JCP: Prime Minister's statement about 'seven million jobs offered must be

In his policy speech on September 27, Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro
made an optimistic remark that there are seven million job offers a year in
excess of the number of job seekers, without mentioning the record 5 percent
unemployment rate.

Apparently the comparison limits itself to the numbers of newly
registered job offers and job seekers. This is intended to make the number
of job offers appear greater than they really are. It covers up the grim
fact that many job seekers have to stay in the group and their periods of
unemployment become longer than ever.

In the House of Councilors plenary session on October 3, Japanese
Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi requested the prime
minister to withdraw that misleading remark on employment, which has a
serious bearing on the economy and the people's living conditions.

Ichida made clear that actually there are only 1.47 million job offers to
2.55 job seekers. In reply, Prime Minister Koizumi insisted that there is no
denying that 7 million jobs were offered. He said the problem is a
"mismatch" between a job and its applicant, as if job seekers are to blame
for their lack of job competence or for their choosiness.

The economic daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun commented that the prime
minister's mention of the indices cannot be said to be appropriate in
representing the job situation.

The prime minister, however, said in the parliament that the people
should stay calm and not be now glad, now sad at every index.

The JCP secretariat head said, "People are just sad these days. There
will be no development for this country if the government deals with
diligent people in such contempt."

As specific steps to deal with the critical situation, Ichida proposed
enacting a law to regulate corporate dismissals, shorter working hours and a
longer period of eligibility to unemployment benefit. (end)