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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 October 1 - 7  > Ichida demands change of government’s basic policies
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2008 October 1 - 7 [POLITICS]

Ichida demands change of government’s basic policies

October 4, 2008
At the House of Councilors Plenary Session on October 3, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi said that the government must acknowledge that its misgovernment has left the majority of the public with many uncertainties about their future.

Urged by Ichida to make a fundamental change in government policies, including the discriminatory health insurance system for the elderly aged 75 and over, the scarcity of good paying jobs, food safety, and the defense of peace, Aso had to admit that “various social strains have caused new problems.”

Ichida asked the prime minister if the government has an intention to raise the minimum wage to 1,000 yen per hour and revoke the 1999 amendment to the Worker Dispatch Law that removed restrictions on the use of temporary labor.

Aso answered that raising the minimum wage will “weigh on medium- and small-sized companies’ business and lead to job losses.” He said, “It is not appropriate to restore the rule on the use of temporary workers to the status quo ante.”

In answer to Ichida who called for revision of the fixed-term contract labor system, Aso said, “We are instructing companies to employ workers for a long time without setting their contracts too short.”

On the issue of food safety, Ichida pointed out that 80 percent of the tainted rice found has been found in imported rice and criticized the government for importing 770,000 tons of foreign rice in accordance with the WTO minimum access agreement.

Although the prime minister said that the issue of tainted rice is regrettable, he stopped short of stating that the government will end foreign rice imports.

Ichida also criticized the government for supporting the U.S. war of retaliation by sending the Maritime Self-Defense Force to the Indian Ocean, and demanded that the government withdraw the SDF and make effort to help achieve a diplomatic resolution to the conflict.

Aso answered, “The continual deployment of the SDF is necessary by all means.”

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