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2024 March 20 - 26 TOP3 [POLITICS]

JCP Chair Tamura on livestreaming program calls for direct gov’t support for wage hikes at SMEs

March 23, 2024

Japanese Communist Party Chair Tamura Tomoko on March 21 appeared on a livestream program hosted by the video-sharing website “niconico” and talked about the JCP’s views on the topics which viewers are interested in such as the LDP’s slush fund scandal and how to lift wages at small- and mid-sized enterprises.

How to boost wages at SMEs

Stating, “What is needed for wage hikes at smaller companies is direct support from the government,” Tamura, as an example, cited the French government’s measure to reduce corporate social insurance costs. She said, “In Japan, the higher the wages companies offer, the heavier the social insurance burden they shoulder. In order to encourage SMEs to increase their workers’ wages, the government should take drastic measures, including lowering social insurance contributions for smaller businesses, so that they can give pay hikes to their workers.”

MC Nanao Isao, head of the “niconico” political affairs section, in response said, “It sounds fairly realistic.” Tamura explained the JCP proposal to levy a tax on large corporations’ internal reserves to fund measures to support pay hikes at SMEs.

LDP off-the-book fund scandal

Tamura pointed out, “The LDP is incapable not only of cleansing itself by clarifying the facts behind the slush fund scandal, but also of exercising control over party management.” She said, “With a resolve to push the LDP out of power, the JCP will increase its Diet efforts to thoroughly dig out the whole truth behind the political funding scandal.” She stressed the need to summon former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro and five other executive members of the LDP Abe faction for testimony before the Diet.

In regard to the “money and politics” issue, Tamura touched on the system of government subsidies to political parties. She explained that the subsidy system costs every Japanese citizen 250 yen a year irrespective of their political affiliation, which constitutes a violation of the Constitution. She pointed out that the LDP, while accepting state subsidies, receives from corporations and organizations political donations which include the purchase of fundraiser tickets. On the other hand, the JCP Chair said, the JCP refuses to accept state subsidies and covers all its activities with membership dues, Akahata subscription fees, and personal donations. “That’s why the JCP can propose policies aimed at reducing people’s hardships,” Tamura said.
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