In the year?end people anticipated an ominous dark year will come, darker than 2013. In December news were reported on a conspiracy law and a new tax system which prefers business profits and destroys people’s living. However, the very nature of the Abe government has been disclosed and people have begun learning. Though a scale is insignificant, resistance, meaningful resistance, has emerged across the country.
COUNTER-ATTACK EMERGES AGAINST ABE GOVERNMENT
Government steals from People
In spite of the so-called Abenomics the Japanese economy could not cope with higher interest rates and cheap transactions of stocks. An extraordinary sum of speculation money flew about in the stock and exchange markets thanks to policies of further reduction of investment taxes, financial deregulation and generous fiscal stimuli. It was after September that stock prices began to rise.
The Abe government is aware of a fragile economic structure of the country and tries to enable capitalists to achieve the greatest exploitation in the world: deregulation of labor laws and a hasty participation in the TPP initiative. Profits of Big Business have recorded the highest in the history, but due to a corporate tax reduction policy the government has gained less, amounting approximately 8 trillion Yen, which is almost a half of revenue of Year 2007. Debts of the state have expanded to 1,000 trillion Yen, which is twice as big as that of the Year 2000.
Meanwhile, the number of beneficiaries of Life Protection Service counts 2.16 million people and around 3 million people remain out of job for years. The government decided in October to raise the consumption tax rate to 8% from the current 5% and simultaneously announced a budget of 5 trillion Yen to boost the economy. The additional 3% of tax rate will bring revenue amounting 8 trillion Yen, which means the government has already put 5 trillion Yen aside for public works which bring profits to major construction companies.
Look at the rest of the world. Every time when the US government faces ‘a fiscal cliff’, it astonishes the world with default. In the EU due to serious depression the member nations are at a loss in recovering fiscal soundness. In 2014 a global scale of economic disaster harsher than the Lehman Shock may occur triggered by a tiny blow and the Abenomics economy of Japan may get bankrupted.
Government wants a war
In the political scene the Abe government, just after its inauguration, expressed approval of the right of collective defense and amendment of Article 96 of the constitution. The decisions aroused intense reactions among people. Then it clung to legislation of the Act on Protection of Specified Secrets. Furthermore, it contemplates to penalize conspiracy. The Abe government wants a war and prepares a Basic Bill for National Security. It attacks people in Okinawa; it presses the island to accept a decision to build a new base in Nago City.
Another topic is nuclear power. Premier Abe visited Turkey and India to sell nuclear power plants, while he ordered to resume operation at the suspended plants after the great quake here in Japan. He has revived mafia groups of nuclear industry and saved TEPCO from bankruptcy by using tax money to manage the disaster at Fukushima plant, while he has begun to ignore people affected by the calamity.
Solidarity at grass-root level
Social opinions and the parliament position stand on the opposite as was seen in the legislation process of the Act on Protection of Specified Secrets. The increased tax rate and failure in Abenomics will bring severe economic and social dissatisfactions, which will invite fierce distrust of people in politics. Extreme-right forces clinging to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party may gain impetus again.
In the July election anti-nuclear forces were defeated, with an exception of the Communist Party which increased some seats. The election result showed a lack of potential to represent people’s expectation. The New Socialist Party (NSP) worked hard to field a candidate supported by multiple political parties and civic groups. In the Tokyo district the NSP campaigned to bring victory to Candidate Yamamoto Taro. In the subsequent local elections candidates won who were supported by the united efforts of broad strata of voters.
Solidarity must be strengthened and deep-rooted among people in the agenda of defending the Constitution and opposing neo-liberal policies. We must overcome smart tactics of the state power to split people’s unity.
Let’s consolidate unity at the grass-root level in order to win in the local elections scheduled in 2015.
December 24, 2013