Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)


Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)


Article excerpt

We can welcome the Democratic Party of Japan's having presented to the Diet various counterproposals on economic and other policies. The important thing is to deepen specific discussions on the counterproposals during Diet deliberations in the days ahead.

Diet interpellations on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policy speech began Tuesday.

While emphasizing the importance of "fair distribution" to reduce economic disparities, DPJ leader Katsuya Okada made proposals such as improving child-rearing allowances, enhancing the minimum pension guarantee and tightening financial taxation on stock dealings.

Abe countered by saying, "A virtuous circle of economic growth and distribution is an image of society which I aim to realize as one to enable dynamic participation by all citizens." He said his administration has already been working on such steps as increasing child-rearing allowances, making the greatest possible efforts in this regard within the limits of fiscal resources.

Fair distribution is one of the important tasks of a government. But overdoing it may weaken the private sector's vigor. It is also essential to examine its cost-effectiveness from the aspect of fiscal resources. Having a good balance between economic growth and distribution is important.

Okada's propositions are unduly weighted toward aspects of distribution such as strengthening the progressivity of income and inheritance taxes, and thus appear to lack specific measures to realize economic growth.

Okada has attached importance to making proposals this time, probably due to his having been provoked by Abe's remarks in his policy speech, which said that it is irresponsible (for a party or a Diet member) to merely criticize the government while making no counterproposals. Yet it can be hardly said that their verbal exchanges meshed with each other.

Henoko work should proceed

We hope they will hold a thoroughgoing discussion at the Budget Committee session where the discussion takes place in a question-and-answer format. If the DPJ were to turn their proposals into a bill and submit it to the Diet, that would also enliven the Diet discussion. …

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