To Celebrate Birthday of General Secretary Kim Jong Un,
National Seminar on Juche Idea along with Symposium
Held in Okinawa
“National Seminar on Juche Idea for Independence and Peace”
A National Seminar on the Juche Idea for Independence and Peace was held in Naha, Okinawa on January 6, 2024, under the auspices of the Japanese National Liaison Council for the Study of Kimilsung-Kimjongilism.
The number of those who participated in the national seminar and that of those who enjoyed art performances followed by were some 260 in total, including Dr. Ogami Ken-ichi, secretary general of the International Institute of the Juche Idea (IIJI), and other Juche idea researchers from Hokkaido to Okinawa, all over Japan, added by local scholars, progressive people, workers, students and others.
The pamphlet distributed at the national seminar included a message of sympathy sent by President Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs of the DPRK, to the Japanese Prime Minister in response to the Noto Peninsula Earthquake disaster in Japan earlier this year.
It also included a New Year message sent by Prof. Ramon Jimenez Lopez, director general of the IIJI Board, along with the messages of sympathy in response to the Noto Peninsula Earthquake in Japan sent by Prof. Matteo Carbonelli, secretary general of the European Regional Society for the Study of the Juche Idea and Prof. Harish Gupta, director general of the Board of Directors, the Asian Regional Institute of the Juche Idea.
Furthermore, carried on the pamphlet was a message of solidarity to the seminar sent by Dr. Samir Diab, president of the Lebanese Society for the Study of the Juche Idea.
The opening address on behalf of the sponsorship of the national seminar was made by Mr. Sumiya Keizo from Fukushima, who is representative coordinator to the Japanese National Liaison Council for the Study of Kimilsung-Kimjongilism. He said as follows:
“In Japan, where earthquakes occur frequently, I together with others from Fukushima, where the Great East Japan Earthquake caused a devastated nuclear power plant accident in 2011 in particular, have continued to fight against the government policies on promoting nuclear power plants and the business concerned in pursuing its own benefit. However, the reality is that the problems concerned have not yet been solved at all, including the process of eliminating nuclear fuel’s debris that has been left untouched even if 13 years have passed since the accident. On the other hand, it is of great significance to have held this seminar in Okinawa that is confronted with the base problems, while the people are struggling at the front line.”
In the national seminar, three lectures were given by Prof. Emeritus Taira Ken-ichi at Okinawa University entitled “US Base Issues in Okinawa and the Juche Idea;” by Prof. Pak Myong at Korea University in Japan, entitled “DPRK’s Present Position of Socialist and Communist Construction Guided by the Juche Idea;” and by Ms. Gibo Yui, lawyer, entitled “Japan-DPRK Friendship and Our Struggle in Okinawa.”
Professor Taira stated that the fierce Battle of Okinawa was fought under the U.S. strategy of hegemony, and that Okinawa is a microcosm of the contradiction that Japan is submitted to the U.S. under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Japan and the U.S.
He also stressed the importance of understanding the nature of the past wars and correctly grasping the current situation, where war has been used not only for the plunder of goods, but also as a tool for imperialism to dominate other countries. Then he spoke about the prospects for creating a peaceful world without war as follows:
"It depends on the level of the people’s ideological consciousness to create a peaceful and vibrant society. A society that puts the people first or a society of true equality and democracy created by the Juche idea, is one where the people nurture and develop their consciousness and creativity based on a relationship of mutual trust, mutual help, and mutual improvement, and where the nation becomes wealthy through this process, whose wealth is then returned to the masses in an equal measure, which is dynamics of circulation so to speak."
Prof. Pak Myong stated that the germ of the struggle for communism in the DPRK was in the thoughts of President Kim Il Sung, and he explained that the theory of socialist and communist construction based on the Juche idea has been further developed and enriched nowadays under the leadership of General Secretary Kim Jong Un.
The cause of socialist construction begins with the establishment of the socialist regime, then going through the transitional period from capitalism to socialism, achieving the complete victory of socialism, while passing through another transitional period from the complete victory of socialism to the socialist society on the higher level and to the communist society on the much higher level.
“If every sector, unit and region is transformed as required by the three revolutions, this equates precisely to achieving the comprehensive development of socialism and a powerful socialist country, our people’s ideal society, which prospers by dint of self-sufficiency and self-dependence.” (“Let Us Achieve the Comprehensive Development of Socialism by Raising the Flames of the Three Revolutions More Fiercely,” on November 18, 2023)
Communism is not determined only by the amount of material wealth and shared welfare. The main contents of an ideal society would be manifested how much people’s affection, love, and virtue abound in the society, how well people live together, and how high level of moral standards they have reached.
