News From Japan and the World

John Manning presents the latest in his regular roundup of news from the world’s second largest industrial power.

In this unjust, you could say cannibalistic, capitalist system, not the  people and their needs are important, not the ability to produce of the availability of raw materials  -  but the profit coming to those few individuals who have got possession of the land and the factories and the materials from allowing them to be used by the producing individuals. This primitive and backwards, top-down way of doing things is responsible for all the confusion, the want, and the wars to maintain control, create waste and redivide the earth. Back when what we now call "science"  had been born and was opening up great possibilities of influencing and using nature for the benefit of humanity, the laws of human society as well as those of nature were being discovered. The predatory elements in society eagerly made use of the discoveries of the laws of nature and, true to their tendencies, used them to enrich themselves and gain more power.  But the laws of society, which showed the limitations of this way of managing things and pointed to the necessity of using the new powers in common to advance all humanity, were not to their liking and they used all their efforts and the wealth and position they had appropriated to obscure, deny and to even erase them from human consciousness.

 

These primitive predators have maintained their dominance up to the present and have turned science to the production of means of  destruction to the point where they can destroy human life entirely, while they have wasted the resources of the planet and starved its people in their frenzy to extract more and more for the fewer and fewer who have acceded to control. This is the history of our species, which advanced from the ability to use tools to the ability to communicate, record, and so accumulate "knowledge".  Its success will now destroy it, if the productive tendency of the species does not bring the predatory tendency under control.

Getting down to some specifics, let’s first take a look at what the Japanese Communist Party has to say about some of the appalling things we are witnessing on the international stage at the dawn of this new millennium.

  Though the government in Japan, like all other capitalist governments right now, is completely servile, following the Bush administration's war policy at every step, there exist s in Japan a powerful force for democracy, led by the JCP and reaching 2 million daily through the newspaper Akahata and supporting the JCP representatives in the legislature and street and community activity, all steadily putting the truth before the public and exposing the danger of the government's policy.  In spite of Japanese monopoly and menacing U.S. military occupation the movement resists and grows.

Faced with the overwhelming destructive military force mustered by the great corporations and banks which control our government and the others, this is a course of non-violent resistance and reason which can be followed in all countries, including ours,, which, if it becomes widespread, will join the peoples in resistance, stop the killing, and in the end, force disarmament  -  since the governments only carry out their aggression and repression through the consent of their deceived and misinformed people.

Copied here from the JCP web page (http://www.japan-press.co.jp) are two factual and reasoned statements, the Akahata editorial, and the statement by Director of International Affairs Yasuo Ogata on the murderous Israeli war on the Palestinian people

Israel must stop military attacks -- Akahata editorial, December 19, 2001

Israel's Sharon government has denounced the Palestinian Authority as a terrorist support group and declared that it would cut off contacts with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, thus prosecuting a de facto war against the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli forces have occupied part of Palestinian territory, causing heavy casualties to Palestinians.

Israel must stop trying to kill Oslo Accords

Military attacks carried out by the Israeli government will only help to spoil the way opened by the 1993 Oslo Accords toward peaceful coexistence and the negotiated settlement of the problem.

Even after President Arafat called for an end to all forms of terrorism and pledged to crack down on those who act against his call, Israel has not stopped attacking. This clearly shows that Israel will continue to deny the Palestinian people's right to national self-determination and impose its military rule on the Palestinian people.

The present situation is very serious in that the U.N. resolutions which have defined the basic framework of the settlement of the question of Palestine and the Oslo accord are being endangered.

In his speech at the December 7 JCP Diet (i.e. parliament – ed.) members general meeting, Japanese Communist Party Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo strongly criticized the Israeli government for directly targeting the Palestinian Authority in military attacks by labeling it a terrorist support group. He stated that the Israeli action amounts to bringing in illegitimacy to international politics in the name of a response to terrorist attacks.

The JCP strongly demands that the Israeli government relinquish their policy of trying to destroy the Oslo Accords, and immediately halt military attacks.

International community must not tolerate illegitimate actions

The Japanese Communist Party has long been calling for a just settlement of the Palestine question, the right of national self-determination for Palestinians, including the establishment of an independent state, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all occupied territories, and the establishment of conditions for the peaceful coexistence of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel recognizing each other's right to exist and not calling for the destruction of the other.

In the 1970s, there were calls prevailing for the destruction of Israel, but the JCP rejected them and maintained that Israel's right to exist as a sovereign state should be recognized. Expressing its clear opposition to acts of terrorism that indiscriminately kill and injure citizens, the JCP consistently called for the coexistence of a Palestinian sovereign state and Israel.

