Short History of the Japan Left (9)

Iwao Kitamura ikita at
Mon Sep 11 20:53:49 MDT 1995

I would like to write about JSP today.

I wrote about the re-unification of JSP in the 3rd post of this
serie. That was 1955.
I also wrote the defeat of "structural reformism" inside the party
around 1960 in my 4th post.
So I continue from here.
1966 was the year when Japan Socialist Party adopted the marxist
programme named "Japan's way to socialism". In this programme,
JSP adopted the strategy of non-armed revolution. Our Socialist
Association is not satisfied with it, however. Because the programme
lacked of more concrete and scientific concept of socialism.
For example, it hadn't cantained a concept of proletarian
dictatership at first. This was added as an answer of the chair of
the theoritical committee at the party conference.
But I can say that programme was in line with marxism. It seeks
the united front of "Anti-monopolistic capitalism". This means
cooperations with the communist party and other left organisations
in practice.
As I wrote in the previous report, right wingers began to attack
SA in mid '70s and try to regulate it. Finally, the rule of the
party was changed to give an advantage for right wingers. For
example, dietwomen/men become automatically delegates of the party
conference, etc.
Soon a change of the programme came. "Japan's way to socialism" was
changed to revisionistic "Project of socialism" in early '80s. This
programme abandoned marxist idea and revolution. It emphasized
anti-LDP coalition with Democratic Socialist Party and Komei Party.
Then came more reformistic "The New Declaration" in the late '80s.
This "Declaration" was a declaration of abandoning socialism.
It also admit the coalition with conservatives. And the party changed
its english name from Japan Socialist Party to Social Democratic Party
of Japan. But the japanese name has been unchanged as Japan Socialist
Party if directly translated.

to be continued...
Iwao Kitamura
a member of theoritical study group
Socialist Association (Japan)
E-mail : ikita at
personal web:

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