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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 2 - 8  > Signature-collection drive launched to counter consumption tax hike to 10%
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2019 October 2 - 8 [POLITICS]

Signature-collection drive launched to counter consumption tax hike to 10%

October 2, 2019

On October 1, a signature-collection drive calling for cutting the consumption tax rate by half was launched in response to a tax hike implemented on October 1to 10%.

The Japanese Communist Party jointly with various anti-sales tax organizations took to the streets across Japan, including in Sapporo and Tokyo, to increase public support for the newly-started signature-collection campaign for a 5% consumption tax rate.

In Tokyo, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo along with JCP lawmakers, Yamazoe Taku and Kira Yoshiko, held a street speech action near Shinjuku Station. Shii said that in protest against the Prime Minister Abe-led government’s imposition of the tax rate hike, the JCP with renewed determination will make its utmost effort to develop a grassroots-led fight nationwide to slash the sales tax rate with the goal to abolish the regressive tax system.

Shii in his speech pointed out that since the introduction the consumption tax 31 years ago, revenues from the consumption tax have been used not to improve social welfare services and balance the budget but to cover financial shortages stemming from the too preferential tax measures for large corporations and the rich. Shii appealed for the need to reform the current taxation system to one under which taxes are levied based on the principle of ability to pay.

Stressing that to win a 5% consumption tax rate is the most urgent task, Shii said that in order to achieve this, the JCP will work hard to promote a united effort of political parties, organizations, and concerned citizens.

A 24-year-old woman in the audience said, “It is totally unacceptable for the government to impose a heavier tax burden on the general public when Japan’s economy is worsening.”

In Sapporo City, Hokkaido, together with the JCP, local organizations of the New Japan Women’s Association (NJWA or Shinfujin) and the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), and other civil groups conducted a street campaign to collect signatures seeking to reduce the consumption tax rate by half.

A woman, encouraged by her elementary school-age son, signed her name to the petition. A 27-year-old man who signed the petition said, “Prime Minister Abe cares nothing about people’s livelihoods.”

In PM Abe’s hometown in Yamaguchi Prefecture, a demonstration against the consumption tax hike to 10% took place. At a rally held prior to the demonstration march, a representative of the JCP prefectural organization delivered a speech in solidarity and a solidarity message from the Social Democratic Party was read out.

Past related article:
> JCP publishes appeal calling for cutting consumption tax rate to 5% without delay [October 1, 2019]

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