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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 March 30 - April 5  > FY2016 budget with record military spending approved
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2016 March 30 - April 5 [POLITICS]

FY2016 budget with record military spending approved

March 30, 2016
The House of Councilors on March 29 at its plenary session passed the FY2016 budget bill with the majority vote of the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties. The Japanese Communist Party, the newly-launched Democratic Party (the merger of the Democratic Party of Japan and the Japan Innovation Party), the Social Democratic Party, and the People’s Life Party voted against the bill.

The total budget for the coming fiscal year ending March 2017 stands at about 97 trillion yen, up 0.4% from the previous year. This includes a record-high military spending of five trillion yen.

Later on the same day in the Diet building, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Yamashita Yoshiki said to the press that the approved budget goes against the needs of the general public and the Japanese economy as it was drawn up on the premise of the consumption tax hike to 10%.

Yamashita pointed out that the Abe administration’s FY2016 budget seeks to cut welfare services including medical care, nursing-care, and pension and to reduce the number of children waiting for admission to authorized childcare centers by packing them into existing facilities. On the other hand, Yamashita added, this budget incorporates tax breaks for large corporations and a record outlay on defense.

The JCP secretariat head said that if implemented, this budget will not only deliver a further blow to the Japanese economy and people’s living conditions but also increase social inequality.

Yamashita cited the fact that workers’ earnings have been decreasing for four consecutive years while big businesses are making all-time high profits and that in various opinion polls, 80% of the respondents said that they do not feel that the economy is on a recovery track. “These facts clearly indicate the failure of ‘Abenomics’ economic policies. The Abe government should place primary emphasis on support for people’s livelihoods and not for large corporations,” said Yamashita.

Yamashita explained that the JCP in its proposals has called for the cancellation of the planned tax hike to 10%, the creation of a progressive taxation system, and policies focusing on social welfare programs and support for young people and child-rearing families. He said, “Along with the general public, the JCP will confront the Abe government together with other opposition parties.”

Past related articles:
> Gov’t should drastically increase cultural budget to ensure people can enjoy art [March 2, 2016]
> JCP Miyamoto criticizes increase in ‘sympathy budget’ as extraordinary subservience of Japan to US [February 17, 2016]
> Defense Ministry to request record-high 6 trillion yen budget for next fiscal year [August 23, 2015]
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