Japan in ¥28 Trillion Economic Package and a Ridiculously Small Increase in Hourly Rate for the Poor
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan announced yet another mega-stimulus package. Yet, in all truth, these endless packages appear to be assisting corporate Japan, construction companies, major shareholders, and other areas of society that doesn’t need to gain from taxpayers hard earned money. At the same time, the same government announces a farcical increase in the minimum wage of 24 yen.
Abe, himself, knows little about life on the margins given his extremely privileged background. Of course, this can’t only be held against Abe because other international leaders don’t understand the struggles of ordinary people.
Not surprisingly, during the last major election in Japan, a total of 45% of the population couldn’t be bothered to vote. Indeed, in three prefectures, the majority of Japanese citizens decided not to vote given the usual policies – and the usual elites.
Japan is equally blighted by an abysmally low birth rate. Issues related to this apply to working poverty, long hours, the belief in a lack of a bright future – and other areas outside of government based issues related to modern society. Yet, with spending being a perennial issue on top of growing poverty in Japan – and the Western disease of growing contract work with minimal working rights – then the same stimulus packages, while negating the poor, seems shallow and shortsighted.
If the past is to go by then the ¥28 trillion ($265) economic package will mean more central and local government projects. A lovely nice boost to wealthy shareholders and construction companies – like the usual merry-go-round. On top of this, many un-needed infrastructure projects will only increase the debt burden of Japan.
Overall, the working poor will continue to be marginalized and unable to boost the economy because of limited purchasing power. Debt strains will further hinder Japan but this will not stop this nation from supporting countless international nations and squandering money domestically on moribund stimulus packages. At the same time, the demographic time bomb will keep on ticking because of limited focus by the central government on boosting the birthrate. Hence, nearly half of the population not bothering to vote in the last election in Japan based on disillusionment and alienation.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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