February 1, 2013
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo questioned Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on January 31 about his policy speech delivered two days previously, urging him to implement three basic policies to overcome the deflationary recession.
The policies Shii called for are: cancel all plans to reduce people's incomes such as a consumption tax hike and cuts in social services; put a stop to rampant pay cuts and layoffs by large corporations and business circles; establish rules to ensure decent living conditions and set a goal to increase wages.
Shii attributed the ongoing deflationary recession to a continuous decline in working people's incomes.
Pointing out that the deregulation of labor laws has contributed to the increasing poverty rate and the widening gap between the rich and the rest, Shii asked the prime minister if he is aware of this fact and the Liberal Democratic Party's responsibility for it.
Prime Minister Abe in reply said, "Under the lingering weakness in domestic demand, corporate growth prospects have fallen and deflation predictions have become fixed, resulting in continuous deflation."
Shii stated that the key to get out of the deflationary recession is to proceed in a direction toward an effort to increase workers' wages.
Shii also demanded that the government cancel all its policies which will decrease people's incomes by such means as trimming down the government expenses for the livelihood protection program.
In terms of a 2% inflation target with drastic monetary easing as Prime Minister Abe calls for, Shii said, "If prices rise at a time when people's incomes are continuing to decline, they will have to face further difficulties in making ends meet. What the government should set to achieve is a wage hike target."
In response, Abe raised the worn out and discredited trickle-down theory saying, "The government growth strategy will improve corporate earnings which creates a positive growth cycle bringing about more job opportunities and an advance in wages."