JCP holds symposiums in Osaka and Kyoto on 'emergency economic proposal'

The Japanese Communist Party is organizing symposiums in many localities with a wide range of people, including local business leaders, to discuss ways to solve the economic crisis.

An Osaka symposium on May 12, "Japan's Asia diplomacy and Osaka's economy," attracted about 400 people including small- and medium-sized company presidents and local government officials.

Nakae Yosuke, former ambassador to China, Mohri Ryoichi, professor at Nihon Fukushi University, and Yamaguchi Tomio, JCP Policy Commission acting chair and House of Representatives member, were panelists.

Questioning if Japan has a true friend in Asia, Nakae talked about "Asia as seen from Japan, and Japan as seen from Asia." He said Japan must base itself on Asia, stressing the importance of respecting other Asian countries' independent positions.

Referring to Osaka's close economic relations with other Asian countries, Yamaguchi emphasized that any problems of Japan's political and economic relations with Asia must be solved through peaceful and democratic means.

Participants in the symposium asked questions about the issue of receiving Asian students, and on how the Official Development Aid (ODA) should be used. Iwamuro Toshikazu, Han'nan City mayor, spoke on education problem.

In Kyoto, the JCP on May 13 sponsored a discussion meeting on "how to break through Japan's economic crisis," with about 400 persons, including company presidents, organization representatives, and self-government officials attending.

One of the panelists were Horiba Masao, president of Horiba, Ltd., a Kyoto-based maker of scientific analyzers, engine emission analyzers, and environment-monitoring equipment. He disclosed that when he decided to attend the JCP meeting, he was asked sarcastically by his friends if he was a communist and was going to run in an election from the JCP.

Convinced that the discussion was aimed at exchanging views on the theme of overcoming the economic depression between those with different positions, he decided to attend the meeting, Horiba said.

He said that priority must be given to local governments and the consumption tax rate be reduced from 5% to 3% in terms of food and other daily goods, although he is not sure if the all-out reduction of the tax rate will instantly help recover Japan's economy.

A participant in the hall, also a permanent member of the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a company president, said the JCP's invitation of Horiba to the meeting was of an epochal advance.

Fudesaka Hideyo, JCP Policy Commission chair and House of Councilors member, as a panelist said that the JCP's urgent proposal on economic measures is vital for corporations to overcome their economic hardships.

Participants actively discussed how to revitalize Kyoto's economy and how to break through the crisis of small- and medium-sized companies. (end)