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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 January 30 - February 5  > Shii comments on Abe's responses in Diet interpellation
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2019 January 30 - February 5 [POLITICS]

Shii comments on Abe's responses in Diet interpellation

February 1, 2019
"Generally, I questioned him on basic national issues. However, Prime Minister Abe gave no clear response to any of my questions," said Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on January 31 in a press conference in the Diet building.

Asked by reporters for comments, Shii remarked on Abe's reactions to the interpellation Shii made earlier in the day in the Lower House plenary session.

Regarding the ongoing falsification scandal involving the Labor Ministry on survey data of wages, Shii said that he suggested that Abe retract a report given by a "third-party" special inspection panel which without evidence denied a collective cover-up of the falsification of data, but received no response from Abe.

Shii furthermore pointed out that the "high wage growth" Abe had boasted about was found to be fictitious due to the ministry's manipulation of statistics. He said, "Taking into account the rate of inflation, the level of real wages between 2013 and 2018 increased only by 1.0%."

As for the consumption tax rate hike to 10%, Shii said that he had Abe face the serious facts about the stagnant level of consumption by showing concrete figures, but Abe replied that GDP-based consumption is "on a recovery track". Shii explained to the press that "final consumption expenditure of households" in GDP statistics includes an "imputed rent of own home" category, and said, "This is a completely fictional item of consumption. If this category is excluded as it should be, real consumer spending expenditure would drop by three trillion yen."

On the Japan-Russia territorial question, he said that he asked Abe whether the government intends to settle the dispute with "a return of only two islands" and not "a return of two islands ahead of other remaining islands", and that Abe did not deny the possibility of getting back only two islands. Shii said, "It has become clear that Abe intends to close the curtain on the issue with 'the return of only two islands'."

Past related articles:
> Abe in summit meeting with Putin fails to make progress on territorial issue[January 24, 2019]
> Labor survey allegedly falsified to support Abenomics [January 19 & 22, 2019]
> PM Abe misleading public with his boasts [September 5, 2018]

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