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Activists take to the streets to call for eNo consumption tax hikef


Activists from trade unions and other democratic organizations participating took to the streets near JR Shinjuku Station in downtown Tokyo on June 24 and collected signatures calling for opposition to a consumption tax increase.


The Liaison Council of Various Circles to End Consumption Tax called the action in response to Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuofs recent remark during an interview with foreign journalists that the gtime is ripe for a decision on a consumption tax hike.h


Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Koike Akira took part in the action and called on passersby to send a clear answer of gNoh to the tax increase to the government.


Faced with public criticism of the gtime is ripeh remark, Fukuda later made an excuse, saying, gI was just putting the issue in a longer-time perspective.h However, Koike warned, gHe has not changed his belief that the tax increase is necessary.h


Koike said, gThe prime minister says he needs to test the water. Why donft we show the government our opposition to shifting heavier burdens onto ordinary people by increasing the consumption tax rate while leaving the wasteful expenditures and tax breaks for large corporations intact?h


A 55-year-old unemployed person signed the petition, saying, gItfs totally unacceptable to increase the tax while forcing the public to pay more and cutting back on social welfare services. Business circles and corporations should shoulder the burden as the JCP calls for.h


A 79-year-old woman who takes care of her husband who is suffering from an incurable disease said, gThe new healthcare system and an increase in the consumption tax are like bullying the elderly. We must join forces to stop them.h

- Akahata, June 25, 2008



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