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Ruling bloc rams through FY 2008 budget in Lower House
The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties late at night on February 28 rammed through the FY 2008 budget bill and tax-related bills in the House of Representatives.
Speaking on behalf of the Japanese Communist Party in the House of Representatives plenary session, Kasai Akira criticized the unilateral vote that was in disregard of the agreement on the need for a thorough discussion.
Kasai said that the mid-term government plan for road construction that counts on permanently high tax rates has completely failed.
Concerning the draft 83.06 trillion yen budget for fiscal 2008 (starting April 1st), Kasai expressed opposition to the government policies of reducing the annual growth of funding for social welfare services to 220 billion yen a year and introducing a new medical care system that forces the elderly aged 75 and over to pay more.
Kasai warned that the Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis-equipped destroyerfs collision with a fishing boat revealed the deep-seated gmilitary-firsth attitude of the Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces as well as its hush-hush approach.
gThe government is trying to railroad through the budget bill that includes nearly 5 trillion yen for military expenditures while neglecting to make efforts to uncover the truth about the destroyerfs collision,h Kasai stated.
Opposition Democratic, Social Democratic, and another parties absented themselves from the House of Representatives Plenary Session.
Asked by reporters to comment on passage of the FY 2008 budget bill and tax-related bills, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo strongly criticized the ruling LDP-Komei coalition for cutting short the parliamentary discussion in order to rush to voting on bills related to the issues of the gas-tax, the Aegis collision, and the worsening poverty rate and social disparities.
Shii said that the ruling coalition is undermining the proposal by the House of Representatives Speakers and the House of Councilors President calling on all parties to debate fully in both chamber of the Diet.
gIn the House of Councilors, the JCP will take active part in the debate on these important issues. We will join forces with the extra-parliamentary movement to call for political change in Japan by exposing the true nature of the LDP-Komei government policies.h
- Akahata, March 1, 2008
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