The JCP view has since taken root internationally as the main direction towards settling the question of Palestine. In 1993 Israel and the PLO produced the Oslo Accords. Notwithstanding some problems involved, it called for direct dialogue and mutual recognition of the right to exist. This is important and is in accord with the JCP position.

The present Israeli military action is intended to undermine the basis of the Oslo Accords and its positive elements conducive to a settlement. It amounts to denying the framework for a Middle East peace and leading to a new Middle East war. The international community will never tolerate Israel's illegitimate action from the viewpoint of seeking a just settlement of the question of Palestine and peace in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

No justification for Israel's acts of war

The U.S. government is backing Israel's outrageous action, which must be condemned severely. Past U.S. governments always defended Israel on the question of Palestine. On December 15, the United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that called for a monitoring organization to be established in order to protect the Palestinian people by preventing violence from taking place between Israel and the PLO.

The Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has declared war on terrorism just as the United States has done in Afghanistan against international terrorism. He has used the need to oppose terrorism as a justification for Israel's military attacks against the Palestinian Authority.

Since September 2000, when the Palestinian situation took a turn for the worse, the JCP has made its position known, that it is opposed to either terrorism or military attacks, calls on both sides to show restraint, stop the cycle of terrorism and retaliation, and put the question on the right track toward a peaceful settlement. Today, the JCP more strongly maintains this view. At the same time, the JCP denounces the position of the Israeli government as untenable because it refuses to acknowledge the existence of the Palestinian Authority under the pretext that terrorism is emerging and thus justifies its war against the Palestinian Authority.

The JCP again calls on the Israeli government to immediately stop its military attacks

Halt Israeli military attacks now

-- Interview with JCP International Bureau Director Ogata

The Israeli government led by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon branded the Palestine Authority as a supporter of terrorists, and suspended its contacts with Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestine Authority. The Israeli forces occupied part of autonomous districts, causing heavy casualties among Palestinian citizens.

Ogata Yasuo, Japanese Communist Party International Bureau director, discussed the present critical situation relating to the question of Palestine in an interview published in Akahata Sunday Edition of December 23.

Q: What is your view on the present situation?

Ogata: The serious aspect is that the Israeli military attacks are directly aimed at the Palestine Authority.

In 1993, through the mediation of the Norwegian foreign minister, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) reached the Oslo Accords, which stipulates that the problem should be settled through direct dialogue toward peaceful coexistence. Along with the United Nations resolutions which called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied areas, the Oslo Accords have been the basic framework for settling the question of Palestine .

The Israeli attacks will overturn this framework for a peaceful settlement of the Palestine question.

Drawing lessons from Israel's military control of Palestine that has caused heavy casualties for many years on both sides, and resolving that there should be no more victims, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords paving the way for achieving peace through dialogue in response to international calls for peace in the Middle East.

The Israeli government is acting with the attitude of rejecting all negotiations and carrying out massive retaliation against terrorist attacks. This is an outrageous action that will quickly destroy the Middle East peace process.

PLO Chairman Arafat called for all acts of terrorism to be ended, and declared a crackdown on offenders. Notwithstanding this, Israel is carrying on military attacks. By this, the Israeli government denies the Palestine people's right of national self-determination and establishes its military control over the Palestinians.

JCP Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo at the JCP Diet members assembly on December 7 criticized Israel for labeling the Palestine Authority as an organization supporting terrorism and then attacking them. He criticized the Israeli move for bringing into international politics the illegitimate attitude that any action is tolerable as long as it is labeled "anti-terrorist."

We demand that the Israeli government end its illegitimate moves to scrap the Oslo Accords and immediately end the military attacks.

Q. The question of Palestine has always been a major issue in international politics. How has the JCP dealt with it?

O. In calling for a just solution to the question of Palestine, we have said that the Palestinian people's right to national self-determination, including the right to establish an independent state must be recognized. We have demanded that Israel withdraw from all occupied territories and that Palestine and Israel stop calling for each other's destruction and seek to establish conditions for their peaceful coexistence.

We have never joined the call for the destruction of Israel or supported the view that rejects the existence of the Israeli state; nor have we supported any terrorist activity involving the indiscriminate murder of citizens. We have proposed the idea of coexistence that naturally calls for recognition of the right of Israel to exist as a state.

In the past, this JCP stance was in the minority at international conferences. It was very difficult to maintain this position at that time.

