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2020 January 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

Shii: PM Abe encloses Japan with ‘wall of hopelessness’

January 21, 2020
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on January 20 at a press conference in the Diet building criticized the policy speech Prime Minister Abe Shinzo delivered at the opening of the 201st ordinary Diet session. He then said that as was the case in the extraordinary session last year, opposition parties will continue with making united efforts to grill the government on controversial issues.

Shii pointed out that PM Abe said nothing about the scandals regarding the cherry blossom-viewing party and the promotion of casinos as well as about the abrupt resignation of two Cabinet members. He said, “PM Abe lacks awareness that his responsibility is called into question. On top of this, he has no intent to be accountable. This is very serious. The JCP will make thorough efforts to uncover the whole truth.”

Shii stressed, “PM Abe boasted that his economic policies have produced favorable achievements, but the data he used was completely wrong.” Shii touched on PM Abe’s remark that Japan succeeded in overcoming “the wall of resignation” in which the nation was trapped in an economic downturn. Citing the IMF’s list of countries ranked by GDP growth, Shii said, “Japan’s ranking dropped to 172nd in 2019 from 136th in 2012 when the second Abe administration was inaugurated. It is predicted that Japan will fall to 188th place in 2021 when Abe will complete his term as the president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.” He pointed out, “What actually happened is that PM Abe’s economic policies turned Japan into an ‘economically unviable nation’ and established ‘the wall of hopelessness’ instead of breaking down ‘the wall of resignation’.”

Furthermore, refuting PM Abe’s confident assertion that in the next fiscal year, the total national tax revenue is expected to hit an all-time high, Shii said, “In the next year’s budget, the revenue from corporate and income taxes will decrease by 1.20 trillion yen, which mirrors the slow economy. In contrast, revenues from the consumption tax will increase by 2.33 trillion yen due to the tax hike to 10% last year. PM Abe’s bragging about revenue growth is tantamount to deception.”

Shii pointed out that PM Abe used the words “Olympics” and “Paralympics” and “the Games” as many as 19 times. In particular, Shii noted, Abe in the last part of his speech said that with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games being just around the corner, Japan is full of energy and that “now is the time to act” and mentioned his ambition to revise the Constitution. Shii stressed, “The Summer Games have nothing to do with the issue of the Constitution. It is unforgivable for PM Abe to use the Olympics for his political gain. It goes against the Olympic spirit.”

Asked by the press about his thoughts on the fact that PM Abe did not refer to the controversies over the prime minister-hosted “cherry blossom-viewing party” and the casino bribery allegations as well as the resignations of two Cabinet ministers, Shii said that in regard to the “cherry blossom-viewing party” scandal, there are many allegations, such as PM Abe’s use of the government-hosted party to entertain his supporters to buy their favors, the attendance of the former executive of a notorious multi-level marketing company at the party with Abe’s invitation, and PM Abe’s false statement in a Diet meeting that the government’s handling of official documents concerning the party was proper and in accordance with relevant rules, while the government recently admitted that it had made violations of the law on official document management. Shii insisted that PM Abe is accountable for all these allegations, but he is not even aware of this and refuses to explain to the public about the matter.

As for the scandal where former state minister in charge of the promotion of casino-centric resort Akimoto Tsukasa was arrested for bribery, Shii said that it was PM Abe who appointed Akimoto to the post and that the promotion of casinos is one of the pillars in Abe’s economic growth strategy. He stressed that PM Abe has direct responsibility for the issue. Furthermore, citing the resignations of the two ministers, Shii claimed that Abe neglects to fulfill his responsibility to explain why he chose the two. Shii said, “The Abe government displays a decline in political morality in every sense. If the situation remains unchanged, it will lead to the collapse of Japan’s democracy. The JCP will address the situation together with other opposition parties.”

Past related articles:
> Justice minister resigns over his wife's possible violation of election law [November 1, 2019]
> METI Minister just one month after taking office resigns over money scandal [October 26, 2019]
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