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FY 2009 budget bill enacted

The FY 2009 budget and related bills became law on March 27, without resolving the differences between the two chambers of the Diet. This has given the government impetus to accelerate preparations for a consumption tax increase in 2011.

The bill had been rejected by the opposition-controlled House of Councilors after being approved by the House of Representatives. At a joint conference held between the two Houses, Japanese Communist Party representative Daimon Mikishi (House of Councilors member) reiterated his opposition to the budget bills. But the conference did not hammer out the differences, and the decision of the House of Representatives overrode the House of Councilors decision in accordance with constitutional provisions.

The largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan virtually stood with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Komei Party because it agreed to put these bills to a vote.

The FY 2009 budget is the largest-ever with 88.6 trillion yen in the general account, but it does not contain any fundamental measures to deal with the present critical situation facing the job market.

The JCP has criticized the proposed budget and related bills as measures to prepare for a consumption tax increase. It has also stated that the bulldozing of the bill through the Diet without holding a general election or trying to hammer out differences between the two chambers amounts to exactly an abuse of the force of numbers.

- Akahata, March 28, 2009

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