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Thursday, July 17, 2003

JCP forced to admit to more public drinking rules

Staff writer

Top executives of the Japanese Communist Party were embarrassed again Wednesday following a newspaper report revealing an internal party document that strictly outlines the behavior of party members when they drink outside their homes.

The party had earlier denied the existence of such a document.

According to the Wednesday edition of the Sankei Shimbun, the notice stipulates that prefectural-level branches of the party must "take immediate measures to improve the situation" if a party member is found to be regularly drinking outside their home or frequenting a particular drinking hole.

The central committee of the JCP distributed the notice to the branches in December 1991, according to the report.

Kazuo Shii, chairman of the JCP's Executive Committee, admitted at a news conference at the Diet building that the document does exist. However, the notice is no longer valid, according to Shii, as "the situation has changed."

Shii was unable to say when or why the party declared the paper invalid.

The JCP's inconsistent accounts of its rules surrounding the consumption of alcohol began July 2, when Shii told reporters that a party code prohibits members at the head office in Tokyo from drinking outside their homes.

Soon after, Shii withdrew the remark, claiming the rule is a nonbinding, "voluntary understanding" among party members. The rule has never been put down on paper, he said.

But on July 8, the Sankei revealed that a 1970 internal document did in fact set out such a rule. It was titled "To crash any enemy attacks and raise awareness for the defense of the party."

Shii admitted July 14 the 1970 document does exist, saying that in the 1970s, the security police often shadowed party members and tried to steal internal documents when they were intoxicated.

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The Japan Times

Article 3 of 15 in National news

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