Consumption tax cut is a national demand

The increasing call for a consumption tax rate cut was translated into national concerted action in many cities on April 1.

Twelve years ago, on April 1, 1989 the government introduced a three percent consumption tax on goods and services. The rate was increased to 5 percent in April 1997, which has greatly discouraged people from spending money.

The national concerted action put up the immediate demand that the consumption tax rate be reduced to three percent from the present five percent.

In Tokyo, about 60 participants from the National Association to End the Consumption Tax distributed flowers and balloons to Sunday strollers in the Ginza, a shopping district known for many exclusive stores. Passers-by threw a ping-pong ball as a ballot on whether the tax rate should be up or down. Most were in favor of a consumption tax rate cut.

In Osaka City, 70 members from the Osaka Liaison Council in Opposition to the Consumption Tax joined together in a street action in front of Namba Terminal Station, bustling with shoppers from surrounding regions. Handing out balloons, demonstrators collected signatures calling for the consumption tax rate cut. Shoppers, families, and young couples listened to an appeal by 11 people, including a high school student, and took part in mock voting on the consumption tax.

In the ancient capital of Kyoto, activists from the Kyoto Liaison Council of Various Circles to End Consumption Tax and the Kyoto Association to End the Consumption Tax stood at corners of Gion, the refined and historic quarter which attracts many tourists. A demonstrator wearing a costume satirizing the government's policies called on tourists to sign and vote for the consumption tax rate cut. (end)