Report on the Jointly Sponsored Rally “Tax Increases Will Destroy Japan! Citizens Group” Hibiya Large Open-Air Concert Hall, Tokyo.

On March 31, the Tax Increases Will Destroy Japan! Citizens Group rally was held at the Hibiya Large Open-Air Concert Hall in Tokyo, and the Happiness Realization Party participated as a partner organization. The event was aimed at voicing opposition to the tax hike policies being promoted by the Noda administration.

In spite of strong winds the night before the event and rain having starting before the beginning of the event, approximately 3,000 raingear-clad people gathered at the venue, including mothers with rain-protected pushchairs.

The assembly began with opening remarks from Masaru Uchiyama, the Chairman of Japanese for Tax Reform and the Head of the Executive Committee, who said, “Tax hikes if it rains, tax hikes if the wind blows, tax hikes in clear weather: the government is constantly asserting that it does not have enough money. But already half the salary of the Japanese taxpayer goes on taxes.”

Next was Hiroshi Yoshida, Professor at the Chiba University of Commerce Graduate School and Representative of the Institute of Public Sector Accounting, who emphatically stated, “If there is a desire to increase tax revenues, first of all enrich the citizens. This is the democratic way of boosting tax revenues.”

Chozo Nakagawa, Former Mayor of Kasai City in Hyogo Prefecture and Head of the Hyogo Research Institute stated, “In continuing to provide a high level of social security benefits, proposing tax increases to cover shortfalls in funds is extremely simplistic thinking. We need to create a mechanism for sustainable social security and switch to a flat, straightforward tax system.”

Mamiya Suzuki, Professor at Seigakuin University, emphasized that “Taxes are collected in order to supply and produce the public assets that we all use together, and are not for dissemination to citizens’ pockets. Collecting taxes for use in improper ways is intolerable.”

Shugaku Tsuiki, Leader of the Happiness Realization Party, commented, “Prime Minister Noda said that he will ‘stake his political career’ on the passing of a bill to increase consumption tax, but at the time of the change of administrations, he stated that he would not increase taxes for four years. This is a personal violation of the principle of faith and trust. If the rate of consumption tax is raised during a period of recession when prices are deflating, it is clear from the experience of when the consumption tax was raised in 1997 that this will worsen the economy. In spite of this, Prime Minister Noda is attempting to repeat the same mistake. I cannot countenance this. I therefore want to work with all of you in pursuing the repeal of the consumption tax increase bill and calling for the resignation of the Noda Cabinet.”

Furthermore, Jikido Jay Aeba, Chairman of Public Relations Headquarters, Happiness Realization Party, and who works as an advisor (in charge of Asia) to the United States Republican Party, presented a message from Herman Cain, a Republican Party candidate in the United States presidential election last year. The message read, “Too many taxes and too much government are impeding economic growth in all countries. I am delighted to see that people in Japan have started a movement for tax reform.”

Following the assembly, in spite of the gusting wind and rain and the cold, the participants formed ten groups and staged a demonstration which left from Hibiya Park and went through Toranomon, Shimbashi, and Yurakucho, chanting slogans such as “Don’t raise taxes when citizens are suffering!” and “We won’t stand for Finance Ministry autocracy!” Passengers on passing buses could be seen waving in support.

We hope to see you at more such events, complete with placard!