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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 1 - 7  > Yamashita demands withdrawal of revision of Worker Dispatch Law, increase in support for SMEs
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2014 October 1 - 7 [POLITICS]

Yamashita demands withdrawal of revision of Worker Dispatch Law, increase in support for SMEs

October 3, 2014
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Yamashita Yoshiki on October 2 in his interpellation at the House of Councilors plenary session urged Prime Minister Abe to stop the push for adverse revisions of the Worker Dispatch Law and give more support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), not large corporations.

Yamashita pointed out that the number of contingent workers increased by 1.25 million while the number of full-time workers decreased by 310,000 in the first 18 months after the Abe Cabinet was inaugurated. Criticizing the bill to ease the law on the use of dispatched workers, which the government submitted to the current extraordinary Diet session, Yamashita said that the bill will further encourage corporations to replace full-time workers with temporary agency workers.

Citing that many young people have no choice but to become low-paid, unstable non-regular workers, the JCP lawmaker demanded that the prime minister withdraw the bill which would expand the use of contingent jobs under which young people can hardly afford to have hope for a decent future.

Abe simply replied that labeling the revision of the law as adverse is inappropriate.

Yamashita indicated that while large corporations are recording their highest-ever profits, SMEs are receiving a heavy blow from higher raw material costs due to the weak yen and the April consumption tax hike.

He stated that the need now is for the government to take steps to support small businesses, which constitute 99% of business establishments and hire 70% of workers in Japan, so that they can stabilize their business operations and provide higher wages for their employees.

Yamashita referred to the fact that the U.S. government has provided SMEs with a total of 880 billion yen (about 8.8 billion dollars) of support in order to raise minimum wages during the past five years. In contrast, the Japanese government spends only three billion yen a year for SME assistance measures, Yamashita pointed out. The government should drastically increase the budget to provide SME support, he added.
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