Japanese marxism

   Marxism has failed to gain significant support in Japan despite the country having had a large urban working class and having been at the forefront of technological development since World War II. The Japanese Communist Party (JCP; Nihon Kyosanto) was formed in 1922 and delegates from it attended Second International meetings. It was a tiny, illegal organization and suffered from government repression until 1945. Allowed to participate in the 1946 elections it gained over two million votes and won five seats in the lower house. The Korean War saw the suppression of the party, but after the mid-1950s it was made legal once more and participated in elections and mainstream politics. Under Kenji Miyamoto the JCP pursued a gradualist, electoralist approach and gained a degree of success. The JCP is the largest Marxist organization in Japan, gaining 29 lower house seats in 1980 and with as many as 465,000 members in 1985, but electoral support has not exceeded the 11 percent reached in 1972. The party has in part based its appeal on a nationalism that has included an anti-Americanism and that has stressed the party’s independence from both Soviet and Chinese communism.
   Marxist theory has had a major impact in Japan from the 1920s, and Marxist debates in Japan were conducted at a sophisticated level drawing on the German linguistic capabilities of its thinkers, their overseas experience and the position of Japan as the first major non- Western capitalist nation. Marxism was the dominant influence on postwar Japanese economics and history, and early postwar government economic policies were developed by Marxist economists. At present, Japanese Marxist economics is divided into four groups: the Koza faction, the Rono faction, the Civil Society faction (regulation theory), and Marxian quantitative theory group. Marxism continues to be a strong influence in Japanese academic circles.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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