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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 26 - March 3  > New coronavirus crisis rightly highlights anti-people nature of Abe government
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2020 February 26 - March 3 TOP3 [POLITICS]

New coronavirus crisis rightly highlights anti-people nature of Abe government

March 1, 2020

Akahata ‘current’ column

A Chinese restaurant near the Akahata editorial office building closed down yesterday after nearly 20 years in the business. According to the owner, as last year’s consumption tax hike and the spread of the new coronavirus disease resulted in a financial double punch, in recent months the restaurant had difficulties in even earning enough to cover the rent.

The Abe government’s decision to increase the consumption tax rate to 10% has caused a huge drop in the economic growth rate. Signs of recessions are everywhere. Then, the COVID-19 outbreak hit. The extent of economic damage, especially to the tourism and food service industries, is dramatically increasing.

The draft budget for fiscal 2020, which recently passed the House of Representatives, amounts to a record high of 102 trillion yen. It, however, allocates no funding for measures to contain the coronavirus crisis while spending generously for the massive purchase of U.S. weapons and the promotion of casino development. The Japanese Communist Party and other opposition parties jointly proposed a revision to the government-drafted budget, but the proposal was flatly rejected by the ruling block.

People’s lives and livelihoods are now at risk, but taxpayers’ money will not be used to address the situation. The socially-vulnerable will be hit particularly hard. The criticalness of the current situation has made it clear that the Abe government collects taxes and uses tax revenues in an anti-people manner.

The Abe government’s maladministration is driving the already negatively-impacted people into a corner. As part of efforts to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has requested workers to stay home. He also issued a de facto order to close all schools in the country and asked parents to take necessary actions in response to school closures. It is the Abe government that has long neglected to improve working conditions and to create a work environment enabling workers to take days off whenever necessary.

Can anyone trust what Abe said? The above-mentioned Chinese restaurant owner said, “Mr. Abe does not understand the situation of the general public.” The coronavirus outbreak is not the only factor causing the current national crisis.

Past related article:
> Shii: Gov’t should utilize wisdom of experts and increase budget to contain COVID-19 [February 21, 2020]
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