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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 December 19 - 25  > Shii pledges to block move for tax hike and constitutional revision
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2012 December 19 - 25 TOP3 [JCP]

Shii pledges to block move for tax hike and constitutional revision

December 21, 2012
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on December 20 warned of a move by the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties to create a “coalition” for a regressive tax hike and constitutional revision, and pledged to confront the move in order to defend citizens’ interests. Following is his statement at a press conference in the Diet building:

Fictitious majority

The Liberal Democratic and Komei parties obtained more than two-thirds of the Lower House seats in the general election and will likely re-establish an LDP-Komei ruling coalition, led by LDP President Abe Shinzo. They are, however, a fictitious majority enabled by the single-seat constituency system. The LDP received more than 60% of the seats, but the absolute proportion of votes the LDP received was 24% in the single-seat blocs and 15% in the proportional representation blocs. No other election results have brought about such a wide gap between Diet seats and public will. First and foremost, we urge the new Abe regime to act based on an awareness of this discrepancy.

Economy and consumption tax hike

If the new regime forcibly carries out its policies, it will inevitably create a severe contradiction with the demands of citizens.

As a measure to deal with the deflation, it plans to impose monetary easing and lavish spending on public works projects as a “shot in the arm” and then conduct an increase in the consumption tax rate.

Even though the unlimited monetary relaxation creates a rise in prices, continuous declines in workers’ wages will put people’s livelihoods into an even more precarious condition.

No matter how much money the market is supplied, investment would not increase amid the weak state of domestic demand. It is clear that the money will be used for speculation and create harmful effects.

The LDP proposes to use 200 trillion yen for a plan to “strengthen the nation’s infrastructure”, but the content of the plan is to carry out large unneeded public works projects, such as construction of expressways and ports.

In the past, wasteful public works projects were conducted throughout the nation under the “basic plan for public investment” which spent 430 trillion yen in 10 years, but the plan did not work as a measure to boost the economy and only left a mountain of debts. The latest measure is just a repeat performance of this past failure.

The consumption tax hike together with this policy will unavoidably deliver a destructive blow to the overall economy.

We can get out of the deflation by cancelling the consumption tax hike and carrying out measures to increase workers’ incomes. We will make efforts to achieve that end.

Issue of constitutional revision

The Abe regime intends to start working on constitutional revision by easing the requirement for the initiation of amendments by the Diet from the present two-thirds majority to just a majority of all members of each House. Setting his sights on Article 9, Abe intends to clear away the major hurdles. This move will severely contradict the public demand to maintain peace.

This move will also cause disagreement with the peoples of neighboring Asian nations. A revision of Article 9 is not just a domestic issue. The international community regards this constitutional provision as a pledge by Japan, which conducted the war of aggression in the past, to not repeat the same mistake. Japan can win the trust of other Asian countries and the rest of the world only when it maintains Article 9 and promotes peaceful diplomacy by utilizing Article 9. The JCP will work hard to organize a majority of people to achieve this goal of protecting Article 9.

Political framework

Regarding the political framework for the post-election Diet, in addition to the tax hike coalition, the LDP and Komei parties have begun to form a constitutional revision coalition.

The LDP and Komei parties have already agreed with the DPJ to increase the consumption tax rate. Furthermore, the two parties are moving to ally themselves to Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and the Your Party in order to adversely revise the Constitution. The JRP made a favorable response to the LDP President’s expectations that the JRP and Your will agree to relax the rules to initiate constitutional amendments. They now face in the same direction for constitutional revision.

These moves illuminate a pattern in which only the JCP can play a role as an opposition party which fights against the LDP-Komei bloc led by Abe to protect people’s interests in various areas of national policies such as the consumption tax, the Constitution, nuclear power generation, the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, and U.S. bases. Keep this in mind, we will work hard.

Collaboration with public movements

The JCP will make a special effort to struggle together with various public movements. We will do our utmost to promote a style of joint struggle on a single point issue which has been widely applied in public movements on various issues. I’m sure that our policy proposals in various fields will become more significant in people’s struggles. We will increase our struggle by utilizing our shared visions.
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