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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 June 17 - 23  > Aso says consumption tax increase is essential for social services
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2009 June 17 - 23 [POLITICS]

Aso says consumption tax increase is essential for social services

June 18, 2009
During their second one-on-one debate in the Diet on June 17, Prime Minister Aso Taro and the “main” opposition Democratic Party of Japan President Hatoyama Yukio engaged in a blame game instead of seriously discussing the allegations of illegal donations to influential politicians of both parties from Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd.

Aso stated, “Without discussing the source of revenue, it is impossible to address issues of social services. I will ask for a far-reaching tax reform if the economy is on the track of recovery. We cannot avoid raising the consumption tax rate. The DPJ should explain how the source of revenue can be ensured.”

Hatoyama stated, “The consumption tax will not be increased for four years after the Democratic Party takes power.” As for the funding resources to pay for the DPJ’s proposal of spending 20 trillion yen on new measures, he only said, “A thoroughgoing examination of the way tax money is used will eliminate wasteful expenditures.” He never mentioned cutting military expenditures and shifting the tax burden onto large corporations and the wealthy.

Japanese Communist Party Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji said to reporters, “The debate made clear that the Aso Cabinet is terminally ill as Prime Minister Aso was unable to state anything that the public really needs to know about his policy. DPJ President Hatoyama apparently was concerned about the upcoming House of Representatives general election. Under this circumstance, it is all the more necessary to dissolve the House of Representatives in order to set a stage for all political parties to express their views regarding the course Japan should take.”

Kokuta also noted that both Aso and Hatoyama sidestepped the allegations of illegal political donations from Nishimatsu. He said, “This is because both the LDP and the DPJ want to keep this issue buried. It is important that the Diet plays a responsible role in the necessary investigation of the allegations of irregularities involving politics and money. Both parties must come clean.”
- Akahata, June 18, 2009
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