But later, our proposal came to be recognized as the starting point for the settlement of the question of Palestine and has been accepted internationally. For example, when the Oslo Accords were concluded, all parties concerned agreed to seek the coexistence of the Israelis and the Palestinians as well as improve dialogue between them. Although the Oslo Accords contain several problems, its basic direction based on dialogue and the acceptance of each other's right to exist coincides with the JCP's consistent position.

The peace process has been made possible by the efforts of the international community. The task now is for the international community to raise its voice and join efforts to fight against Israel's outrageous acts in order to protect the peace process in the Middle East and the world.

Q. What do you think of the U.S. attitude?

We strongly criticize the U.S. government for supporting the outrageous acts of Israel.

The U.S. government has consistently supported the Israeli government and expressed support for this brutal military attacks by the Sharon administration. The United States vetoed the U.N. Security Council resolution which called for the establishment of a monitoring system to prevent violence between Israel and the Palestinian people and protect the Palestinians.

The Sharon government has insisted that the United States is carrying out a war in Afghanistan against international terrorists and therefore Israel would do the same. Taking advantage of the U.S. excuse in continuing attacks on Afghanistan, Israel is taking an even more reckless attitude toward the Palestinians.

 

Since September 2000, as the Palestinian situation has become worse, the JCP has expressed opposition to both terrorist attacks and retaliations, and called on the two sides to show restraint so that the cycle of terror attacks and retaliations be ended and the problems be discussed in the direction toward a peaceful solution. Our position hasn't changed.

 

I want to emphasize that under the present situation the Israeli government's policy of ignoring the Palestinian Authority under the pretext of continuing terrorist activities by the Palestinians and of justifying the war against the Palestinian Authority is impermissible, as it goes against the principles of peace in the Middle East and international justice.

Meanwhile, back home in Japan…

20 major companies dismiss 17,000 workers, while hoarding 2.6 trillion yen in 2001

Of Japan's 20 major corporations which cut more than 17,000 jobs from April 2000 to March 2001, 17 maintained or even increased their internal reserve of funds accumulated through tax breaks and other means.

These are some of the figures which the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) published based on its analysis of major corporations' financial reports released at the end of March 2001.

Zenroren calls on its member unions to increase the struggle against corporate restructuring and in defense of the living conditions of the people as a major task in next year's Spring Struggle.

What are called "internal reserves" of the 20 corporations reached 36.9 trillion yen in the fiscal year ending in March 2001, up 2.6 trillion yen from the previous year. The total increase exceeds the figures marked in 1992-1993 and 1993-1994, up 2 and 3 trillion yen respectively, covering all corporations capitalized at more than 1 billion yen, which in 1981 accumulated a total of 36 trillion yen as internal reserves.

Only three companies, including the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, have lowered internal reserves.

Also, only five among the 20 corporations increased the number of employees, which include Yamato Transport (8,400 personnel) and Toyota Motor Co. (5,000). Both Nissan and telecommunications giant NTT Corp. added 500billion yen as internal reserves respectively, but Nissan reduced its workforce by 12,000 and NTT by 8,700.

Ten companies, which enjoyed an increase in internal reserves, reduced the number of employees by 29,000.

As regards why these 20 companies succeeded in increasing their internal reserves, Zenroren says, "Restructuring through personnel cuts, corporate reorganization, and drastic cuts in unit prices of supplies from subcontractors is the source of the increase. By pushing ahead with further restructuring plans, major corporations are attempting to sustain the high profit system even under the recession."

"Main slogans in the 2002 Spring Labor Offensive must be 'stop corporate restructuring, and defend the employment and living conditions of theworkers'," Zenroren appeals.

John Manning adds:

The killing won't stop, in fact it will get worse, until the world, but we of the United States first of all, make a turn toward a cooperative society and away from the present "adversarial", combative, all-out competitive society of capital, where wealth is power and power is wealth.

The truth is that terrorism is an inherent part of of capital and capitalism through which it maintains its control over labour in all its forms, from the subtle hint to a writer that `that material is not printable' to starvation of the poor  and present torture of prisoners and the earlier practice of breaking their bones on a wheel and exposing them to die in the public square as a lesson to all.

Terrorism can't be ended without ending private property of the means of production and livelihood, and can't even be controlled without controlling capitalism, ours first of all.

A beginning has to be made of a change.  Killing has become too easy, with "daisy-cutters" and "improvements" on Hiroshima.  And that is what the JCP and its work is, a beginning, of endless, persistent, over-all work for a rational, human policy.

An HTML edition of the JCP Central Committee 3rd Plenum is available at

http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jps_weekly/3rdPlenum2001.html