the Communist Party of Japan – the General Secretary K. Tokuda, S. Nosaka, R. Nishizawa and S. Hakamada – in the Spring and Summer of 1951 in three meetings and discussed further the programmatic perspectives of the party. (In the third meeting the ambassador of People’s China, Wang Jiaxiang, and his translator were also present.) An account of these exchanges has been given by the interpreter at this meeting, N. B. Adyrkhayev.3 A memoir also exists by Satomi Hakamada, who was in a minority in these discussions.4 During the course of the first meeting Stalin noted that the situation in the Japanese communist party was much the same as the CPI which had gone to pieces. The draft of the new party programme was prepared in Moscow by the Japanese leaders. The New Programme was published in the journal ‘Bolshevik’ in November,1951.5

After the failure of the predatory plans of the American imperialists in China and Korea, the State Department and U. S. militarists focussed their main attention on Japan as the principal base for military ventures against the Soviet Union and the democratic movement in the countries of Asia.

Above all, they try, by means of various groundless pretexts, to delay the signing of a peace treaty with Japan, and, in this way, to legalise a long term stay of the American army there.

With the help of their army and Japanese reaction, the American invaders seek to suppress the democratic movement, to smash the Communist Party and trade unions and to become the real masters of Japan. Even now Japan’s entire political and economic life is directed by the American militarists. Japanese economy is completely subordinated to the U. S. monopolies and is placed at the service of the aggressive plans of American imperialism. The Americans, carrying out widespread construction work on air and naval bases on Japanese territory, expanding the munitions industry, and re-arming the Japanese militarists, are turning the country into a base ifor military ventures.

In an interview with a correspondent of the London “Daily Mail” on March 2nd 1949, McArthur declared outright that the U. S. had long since regarded Japan at a new springboard and were engaged in considerable work in this respect.

On Okinawa, he went on, “I have laid out 25 airfields, capable of ensuring 3,500 flights daily by our heaviest bombers... The Pacific is now an Anglo-Saxon lake.”

In this way the political and economic situation of Japan is completely determined by the aggressive policy of the United States and by the actions of the American occupation authorities arising therefrom.

Pursuing a policy of reviving Japanese imperialism and militarisation of the country, the American authorities in Japan, with the help of Japanese reaction, are waging a ceaseless onslaught against the interests of the working people, destroying democratic organisations and practising on a wide scale the policy of sending spies and provocateurs into the trade unions and organisations of the Communist Party.

Having seized the main Japanese monopolies, the American capitalists control some 85 per cent of Japan’s economy. Nor are the Japanese capitalists lagging behind. Nearly 40 per cent of the 1949 budget appropriations were allocated to subsidise the big monopolies. Taxes paid by this group of Japanese capitalists account for a mere 3.6 per cent of the revenue, while taxes paid by the population account for 73 per cent of the revenue. In this way the working people of Japan are doubly exploited. And despite the demagogy with which the American imperialists try to screen themselves, the colonising and militarist nature of their actions in Japan is obvious.

The American journal “Pacific News-Week” frankly declared that the main object of the new plan of the United States is to turn Japan into a military-industrial anti-Soviet bastion. The Japanese newspaper “Mainitsi Simbun” likewise expressed its satisfaction that “Japan is now in the front line of the struggle against Communism”.

Despite the fact that American policy in Japan flagrantly contradicts the Potsdam decisions concerning the democratisation and demilitarisation of Japan and is a policy of an all-out offensive against the economic and political rights of the Japanese people, the Japanese Government gives full support to the American colonising plans. Hence, the reviving of militarist Japan and the suppression of the democratic movement has long been the common aim and basis of the bloc of Japanese reactionaries with American imperialists.

Apart from the common aims, each of the partners of the bloc is trying to realise his own plans. Japanese reaction is utilising United States’ interest in Japan as an ally to bolster its political influence in the country, while the American imperialists are using the Japanese reactionaries as a tool with the help of which it will be easier to smash the democratic organisations and establish complete political and economic domination in Japan, to turn the country into a base for military ventures and the Japanese people into cannon fodder.

In these conditions it is imperative for the working people of Japan to have a clear programme of action.

The organisations of the Communist Party, the trade unions and all democratic forces in the country should rally the working people, daily expose the colonising plans of the foreign imperialists in Japan and the treacherous, anti-people’s role of Japanese reaction. They should wage a resolute struggle for the independence of Japan, for the establishment of a democratic and peace-loving Japan, for the immediate conclusion of a just peace treaty, for the speedy withdrawal of American troops from Japan and to ensure lasting peace between the peoples.

The leaders of the working people and people’s patriots of Japan should realise that Japan can arise and become a great, independent power only if she renounces imperialism and imperialist alliances, if she takes the path of democracy and Socialism, if she follows the line of peaceful development and the strengthening of peace between peoples. Either Japan takes this path—which will be her salvation—or she does not, and then she will be forced to become a miserable tool in the hands of world imperialism, deprived of freedom and independence and doomed to stagnation.

