JCP Shii proposes economic policy alternatives

Questioning in the House of Representatives plenary session of the 155th Diet session by political party representatives began on October 21.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on October 22 questioned the economic policy failure of the Koizumi Cabinet. He said the government plans for a massive increase in the people's burdens amid the prolonged economic recession and for busting small- and midsize businesses in the name of speeding up write-offs of bad loans held by major banks will ruin both the economy and national finances as well as result in drastic increases in bad loans.

When Shii demanded that the government retract these policies and proposed JCP alternatives to safeguard the people's livelihood by guaranteeing workers' rights in workplaces and create jobs, the heckling stopped.

Prime Minister Koizumi said that accelerated write-offs of bad loans will help resuscitate the economy and that the financial system needs to be reformed.

On the Japan-North Korea relations, Shii said that the issues of abduction and nuclear weapons development by North Korea need to be solved through negotiations. He requested the government to urge the North Korean government to accept international inspections of its nuclear facilities.

After the session, Shii commented on the prime minister's reply as revealing his lack of a broad perspective concerning the consequences of his policies.

The JCP question session was televised, and the JCP head office received many phone calls from people agreeing with Shii as championing the ordinary people in plight. A man who called himself a diehard Liberal Democratic Party member said, "Even a man like me has called the JCP. What will happen in the next election?" (end)