The Japanese Communist Movement, 1920-1966

The Japanese Communist Movement, 1920-1966

The Japanese Communist Movement, 1920-1966

The Japanese Communist Movement, 1920-1966

Excerpt

Once again, in the period after 1955, trends in the international Communist movement played a major role in determining events within the Japanese Communist Party. Briefly, let us review the crucial happenings of the 1956-1957 period. In 1956, Khrushchev and his supporters consolidated and advanced their position within the Soviet Union, and, in certain respects, the 20th Party Congress of the CPSU held in February of that year sealed the Khrushchevian victory. In his continuing struggle for power, the Soviet leader had increasingly emphasized two themes: substantial improvements in living standards for the Russian people and an end to terrorism. These themes were developed extensively in the 20th Party Congress, climaxed by the famous secret speech denouncing Stalin.

De-Stalinization had almost immediate repercussions, especially in East Europe. In June the workers' riots occurred in Poznan, and soon Poland was seething with unrest. The resurrection of Wladyslaw Gomulka, previously ousted as a Titoist, and the refusal of the Polish Central Committee to reelect Soviet Marshal Konstantin Rokossovski marked a major challenge to Russian authority. Within a few months the famous Hungarian uprising occurred, and the Russians, after a period of indecision, decided to intervene directly with Soviet troops. Hungarian resistance was crushed in November, but the Russians were placed on the political defensive throughout the world. East Europe was now vibrating with unrest and anti-Russian sentiment.

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