After explaining the several principles of the Juche idea as the basis of the theory of the DPRK’s socialist and communist construction, collectivism as one of the essential qualities of human beings, along with the socio-historical outlook of the Juche idea, Prof. Pak Myong mentioned that the term "communist mother" was used for the first time in the DPRK at the last National Conference of Mothers held in December, 2023, as an indication of the current stage of socialism and communism the DPRK had reached.
Ms. Gibo Yui mentioned that the reason why she, born and raised in Okinawa, became a lawyer was related to the images of her parents and other Okinawan people who had resolutely continued to fight against the growing U.S. bases in Okinawa.
Looking back on why she decided to visit the DPRK and see it with her own eyes whose homeland, Japan, is highly prejudiced against the former country, Ms. Gibo Yui said that she was highly motivated to get to know about the DPRK as it was a beloved country of one of her close friends who was a Korean resident in Japan.
She said that she had not been able to even imagine such a thing before she visited the DPRK, where crops are naturally abundant and people enjoy their peaceful daily lives as they are, and that she had not been able to imagine that at Panmunjom, where she saw an American flag waving, rather than a ROK flag. She thought that it was a shame on herself to have the laxity of her historical understanding as such. Finally, she expressed her aspiration to dedicate herself to the Japan-DPRK friendship movement while maintaining her identity as a native Okinawan.
The closing remarks were made by Mr. Ishikawa Genpei, former chairman of the Okinawa Prefectural Teachers' Union. Reflecting on his own life, he said:
He was one of the first people from Okinawa to visit the DPRK. Okinawa has a history that a large group of people from itself headed by the then Okinawan Governor Ota Masahide visited the DPRK in 2000. Through those visits many of the Okinawan people witnessed the actual development of the DPRK with their own eyes in spite of a say that the country would not be able to stand up with its own strength even in 100 years due to the total destruction during the Korean War. With a sense of obligation as a person who was responsible for the struggle for Okinawa's return to the mainland, stating that he could not pass on to his children and grandchildren the current Okinawa, which is more becoming to be U.S. military bases, he expressed his determination to continue to dedicate himself to the Japan-DPRK friendship activities onwards as in the past.
New Year Art Performances
After the seminar, "New Year Art Performances" was held.
First, an Okinawan duo-group "Tida" sang folk songs and popular songs that are familiar to many people in Okinawa. Their lively voices and storytelling created a warm atmosphere in the hall.
Next, Yaeyama dances were performed.
The audience was also comforted by the Yaeyama dances depicting the life of the common people in Yaeyama, one of Okinawa’s performing arts.
Finally, singer Toyama Yoko performed her repertory of songs and other Japanese popular songs. In memory and gratitude of her mentor, singer Ogasawara Mitsuko, the first chairperson of the Japan-DPRK Association for Exchanges of Music and Arts, who gave her an opportunity to dedicate herself to the Japan-DPRK friendship activities, Toyama Yoko sang a song in the mentor’s repertory.
She also displayed a tanka, a short Japanese poem of 31 syllables, composed by the late Yasui Kaoru, first director general of the IIJI Board with a melody for the first time, that is, “I will hold on to this dream that I have kept throughout my life by trusting my younger ones and paying attention to them to the end.”
Further, while singing some of Japanese popular songs that had been sung among the people for long with all her heart, Toyama Yoko in her narrative encouraged those who had been waging their struggles in difficult circumstances and expressed her determination to move forward together with them in the New Year onwards as in the past.
"Symposium Against Imperialist Aggression and in Solidarity with Palestinian People"
On January 7, 2024, a "Symposium Against Imperialist Aggression and in Solidarity with the Palestinian People" was held in Naha, Okinawa organized by the 21st Century Forum of Independence.
The symposium and art performances followed by were attended by many people from all over Japan, including member of the House of Councilors from Okinawa, academics, and environmental activists.
Its opening address was made by Prof. Emeritus Nakamura Houshin at the University of Okinawa on behalf of the organizer.
Prof. Nakamura explained why he had consistently opposed the basing of U.S. forces in Okinawa as follows.
“As far as I remember, it was around 1970 when the homeland restoration movement of Okinawa was gaining momentum and the anti-Vietnam war movement was on the rise, whereas Japan had already concluded the Security Treaty and the Status of Forces Agreement with the United States in 1960. It was, therefore, predicted in those days that the Okinawa’s homeland restoration movement would further promote the conversion of Okinawa into U.S. military bases. And truly, things turned out as predicted. I thought that the more the basing of U.S. forces in Okinawa was promoted, the more Okinawa would become to be targeted. And also with a thought that we are now in the era of nuclear war, I did not want to be victimized in the nuclear war but I would rather live in a peaceful and sustainable society. This is why I have continued to make my possible effort to prevent war till now.”
