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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 September 8 - 14  > Despite COVID crisis, internal reserves of corporations with over \1 billion in capital hit record high
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2021 September 8 - 14 [ECONOMY]

Despite COVID crisis, internal reserves of corporations with over \1 billion in capital hit record high

September 10, 2021

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The amount amassed by large companies (capitalized at more than one billion yen) in internal reserves hit a record high of 466.8 trillion yen, according to government statistics on corporate performance for fiscal 2020. The sum of dividends and remuneration paid to shareholders and corporate executives increased by 11% and 1.5% from the previous year, respectively. However, wages for workers decreased by 1.2% from fiscal 2019.

Under the COVID-19 pandemic situation, a monthly average of 920,000 non-regular jobs disappeared. Of them, 610,000 were jobs held by women workers. Non-regular workers, especially women and young people, are struggling to survive during the protracted corona crisis.

On the grounds of the increase in teleworking after the COVID-19 outbreak, the financial circles are requesting that the government ease working-hour restrictions. It will be unacceptable for the government to allow the business community to take advantage of teleworking in order to normalize long working hours. The need is for the government to increase the minimum hourly wage to 1,500 yen in parallel with boosting support for small- and mid-sized enterprises. To establish a society where everyone can live decently with an 8-hour work day is also necessary.

Japan's total tax revenues in FY2020 reached an all-time high of 60.8 trillion yen despite a stagnant economy associated with the spread of COVID-19 infections. A major factor is that former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo forcibly raised the regressive consumption tax rate to 10% in October of 2019. An increase in consumption tax revenues amounted to 2.6 trillion yen, the top of the country's tax revenues. People, no matter how much hardship they go through, must pay this tax when they purchase something or receive services. The government should impose a fair share of tax burdens on the wealthy and large corporations and should reduce the consumption tax rate to 5%.
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