JCP chair speak to Rengo union officials

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo for the first time delivered a
lecture on August 2 at a summer seminar the Japanese Trade Union
Confederation (Rengo) held for its union officials. Rengo is one of the two
major national trade union centers.

The seminar, held in Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan, invited
representatives of the seven political parties on August 2 to speak on
"Japan's course and politics in the 21st century."

Referring to his first attendance at a Rengo event, Shii said, "Points of
agreement and disagreement exist between Rengo and the JCP. In my opinion,
it will be helpful for Japanese society to see Rengo, one of the national
trade union centers, and an opposition JCP exchange views frankly to
promote mutual understanding." He made clear that the JCP position is one of
sincerely cooperating with any trade unions as long as there are points of
agreement concerning workers' demands as well as the will to cooperate.

On the House of Councilors election results, Shii said the LDP landslide
does not mean a carte blanche being given to specific plans in the "Koizumi
reform." Shii said that the JCP lost several of its House of Councilors
seats, but the points the JCP made in a straightforward manner about the
"Koizumi reform"maintain validity and will increase their value in future.

On the course for Japan's politics to take in the future, Shii referred
to two aspects: economic reform and fiscal reform.

Shii said that the "Koizumi reform" intends to give prosperity to a
handful of international finance capital firms and multinational
corporations, and destroy small- and medium-sized enterprises and local
businesses. The JCP economic policy is one of helping the economy by
directly supporting the household economy and personal consumption. Cutting
the 5 percent consumption tax rate back to 3 percent, and various measures
on employment, including legal restrictions on dismissal and unpaid overtime
work, are some essential aspects of the JCP economic reform.

On JCP fiscal reform proposal, Shii said that it is possible to pursue
both economic recovery and improvement in national finances by shifting the
focus of public undertakings from the present construction-oriented ones to
the ones centered on the people's livelihood and welfare.

The views the other parties gave on the Koizumi reform greatly differed
from the JCP view. The Democratic Party of Japan preached that no time
should be lost in writing off the bad loans held by major banks, and the
Komei Party said that it will continue to support the "Koizumi reform."

After the lecture session, JCP Chair Shii had talks with Rengo President
Washio Etsuya, and Secretary General Sasamori Kiyoshi. In exchanging
opinions over immediate economic issues and the "Koizumi reform," the JCP
chair and Rengo top officials agreed on a view that the "structural reform"
which the Koizumi Cabinet is to carry out will amount to discarding the
socially weak." (end)