Members of Japanese Communist Party are increasing by 1000 every month since last year

According to Yomiuri Online, members of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) are increasing by about 1000 every month since last year. The number of the JCP members was 500,000 in 1990, but it decreased in the 1990s, reaching 380,000-400,000 in the early 2000s. However, it has started to increase again since last year. Most of the new members are young people in their 20s and 30s who are the so-called "working poor".

As a related note, Sankei Shimbun reported on May 14 that a classic proletarian novel "Kanikousen (蟹工船)", or Crab-canning Boat, is selling surprisingly well this year. Kanikousen depicts hardship of laborers working on a crab-canning boat. Although the laborers in the novel initially endure the hardship, they go on strike in the end. The author Takiji Kobayashi (小林多喜二) who published this novel in 1929 was killed by the Special High Police, a police section of the Imperial Japan that was specialized to political crimes, in 1933 as a member of the communist party that was illegal at the time.

The JCP was legalized after WWII, but, in the early 1950s, it tried to achieve armed revolution of Japan, resulting in the loss of support from Japanese mass. It abandoned the policy of armed revolution in the late 1950s, but that change in policy resulted in the withdrawal of many members. One of the members who withdrew from JCP at the time was Susumu Nishibe (西部邁) who is now known as a conservative critic. Present JCP is a party supporting parliamentary democracy. A number of politicians supported by JCP were elected as governors and mayors in the 1970s, but influence of JCP in Japanese politics had been declining.