Liberal Democratic, Komei, and Democratic parties under fire

The recent agreement between the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties and the opposition Democratic Party on "pension reform" has come under strong criticism because it would lead to easy passage of the pension cut bill through the House of Representatives plenary session.

The three-party agreement had nothing to do with improving the bill in the interests of the people (see separate item).

When Japanese Communist Party representative Yamaguchi Tomio in the Diet warned that the agreement will pave the way for increasing the consumption tax rate to fund the pension scheme, Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro didn't deny the possibility.

DPJ President Kan Naoto reportedly said on May 6 that the agreement is in line with what the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) and the Japan Business Federation (JBF or Keidanren) want.

Akahata of May 9 reported, "The agreement was in response to business circles calling for their burden of insurance premiums payment to be reduced and for the consumption tax rate to be increased."

Many DPJ members of the Diet were critical of the agreement and the amended government bill failed to pass the Lower House committee on May 7.

JCP Chair Shii Kazuo in a May 9 speech assembly in Chiba City demanded that the Lower House plenary session reject the three-party agreement. "The JCP calls for a thorough investigation into the pension bill again in the committee," he stressed. (end)

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