• Short Summary

    Japan's Communist party opened a special convention near Tokyo on Wednesday (28 July), hoping to overcome public distrust of its policies in preparation for two important elections.

  • Description

    LV ZOOM OUT INTERIOR Officials take their places on platform to applause (2 shots)

    LV & CU Chairman Kenji Miyamoto speaking (2 shots)

    CU General Secretary Tetsuo Fuwa listening

    LV ZOOM OUT Miyamoto finishes speaking to applause

    LV EXT Right wing propaganda buses arrive with loud speakers

    CU Policeman taking notes

    CU Speaker on right win bus with others (2 shots)

    CU & LV Police watch as buses drive off (2 shots)

    The convention comes at a time when the recent revival of a 42-year-old case involving Mr. Miyamoto has clouded the Communist image. He had ben jailed for 12 years in connection with the death of a Communist party member, who was alleged by the Communists to have been a police spy when the party was illegal. Mr. Miyamoto was released after the war and officially cleared. But Mr. Ikko Kasuga, chairman of the small anti-Communist Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) has called for a review of the case.

    Initials BB/1750

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Japan's Communist party opened a special convention near Tokyo on Wednesday (28 July), hoping to overcome public distrust of its policies in preparation for two important elections. The first is for the Lower House of Representatives and the second and more crucial involves voting for the Upper House of Councillors.

    SYNOPSIS: It's the party's first special convention since the second World War and a major aim will be to assert its independence of Moscow and Peking. It will also pass measures aimed at enhancing the party's electoral standing, with emphasis on democratic processes. The chairman of the party praesidium is Mr. Kenji Miyamoto. He has taken a fairly flexible stand on a possible move by the convention to replace the term "Marxist-Leninism" with "Scientific Socialism" in the manifesto. He has said that what Lenin, Engels and Marx may have said half a century ago was not necessarily universal, but "included particular comments against the social background of their time."
    Mr. Miyamoto has stressed that Japan is now a highly industrialised country in which 70 per cent of the employed population are workers, compared with 10 per cent of Russia's population at the time of the 1917 Revolution. His party is also expected to delete the traditional and controversial phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" as the term dictatorship implies lack of electorial freedom. It will be replaced with what the party calls a similar formula, "the power of the working class".

    The Communists say there is little freedom for non affluent people in Japan and its declaration will say freedom of speech and religion, human rights, private property of workers and a multi-party political system would be guaranteed under Communist rule. The party is now Japan's second largest opposition party after obtaining five and a half million votes in the last general election. In recent years it has steered an independent and flexible line after violent Communis agitation in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1958 it renounced force as an instrument of policy and pledged its independence from Moscow and Peking.

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