Foreign News: Communist Collapse

In 1949 the Japanese Communist Party was at its peak: 200,000 claimed members, working control of Japanese unions, 3,000,000 votes in the Diet elections.

Then the Red organizers overreached themselves. A wave of Communist tax riots and wildcat strikes shocked Japanese. Communists were suspected of murdering Railways President Sadanori Shimoyama. As U.S.-sponsored economic policies gradually brought prices down, unionists began to distrust Red propaganda.

The worst blow to Japanese Communists came from within, when the Cominform publicly blasted Party Strategist Sanzo Nozaka, a Popular Front advocate, for not using more "revolutionary" methods. Japanese...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!