Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. is the only news agency providing information of progressive, democratic movements in Japan

JCP Shii calls for struggles in the Diet to meet public demands

The ordinary session of the Diet convened on January 25, and the Japanese Communist Party held a JCP Diet members' meeting on the day.

JCP Chair Shii Kazuo at the meeting said, "This Diet session is very important for defending the living standards of the public as well as the peace in Japan, and for making advances in the upcoming nationwide simultaneous local elections and the Upper House election. In the Diet discussions, the JCP will focus on three major issues in a way that displays the JCP's unique value."

Firstly, Shii called for efforts to reduce poverty and the social gap and to defend the living standards of the public. He criticized the Abe Shinzo Cabinet's FY 2007 draft budget for increasing tax burdens on the public, cutting social welfare services, and reducing taxes for large corporations and the wealthy, thus further exacerbating the problem of increasing poverty and growing social disparities. He said that the JCP will work for a drastic revision of the budget.

The JCP chair also stressed the need to carry out the struggle to press the government and ruling parties to give up their plan to establish a "white-collar exemption" system that will force workers to work long hours without overtime pay.

The second issue that needs to be discussed is the defense of the Constitution, peace, and democracy. Prime Minister Abe is calling for the enactment "as early as possible" in this Diet session of a national referendum bill to pave the way for constitutional revisions.

Shii said, "It is important to thoroughly reveal in discussions that the enactment of this bill is inseparable from the revision of Article 9." He also pointed out that this bill is quite unfair and undemocratic in that it will enable a constitutional revision with the approval of only 20 percent of eligible voters since it does not provide for a minimum required voter turnout.

The third task is the eradication of political corruption as revealing in the allegedly falsified political funds reports made by Liberal Democratic and Democratic party members.

Shii said the JCP will urge them to disclose the facts before the public, demand that the prime minister be held responsible for investigating the suspicions involving his cabinet members, and push the LDP and DPJ to come to clean.

Shii pointed out that while the approval rating for the Abe Cabinet is rapidly decreasing, the DPJ is unable to establish a reliable framework to counter the government. Emphasizing that under this situation the number of those who have no party preference has been dramatically increasing, he said, "The situation calls on the JCP to play its role. Let us carry out struggles that will meet the demands of the people who have no party to support."
- Akahata, January 26, 2007

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.