On a Fuji TV debate program aired on August 28, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo said, "The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) is tightening its grip on the Liberal Democratic Party more than ever before."
He stated this when commenting on LDP Secretary General Takebe Tsutomu's statement that the LDP is not controlled by any special interest organizations.
Shii said, "Nippon Keidanren demands that the corporate tax be reduced and that the consumption tax rate be increased. It also issues 'report cards' rating the policies of political parties. Based on the rating, it urges its member companies to make political donations to parties that will meet their needs. This is the most blatant form of buying policies."
Pointing out that the government started campaigning for postal privatization, acceding to the demand of the Japanese Bankers Association, Shii said that major banks are seeking to destroy postal savings and the "kampo" life insurance systems in order to open a new market for capital.
Asked which he supports "big government or small government," Shii said that large development projects and the 5 trillion yen military budget represent "big government" and stressed the need to reduce those expenditures. He said that Japan's social services, on the other hand, are an example of "small government," adding that Japan's expenditure on social welfare benefit payments as a percentage in gross domestic product is the smallest among the major capitalist countries and that it needs to be increased.
Akahata, August 29, 2005