Main ISR Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

International Socialist Review, Summer 1960


Letter from Japan


From International Socialist Review, Vol.21 No.3, Summer 1960, p.77.
Transcription & mark-up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Dear Comrades:

Thank you very much for the Militant and the International Socialist Review. They are of great help in our work and are being used especially to enlighten our young recruits ... The Japanese Revolutionary Communist League (JRCL) is slowly but very steadily growing. JRCL was active in the May Day demonstrations in which 600,000 workers participated in Tokio alone. Together with the other groups of Zengakuren (National Student Council active in the current anti-US struggle) we joined the demonstration with our huge red banner, THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL, in letters of white ...

Most of our members are university students and graduates, almost all of them being former members of the Communist party. Although the number of factory workers in our League is still relatively small, we already have strong and active connection with a number of unions.

On our policy towards the students: At the national conference of Zengakuren in June 1958, JRCL, together with the Communist League (a left centrist group which was expelled from the CP), ousted the Stalinist leaders from office. This bloc held the leadership until last year. When the JRCL was compelled to concentrate its efforts on the worker’s movement, the Communist League succeeded in wresting the leadership from us ... This year in order to suppress the mounting criticism against them among the mass of students, the CL, trampling on all democratic procedure, removed eight of our members from the Executive Committee of Zengakuren. They then held an extraordinary national conference with only their faction represented. We are preparing for a struggle at the coming annual conference around the issue of democracy within Zengakuren.

Zengakuren is now divided into three groups: the Communist League, JRCL and the Yagogi group.

The Yagogi group is affiliated with the CP but is very critical towards the Stalinist leadership. With the recent growth of CP influence among the workers, this group is apparently increasing its membership. But with the growth of CP influence, the discontent within the lower organizations of the CP is also growing. The CP is planning to hold its postponed conference this coming October. At the last conference the Stalinist leaders were unable to pass their proposed party program owing to the vigorous criticism from the ranks. Student communists played an important role in the criticism ...

Discussion on party program will intensify within the Yagogi group it is expected and the sharpest discussion will take place over the policy of “peaceful coexistence.” We are unfolding our propaganda among these students, counterposing the policy of international socialist revolution to the Stalinist policy of peaceful coexistence

The opposition within the CP holds strong positions on the following points:

  1. It is for the socialist revolution while the Stalinists call for a National Emancipation-Democratic Revolution.
  2. It emphasizes the workers’ struggles against monopoly capitalism while the Stalinists emphasize the “struggle against feudalism.”
  3. It tries to develop influence within the mass movement, especially the labor movement, while the Stalinists concentrate on the party apparatus.

The opposition has its main strength in the industrial areas. Fortunately we have some forces in the trade unions and by promoting united actions in the class struggle we extend our influence among the workers and at the same time develop our contact with the opposition in the CP.

Tokyo, June 1960

Top of page

Main ISR Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on: 5 May 2009