He declared the symposium open, saying that he was confident that the symposium would be a good gathering since the program included a screening of a documentary film "The Fate of WARmerica," a lecture by a Palestinian living in Japan, an appeal by the Ainu people, and art performances by Okinawan musicians.
Mr. Takara Tetsumi, member of the House of Councilors from Okinawa, gave a speech as guest of honor.
Mr. Takara stressed that the pillars of the Constitution of Japan, such as the fundamental human rights, popular sovereignty and peace, are being neglected by the government itself, and that Japan is now becoming a war-making nation again. Stating that it was necessary for the Japanese people to pay attention to their history that they had made other countries colonized, prohibiting those people to use their own languages and the like, he emphasized that the Okinawan people who had suffered from the Battle of Okinawa, must stand in solidarity with those who are fighting for the right to independence and the right to existence, based on their own experience.
The symposium began with a screening of the documentary film "The Fate of WARmerica," produced in the ROK to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ceasefire in the Korean War.
Based on historical facts, the film depicts the United States as a country founded by the settlers who came to the America Continent, massacred the indigenous people, and stole their lands. The film also depicts how U.S. imperialism has repeatedly waged wars of aggression and proxy wars in various parts of the world, including the Korean War, the war in Afghanistan, and the proxy war in Ukraine. It also depicts the reality of the rapid collapse of U.S. imperialist hegemony due to people’s struggles and multi-polarization across the world.
At the symposium, Dr. Tasneem Qaqorh, a Palestinian living in Japan, gave a lecture entitled “Palestinian People Fighting for Rights of Independence and Existence”.
She used images and videos based on the historical facts to explain the 75-year history of the dispossession and genocide by Israeli forces for the Palestinian people who had lived on their own land for generations. In particular, she showed the devastation that the Palestinian people had been suffering since the Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank of the Jordan River began on October 7, 2023.
She stated that the misery of the Palestinian people has been attributed to the Zionism-based Israeli government's policy of cleansing the indigenous people, and to the United States and its allied countries that had directly supported the Israeli forces by sending them large quantities of arms and ammunitions.
She also stressed that the Israeli forces were attacking against the Palestinian people, both in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank, and that the Gaza Strip, in particular, surrounded by walls was an open-air prison where all the resources going to, including food, water, and electricity, were totally controlled by the Israeli government.
She ended her lecture by expressing her confidence that the Palestinian people, however, are determined to continue their struggle until they regain their rights of independence and existence.
Next, Mr. Narita Tokuhei, a caller to an Ainu National Congress, delivered “An Appeal by the Ainu." He stated as follows:
From our stand as the Ainu, I strongly express our support to the Palestinian people’s struggle and our solidarity with them. Our hearts are deeply saddened by the grave danger to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and the tremendous sacrifice of their children and women has made us angry and sad in particular. We condemn and protest to the fullest extent the vicious and inhumane military aggression by the Israeli Forces. We affirm that the indiscriminate massacre and endless destruction are 'an unforgivable act of spitting on heaven'."
A resolution was adopted in the name of all the participants at the symposium.
Mr. Kawagoe Toshiro, coordinator to the 21st Century Forum of Independence, gave the closing remarks.
He stated that the two-day seminar and symposium held on January 6 and 7 demonstrated the importance of adhering to independence and establishing independence in all areas, and called on the participants to apply what they had learned from over the last two days to their activities in their own places where they live and work.
The final part of the symposium program was art performances.
It was entitled "Singing for Independence and Peace in Okinawa and the World" by an artist group called "Kina Shokichi & Ginko.
They sang "Islands without Bases", "Hana, Flowers in the Hearts of All People" and other well-received songs amidst the exquisite interplay between the two artists, creating a warm atmosphere in the hall.
In his narrative, Kina Shokichi made a passionate appeal to the audience for peace in Asia and the world from Okinawa, where the locals experienced the Battle of Okinawa along with the lives under the last U.S. military occupation.
* * *
The National Seminar on the Juche Idea along with the Symposium held in Okinawa at the beginning of the year 2024 to celebrate the birthday of General Secretary Kim Jong Un, provided an opportunity for the people aspiring for independence to single-mindedly get united and strengthen the sense of solidarity with other people in the world in order to promote global independence and peace.