Miyamoto, Kenji 1908–2007

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Miyamoto, Kenji 1908–2007


See index for CA sketch: Born October 17, 1908, in Yamaguchi, Japan; died July 18, 2007, in Tokyo, Japan. Communist party leader and author. As a longtime leader of the Communist party of Japan, Miyamoto rejected both Soviet and Chinese interpretations of Communist theory in favor of a less political and far more economic and social platform. He joined the Japanese Communist party in 1931 and guided it through more than sixty years of ups and downs. For twelve of the early years he led the party from a prison cell, after being convicted of conspiracy to murder (a crime to which he never confessed, and a conviction that was later annulled). After World War II, Miyamoto served as general secretary of the party's Central Committee from 1958 to 1997, except for twelve years from 1958 to 1970 that he spent as chair of the Presidium. Not only did Miyamoto reject the tenets of Soviet and Chinese Communism, including Marxist-Leninist theory; he also rejected the strategy of violent revolution. Miyamoto focused instead on the positive impact of Communism on social conditions such as education and housing. In the late 1950s, Miyamoto was prevented from actively serving his party by then-Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers General Douglas MacArthur, and the party leader never accepted Japan's alliance with the United States. Miyamoto wrote several books in the 1970s, including The Road towards a New Japan (1970), Standpoint of the Communist Party in Japan (1972), Dialogues with Kenji Miyamoto (1972), Interviews with Kenji Miyamoto (1975), and Kenji Miyamoto on Our Time (1975).



Chicago Tribune, July 20, 2007, sec. 2, p. 13.