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Born Sept. 12,1894, in the village of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture; died Oct. 14,1953, in Peking. Figure in the Japanese workers’ movement.
The son of a printer, Tokuda took part in mass antigovernment riots in Tokyo in August 1918 (seeRICE RIOTS). After graduating from the law faculty of Tokyo Imperial University in 1920, Tokuda began his political career. As a representative of the Suiyo-kai Marxists (the Wednesday Group), he took part in the First Congress of Communist and Revolutionary Parties of the Far East, which was held in Moscow in January and February 1922. After returning to Japan, he helped found the Communist Party of Japan (CPJ), and at its underground Constituent Congress on July 15, 1922, Tokuda was elected a member of the Central Committee of the CPJ. From 1923 to 1927, together with S. Katayama, M. Watanabe, and S. Ichikawa, he headed the party’s struggle against H. Yamakawa’s right opportunist liquidator deviation and K. Fukumuto’s left opportunist sectarian deviation.
In 1926, Tokuda illegally left Japan twice to take part in the work of the Executive Committee of the Comintern. In February 1928 he was arrested, and in October 1934, after a “trial” that lasted nearly seven years, he was sentenced to ten years in prison for his revolutionary activities. He served his sentence in several prisons, including Abashiri Prison in the northern part of the island of Hokkaido. On the expiration of his term, however, he was not released; he did not leave prison until Oct. 10,1945, after Japan’s defeat in World War II.
After the Fourth Congress of the CPJ in December 1945, Tokuda was elected general secretary of the party. In January 1946 he became a deputy to the Japanese Diet. From 1946 to 1950, with Tokuda’s active participation, the CPJ strengthened and expanded its ranks considerably and carried on a struggle for a peace-loving, independent, and democratic Japan.
Under threat of arrest, Tokuda was forced to go underground in the summer of 1950. Although he was seriously ill, he continued to direct the CPJ. Tokuda died in 1953 in China, where he had gone for treatment. Because of persecution, the CPJ was not able to announce his death until July 29, 1955, at the Sixth National Conference of the party, which was legally held in Tokyo.
WORKSWaga omoide (My Recollections). Tokyo, 1948.
“K 30-i godovshchine Kommunistich. partii Iaponii.” Pravda, Aug. 2–3, 1952.