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Shii criticizes Koizumi for deceiving the public

On behalf of the Japanese Communist Party, JCP Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo on September 28 questioned Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro about key issues of national politics at the House of Representatives plenary session.

Tax Increases
Shii criticized the Liberal Democratic Party for announcing a policy of abolishing the fixed-rate tax exemption system, contrary to its election promise that there would not be a tax increase on salaries workers. He said that large corporations and rich people should be taxed more.

Koizumi answered that ending the fixed-rate tax exemption targets all income earners and is not a tax increase just on salaried workers.

Postal privatization
Shii pointed out that during the election campaign, Koizumi argued that postal privatization will mean reducing the number of public workers and increasing tax revenues without mentioning the facts that postal services are not funded with tax money, that postal services pay half of their profits to the national treasury, and that the call for postal privatization was initiated by the request of major Japanese and U.S. banks. Shii said that the LDP and the Komei Party together received 49 percent of the vote, which does not mean that the postal privatization proposal has won total public confidence. He demanded that the postal privatization bills be scrapped, saying, "It is unacceptable to railroad through the bill under such circumstances."

Koizumi repeated the same argument as he made during the election campaign, and stopped short of denying that he concealed the truth from the public.

Self-help of the disabled
Shii pointed out that a bill to force disabled people to shoulder 10 percent of the cost for all needed services will force some disabled people to pay more than their income, which impedes on their self-help and their right to live. Shii called for the repeal of the bill.

SDF in Iraq
Shii demanded an immediate withdrawal of the Self-Defense Forces as well as all occupation forces from Iraq because the military occupation and British and U.S. mop-up operations are the underlying cause of the deteriorating situation in Iraq.

The Constitution
Shii said that the present Constitution prohibits Japan from using military force abroad in principle, and expressed his opposition to changing Article 9 of the Constitution because it will pave the way for a war-fighting Japan.

After the plenary session, Shii told reporters, "Abolition of the fixed-rate tax exemption system will deal a heavy blow to salaried workers. Those who earn from four to nine million yen of yearly income will be forced to pay 20 percent more in taxes. The LDP's breach of its election promise reveals its conceit." -- Akahata, September 29, 2005

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