All LDP presidential election candidates are responsible for economic failure

Japanese Communist Party chair has called the four candidates running for the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election the "gang of four" responsible for the present economic recession.

The four were all members of the Hashimoto cabinet, which has a major responsibility for imposing the wrong prescription for the nation's economic illness, including major increases in taxes, including one on consumption in April 1997.

The four candidates are Hashimoto Ryutaro (former prime minister), Koizumi Jun'ichiro (former health and welfare minister), Kamei Shizuka (former construction minister), and Aso Taro (former Economic Planning Agency director general).

The Hashimoto cabinet arbitrarily carried out major tax increases which forced the people to pay out an additional 9 trillion yen, including the consumption tax rate increase to five percent.

At a news conference on April 12, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo stated as follows:

"The four candidates were deeply involved in the economic policy as members of the Hashimoto cabinet; Koizumi raised the people's medical treatment costs by 2 trillion yen, Kamei supported wasteful spending for major public works projects, and Aso insisted that the consumption tax rate increase would not hamper economic recovery."

On Kamei's suggestion that the consumption tax rate might be cut as a temporary measure, Shii said:

"The recent JCP proposal for a breakthrough of Japan's economic crisis is chiefly aimed at carrying out a 5 trillion yen tax reduction by means of reducing the consumption tax rate to 3 percent from 5 percent. This proposal has been welcomed by the people. "

"Kamei's proposal indicates that some in the LDP feel obliged to refer somewhat to the issue of consumption tax rate reduction. This shows how on target the JCP proposal is." (end)