August 11, 2012
The Democratic, Liberal Democratic, and Komei parties on August 10 used their force of majority to enact a controversial bill to increase the consumption tax rate in the Upper House. The Japanese Communist Party and six other opposition parties voted against the bill.
The new tax legislation will increase the rate by 3% from the present 5% to 8% in April 2014 followed by another 2% increase to 10% in October 2015.
Soon after the enactment of the tax bill, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo said at a press conference, “The legislation will take effect in two years. More people will come together to resist the tax increase as the date set for the implementation draws closer. The climax of our fight has yet to come.”
Pointing out that more than half of the people in all opinion polls have expressed opposition to the tax hike, he stated the tax hike coalition forms a majority in the Diet but represents the minority of the general public.
Expecting that upper and lower house elections will take place by April 2014, the JCP chair expressed his determination to make a JCP advance in the two elections as the only party providing detailed proposals on how to overcome the financial crisis in parallel with improving in social welfare programs without increasing the consumption tax rate.