Large corporations report record profits through restructuring

Toyota Motor Corp. on November 5 announced that its group's consolidated earnings (including overseas affiliates) achieved a record 12.1 percent increase in operating profits for this year's April-September period.

Toyota is a textbook example of large corporations increasing profits in the last three years under the Koizumi Cabinet through cost-cutting corporate restructuring schemes.

As large corporations are pushing ahead with this cost-cutting strategy, the struggle to stop such outrageous corporate practices and establish an economy governed by rules is a major political issue, reported Akahata of November 6.

About 930 firms listed in the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange saved a total of 4.5 trillion yen (about 42 billion dollars) through slashing 306,000 jobs in three years up to 2003.

A Tax Administration Agency survey shows that the average income of workers for 2002 decreased by 244,500 yen (2,243 dollars) in the last three years.

This was achieved in large corporations due to enormous cuts in personnel costs. In companies capitalized at 100 million yen (91,743 dollars) and over, labor cost for 2002 was reduced by 2.4 trillion yen (22 billion dollars) from 1999.

Further job cuts have been announced, including 20,000 jobs at Sony, 4,000 at Resona Bank, and 2,800 at Kanebo.

Two bills that will adversely change working conditions, including employment contracts, have been enacted by a majority force of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan. As a result of the adverse revision of the Industrial Revitalization Law, 217 companies have reduced their workforce by 90,000 and awarded tax breaks amounting to 81 billion yen (743 million dollars). The adversely revised Labor Standards Law will increase low-paying jobs and overtime work without pay.

The Japanese Communist Party demands that large corporations fulfill their social responsibility for increasing stable jobs, particularly for youth, by prohibiting dismissals without justifiable reasons, regulating worker transfers and early retirement, defending the rights of part-time and other contingent workers, and eliminating long work hours and unpaid overtime work. (end)

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