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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 January 23 - 29  > JCP Ichida urges prime minister to drastically change government economic policy
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2008 January 23 - 29 [ECONOMY]

JCP Ichida urges prime minister to drastically change government economic policy

January 24, 2008
Representing the Japanese Communist Party, Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi in the House of Councilors plenary session on January 23 strongly urged Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo to end the government economic policy of serving large corporations and the wealthy and depending on exports and to establish a policy oriented to the public welfare as well as to take effective measures to deal with the issue of global warming.

Ichida proposed that the government immediately implement policies to help the household economy, conduct a review of the deregulations in labor laws that have created a massive number of non-regular workers, increase the minimum wage, and assist small- and medium-sized companies.

He also demanded reductions in the national health insurance premiums, cancellation of the introduction of a medical-care system for the elderly aged 75 or more to shift heavier burdens onto the elderly, and put an end to the policy of slashing 220 billion yen every year in the natural increase in social welfare spending.

With regard to the ongoing suspension of business operations imposed on Goodwill Inc., a major staffing agency notorious for its illegal labor practices, Ichida demanded that the government put forth every effort to secure the employment of temporary workers who got jobs through the company, stating, “The government must not allow many blameless young workers to be turned adrift.”

Although admitting to the “sluggish improvement in the household economy” due to wage restraints, Fukuda rejected Ichida’s proposals, including an increase in the minimum wage, stating, “Such measures will destroy the number of employees.”

Concerning the global warming issue, Ichida criticized the government for relying on voluntary efforts of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), despite the fact that 80 percent of CO2 emissions come from the corporate and public sectors.

“It is essential to establish a rule to force corporations to fulfill their social responsibility by concluding an agreement between the government and business circles on emission reductions,” Ichida stated.

Fukuda replied, “At present, the government is not considering concluding such an agreement.”
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