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Almost all parties call for corporate tax cuts as part of eeconomic measuresf

To break through the current economic crisis is the most important task of the extraordinary session of the Diet which opened on October 1. Although the Diet session just began, which party is really capable of tackling this crucial issue has already become apparent.

Ordered by Prime Minister Kan Naoto on September 27, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan is now compiling its recommendations for geconomic measures.h The prime ministerfs initial proposal includes gregulatory reformh as well as gstrategy for new economic growthh mainly calling for corporate tax cuts in order to gstrengthen corporate competitiveness.h

On October 4, the DPJfs policy chief Genba Koichiro held a meeting on economic measures with his counterparts of five opposition parties: the Liberal Democratic, Komei, Your, Sunrise, and New Renaissance parties. In the meeting, Genba repeatedly stressed that he does not find any major difference in regard to the fundamental direction of their proposals and thus wants to take into consideration other partiesf positions.

Ishiba Shigeru, representing the LDP, said, gSuch measures as a 25-percent reduction in CO2 emissions, regulation of the use of temp workers, and a raise in the minimum wage are all anti-business proposals and will force corporations to bear more burdens.h Sonoda Hiroyuki from the Sunrise Party called for deregulations and corporate tax reductions while Masuzoe Yoichi of the New Renaissance Party repeated the mantra of ginternational competitiveness.h

In response to Sonodafs proposal to start a multi-party discussion on a consumption tax increase, Genba expressed his intention to establish a structure to achieve this.

On the other hand, Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Koike Akira in his meeting with Genba on the same day pointed out that workersf average annual income in the past year was reduced by 230,000 yen although large companies have expanded their internal reserves to 244 trillion yen. Lowering tax obligations on major firms will only increase their already excessive profits, Koike stressed.

He then stated that in order to overcome the current economic crisis, domestic demand must be boosted by such measures as drastic revision of the Worker Dispatch Law, an increase in the minimum hourly wage to 1,000 yen or more, and expansion of financial support to small- and medium-sized companies.

- Akahata, October 6, 2010

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