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JCP calls for Tokyo government's effort to reduce gap between rich and poor

At the December 7 Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly session, Japanese Communist Party representative Sone Hajime demanded that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government make efforts to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.

Revealing the fact that, the number of welfare recipients doubled in Tokyo in the last 10 years and that the number of residents without any savings more than doubled in the last 8 years, Sone criticized the metropolitan government for reducing or abolishing systems in support of residents.

He also condemned Governor Ishihara Shintaro for stating that the consumption tax is "the most fair tax system," and that "if they don't want to buy something, they don't have to." Stressing that the consumption tax is the most regressive tax system that shifts heavier burden onto lower income earners, Sone urged Ishihara to retract his remarks.

In response to Sone, Governor Ishihara said, "Japan has established a very fair society. What you said is totally irrelevant."

On December 8, using the force of majority, the Liberal Democratic, Komei, and Democratic parties as well as the Seikatsusha Net in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly plenary meeting voted down a statement submitted by the JCP opposing tax increases on residents and calling for corporate taxes to be increased.

The statement demanded that the Tokyo Metropolitan government request the state government to withdraw the plan to abolish the fixed-rate tax cuts and increase the consumption tax rate and to increase taxes on corporations.
- Akahata, December 9, 2005

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