Small enterprisers stage demonstration to defend their businesses

About 1,800 small- and medium-sized business owners took to the streets of Tokyo on February 4 for a demonstration against another consumption tax rate increase.

The national rally was organized by the National Liaison Council of Small and Medium Enterprisers Circles to increase the struggle against a further increase in the consumption tax rate and to encourage the nation's smaller business owners.

Speaking on behalf of the organizers, Funazu Hiroshi said, "I cannot help expressing my anger at the Koizumi Cabinet which is reducing expenditure for smaller businesses while squandering tax money on the unconstitutional dispatch of the Self-defense Forces to Iraq."

Funazu pointed out that the key to economic recovery is an effort to increase personal spending and improve social services. "Let us raise our voice in opposition to a consumption tax rate increase and call for more business opportunities to be given to small businesses," he stressed.

A sash processor from Aomori Prefecture said, "We are paying the consumption tax out of our own pockets. If the tax exemption limit is reduced, we will go out of business." (end)

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