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JCP To Attend Diet Opening Ceremony For 1st Time In Decades

TOKYO, JAPAN - DEC. 24: Members of the Japanese Communist Party will attend the opening ceremony of a Diet session for the first time in nearly 70 years next month, JCP leader Kazuo Shii said Thursday. The members will take part in the Jan. 4 opening ceremony of the upcoming 150-day regular Diet session, reversing the party's policy of not attending on grounds the emperor's presence at the event is unconstitutional. The plan, conveyed Thursday morning by Shii to House of Representatives Speaker Tadamori Oshima, is considered to be part of the JCP's "pragmatic" approach taken recently. The party announced this fall it will freeze its policy demanding abolishment of the Japan-U.S. security treaty. Shii said at a press conference the same day that JCP members will from now on be present at the ceremony. "The emperor's remarks at the ceremonies have borne no problems under the Constitution for the past more than 30 years," he said, referring to the brief remarks that have become ceremonial. JCP members have refrained from attending the opening ceremonies, saying the emperor attends them despite the Constitution's failure to include the duty as one of his "acts in matters of state." The JCP had considered the emperor's attendance as a "legacy from the period when the emperor's rescript was bestowed at the Imperial Diet," according to a JCP official. The JCP argues the ceremony is still conducted in a style similar to that in the Imperial Diet under the pre-World War II Meiji Constitution and will continue to require changes, according to the party. An opening ceremony has been held at the main hall of the House of Councillors shortly after a Diet session is convened. According to the JCP's public relations department, the party has not attended the opening ceremony at least since the late 1970s.
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Clip #:
Kyodo News
Date created:
December 24, 2015
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Not released. More information
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Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Mastered to:
QuickTime 8-bit Photo-JPEG HD 1920x1080 29.97p
Kyodo News
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