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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 March 27 - April 2  > Diet passes FY 2019 budget
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2019 March 27 - April 2 [POLITICS]

Diet passes FY 2019 budget

March 28, 2019
The FY 2019 budget was approved by the Diet on March 27. The Japanese Communist Party voted against the budget, stating that the government should cancel the October consumption tax hike and that the massive purchase of U.S.-made weapons is unacceptable.

The general accounting of the budget for fiscal 2019 amounts to a record high of 101 trillion yen. While curbing the expenditures for social security programs and other important services such as education and child-rearing, the government allocated the largest-ever amount of taxpayers’ money to defense spending.

Prior to the vote taken at the House of Councilors plenary session, JCP parliamentarian Tatsumi Kotaro argued forcefully against the budget. He cited a recent opinion poll result showing that more than 80% of the respondents do not feel any symptoms of economic recovery and stressed, “What the government should do now is to take measures to improve the financial situation facing the general public.” Tatsumi urged the government to cancel the consumption tax rate hike to 10%. He also said that the government should immediately increase the minimum hourly wage to 1,000 yen across the country and work to realize a 1,500-yen minimum wage along with providing financial support to small- and medium-sized companies.

Stating that the FY 2019 budget includes costs for the purchase of a huge amount of U.S.-made weapons, such as F-35 fighters and the Aegis Ashore missile defense system, Tatsumi criticized the government for giving in to U.S. pressure to do so. In addition, he said, the U.S. government is considering the “Cost Plus 50” plan which aims to have Japan pay 150% of the stationing costs of the U.S. military in Japan. Tatsumi stressed that the Japanese government should flatly reject such an outrageous plan.

Furthermore, Tatsumi stated that the proposed budget uses taxpayers’ money to promote the reactivation of offline nuclear reactors and keep the nuclear fuel cycle project going.
He insisted that it is increasingly clear that the export of nuclear power technologies and resumption of operations of nuclear reactors are problematic in terms of safety and profitability. Tatsumi said that the government should decide to depart from nuclear power generation once and for all.

Past related articles:
> Japan can be urged to pay 2 trillion yen for USFJ under Trump’s ‘Cost Plus 50’ plan [March 13, 2019]
> Koike: FY2019 draft budget would ruin Japanese society [December 22, 2018]
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