From Thu Feb 15 04:22:03 2001
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 22:27:40 -0600 (CST)
From: Michael Eisenscher <>
Subject: Japan Thursday: Visits Cancelled, Okinawa Boiling
Article: 115002
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

From: Japan Press Service[]
Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2001 9:10 AM
Subject: JPS20010208-1

JCP calls for three-point economic reforms to benefit people

Japan Press Service, 02-028, 8 February 2001

TOKYO FEB 8 JPS—Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro again showed his lack of sense of responsibility on February 7 when he attributed the high unemployment rate among young people to their way of thinking.

The prime minister's statement came in reply to questions by Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi in the House of Councilors plenary session.

In the last ten years in Japan the unemployment rate among people between 15 and 25 almost doubled from 4.3 to 9.2 percent or 700,000. The percentage of new college graduates who got jobs shockingly dropped from 81 percent in 1990 to 55.8 percent in 1999.

This, Ichida said, is not because young people are choosy but because reckless corporate restructuring is crowding them out. The JCP Secretariat head demanded that the government on its responsibility help provide them with jobs.

In relation to economic issues, Ichida criticized the prime minister for describing in his policy speech the discontent and the no-way-out sentiment among the public about the prolonged economic recession as a natural phenomenon.

Ichida cited some key economic figures: Unemployment rate is 4.7 percent (3.2 million); take-home pay has declined by 20,000 yen (170 dollars) a month in the last two and a half years; the number of companies going bankrupt has increased by 23 percent on the previous year.

Household spending is shrinking for the eight straight years due to the increase in the consumption tax rate from three percent to five percent, near-zero interest rate and income cuts due to corporate restructuring.

JCP Ichida called on the government to drastically change its economic policy to one of benefiting the people's livelihoods, not large corporations, in line with the following three principles: First, the government should establish democratic rules to regulate arbitrary worker dismissals and eliminate unpaid overtime by large corporations; second, a greater national budget should be appropriated to social services and welfare, and less to military expenditure and to wasteful public works projects; and third, the government should change its economic relations with the U.S. to change away from supporting the U.S. economy with Japan's excessively low interest rates and opening markets to foreign agricultural products.