A party member has been removed from the Japanese Communist Party after he wrote a book calling for JCP leader Kazuo Shii to step down and the introduction of public elections for party leaders.
Hajime Suzuki, 78, a former official of the Kyoto prefectural committee of the party, was removed Thursday.
In the book titled Letter to Chair Kazuo Shii and published by Kamogawa Shuppan, Suzuki said that the Communist Party membership, including Diet members, had fallen by 50% since Shii became chairman.
Suzuki directly criticized Shii in the tome, saying that many party members are calling for his resignation. He also demanded that all party members have a say in leadership elections.
On Friday, the JCP s Shimbun Akahatra mouthpiece newspaper said the party had expelled Suzuki for writing a series of groundless accusations. The same day Suzuki held a press conference and said: Everything I wrote is true. There is no reason to kick me out. At a separate press conference Friday, Democratic Party for the People Secretary General Kazuya Shinba said there was no such thing in our party as getting rid of people because they think differently. In February of this year, the JCP expelled another party member who published a book calling for the JCP's top executive to be chosen through public elections in which all party members have a direct vote.