But, as the facts show, the statements of certain leaders of the Communist Party of Japan are not directed towards the successful carrying out of these important tasks. They do not understand this programme and give wrong orientation to the working people of Japan in the complex

situation that has arisen in the country.

Thus, for instance, Nosaka (Okano), one of the leading figures in the Communist Party of Japan, analysing Japan’s external and internal political situation, endeavoured to prove that all the necessary conditions are at hand in post-war Japan for effecting the peaceful transition to Socialism, even under conditions of the occupation regime, and further alleged that this “is the naturalisation of Marxism-Leninism on Japanese soil”. (Nosaka, Report to Second Conference of the Communist Party of Japan, January 1947).

As for the occupation army, this army, in the opinion of Nosaka, far from hindering the aims of the Japanese Communist Party will, on the contrary, in pursuing its mission, facilitate the democratisation of Japan.

“The stay of Allied troops is aimed at disarming Japan and. at the same time, at liberating the people from a totalitarian policy, at making Japan a democratic country. In occupying Japan, the Allied troops have no intention of turning our country into a colony.”

According to Nosaka, the Communist Party of Japan can, even under conditions of the occupation regime, lead the working class to power:

“The possibility has arisen”, Nosaka declared, “that proletarian parties, by winning a majority in Parliament, might be able to form their own government and take political power into their hands by destroying the bureaucratic apparatus and its forces. In other words, the possibility has arisen of winning power by parliamentary, democratic methods”.

In June 1949, Nosaka again emphatically claimed in his report to the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Japan, that the establishment of a people’s democratic government under conditions of an occupation regime is without question, quite possible.

“The occupation troops will be withdrawn the moment such a government is established”.

Thus, Nosaka went so far as to utter the bourgeois platitude that, even with American occupation troops in the country, it is possible for Japan peacefully to go over direct to Socialism. Nosaka had expressed such views earlier. For instance, in the draft manifesto of the Communist Party prepared by him, and later in an article printed in the bourgeois newspaper “Mainitsi Simbun” in May 1946, Nosaka claimed: “With the support of the majority of the people arid relying on the efforts of the people themselves, the Party intends, by peaceful, democratic means, to develop the social system into a more perfected system compared with capitalism, namely, into a Socialist system”.

Nosaka’s viewpoint, that the American occupation troops in Japan are, allegedly, playing a progressive role, that they are helping in the “peaceful revolution” along the path of Japan’s development towards Socialism, misleads the Japanese people and helps the foreign imperialists to turn Japan into a colonial appendage of foreign imperialism, into a new centre of war in the East.

Nosaka’s attempt to invent a “new” theory, the “naturalisation” of Marxism-Leninism in Japanese conditions, as he puts it, the theory to the effect that after World War Two the conditions were created in Japan, and this under the undivided domination of foreign imperialist authorities, for the peaceful development of Japan into a Socialist country—all this “naturalisation” of Marxism-Leninism is nothing more than a Japanese variation of the anti-Marxist and anti-Socialist “theory” of the peaceful growing over of reaction to democracy, of imperialism into Socialism, a “theory” which was exposed long ago and which is alien to the working class.

Nosaka’s “theory” is the theory of embellishing the imperialist occupation of Japan, the theory of boosting American imperialism and. consequently, a theory of deception of the popular masses in Japan.

As we see, Nosaka’s “theory” has nothing whatever in common with Marxism-Leninism. Actually, Nosaka’s theory” is an anti-democratic, antiSocialist theory. It serves only the imperialist occupiers in Japan and the enemies of the independence of Japan. Consequently, the Nosaka “theory” is, simultaneously, an anti-patriotic, anti-Japanese theory.


For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy
January 8, 1950.


1. The authorship of Stalin of this article on the situation of Japan is confirmed by the former Cominform worker Alexey Vladimirovich Romanov in his article: “Nashumevshiye stranitsy Kholodnoy voyny” / “Kholodnaya voyna: Sem’ let na peredovoy (zapiski zhurnalista- mezhdunarodnika)”.

2. ‘Mighty Advance of the National Liberation Struggle in the Colonial and Dependent Countries', For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy, 27th January 1950.

3. Adyrkhayev, N. ‘Vstrecha Stalina s Yaponskimi Kommunistami, in Problemy dal’nego vostoka No. 2, 1990, pp.140-44.

4. Excerpts from a chapter, ‘‘The fateful meeting at Kuntsevo,” in Satomi Hakamada’s Watahino sengoshi, (My Postwar History), Asahi, Tokyo, 1978, 93-102. (Translation in seven pages from the Japanese by David Wolff).

5. ‘Blizhayeshie trebovania Kommunistticheskoye Partii Yaponii’, Novaia Programma’, Bol’shevik No. 22, Noyabr’, 1951, pp.57-63. The English edition of this is available in the section on People’s Democracy in Japan in the Archival Materials section of the website of the journal Revolutionary Democracy:

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