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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 28 - March 6  > Draft FY 2007 budget forced through Lower House
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2007 February 28 - March 6 [POLITICS]

Draft FY 2007 budget forced through Lower House

March 4, 2007
The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on March 2 forced the draft FY 2007 budget through the House of Representatives Budget Committee in defiance of opposition parties’ protests.

Then, before dawn on March 3, the ruling parties used their majority to pass the draft budget at the House of Representatives Plenary Session, while the Japanese Communist, Democratic, Social Democratic, and the People’s New parties voted against.

It was the first time since 1989 that the ruling parties took a vote on the budget without the consent of the opposition parties, showing the governing force’s high-handedness in disregard of the opposition’s call for thorough deliberations on the budget.

Asked by reporters to comment on the situation immediately after the Plenary Session, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo expressed his strong protest against the government and the ruling parties.

Pointing out that the public is earnestly looking for measures to deal with the increasing poverty and social gaps and expecting the Diet to have sound debates, Shii said, “I must stage a strong protest against the ruling parties for railroading through the budget that the living conditions of the public hinges on in a manner that neglects Diet debates and goes against democracy.”

He cited several issues to be addressed in the budgetary discussions, including growing poverty and social disparities, political corruption, and cabinet ministers’ controversial remarks, and said, “In the House of Councilors discussions, the JCP will continue to press the Abe Cabinet to fulfill its responsibility over these issues.”

Without reaching an agreement with the opposition parties, the ruling bloc in the Lower House on March 2 held meetings of the Budget, Financial Affairs, and Internal Affairs and Communications committees by the authority of each committee’s chair and proceeded with voting on the draft budget and other related-bills.

In the Budget Committee meeting, when the chair suddenly brought the question time to a close, ruling and opposition lawmakers rushed to the chair. While the committee meeting became so turbulent that the chair’s voice could not be heard, the LDP and Komei lawmakers stood up to show their votes.

The JCP submitted a set of proposals for recasting the budget, but they were turned down by the majority.

At the Lower House Plenary Session, JCP representative Takahashi Chizuko from the rostrum expressed her opposition to the draft budget on the grounds that it will increase poverty and social gaps, turn Japan into a country that fights wars abroad with the United States, and expand the wasteful use of tax money.
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