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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 June 3 - 9  > JCP releases proposal regarding ways to revive social and economic activities under continued coronavirus risk
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2020 June 3 - 9 [POLITICS]

JCP releases proposal regarding ways to revive social and economic activities under continued coronavirus risk

June 5, 2020

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on June 4 held a press conference in the Diet building and released a proposal regarding ways to promote the reopening of social and economic activities while working to curb coronavirus infections.

Shii said that after the nationwide state of emergency ended, the challenge Japan is facing now is how to promote economic and social recovery from the latest coronavirus crisis while preventing another surge of COVID-19 cases, and explained the JCP proposal.

Shii said that in terms of measures to curb the rise of virus infections, the need is to change the current PCR testing strategy to a more aggressive one and drastically enhance the medical system and the PCR testing capacity. He went on to say that to achieve this, the JCP proposal calls on the government to establish a budget of hundreds of billions of yen and fundamentally increase financial support for medical, nursing-care, and welfare facilities.

Shii said that an urgent proposal by 18 governors, including governors of Hiroshima, Iwate, and Aichi, also appealed for an aggressive PCR testing strategy. The 18 governors in their proposal demanded the promotion of dynamic prevention measures which include early detection, investigation, and hospitalization of infected persons. Shii said that this demand is rational in avoiding a possible second wave of infections.

Furthermore, Shii pointed out that successive governments mainly led by the Liberal Democratic Party have implemented austerity measures in the medical and social welfare fields which weakened the public health system. He said that the JCP in its proposal urged the government to increase the number of workers at public health centers, local public health institutions, and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, and to establish an independent organization equivalent of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Shii said that the government should provide necessary support without delay in order to enable the general public to adjust to a “new lifestyle” without any anxiety until the virus contagion is brought under control. Shii pointed to a serious delay in the processing of applications for the government employment adjustment subsidy program and other government relief programs. Shii said that the party’s proposal demands that the government take action to provide financial assistance speedily and steadily to individuals and businesses in need.

Shii said that other demands included in the JCP proposal is for an increase in support for those in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors, the establishment of a special fund for the culture and arts recovery, support programs for children and students, and an improvement in urgent support to needy people.

Regarding ways of financing the JCP-proposed items, Shii said that the necessary financial resources can be secured through the issuance of government bonds and added that finance for redemption of these bonds would be covered by revenues from taxes collected based on the ability-to-pay principle. Shii also said that the party in its proposal calls for increasing budgets for anti-corona efforts by slashing non-essential budgets, such as budgets for purchase of costly U.S.-made weapons and the Henoko base project.

Past related articles:
> Government should divert tax money from military to anti-coronavirus measures [May 12, 2020]
> JCP proposes direct bailout of individuals affected financially by new coronavirus [March 27, 2020]
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