Kamei blames Keidanren for rise in suicides

Kyodo News

The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) is responsible for the recent increase in the number of family murder-suicides, according to financial and postal affairs minister Shizuka Kamei, an outspoken politician who has stirred controversy since his appointment last month.

Firms have stopped treating people as humans and this has led to an increase in families taking their lives, Kamei said in a speech Monday. He said that when he met with Fujio Mitarai, chairman of the business lobby, in May, “I told him Nippon Keidanren should feel responsible for this.”

The rise in family murder-suicides has been attributed to breadwinners losing their jobs as firms abandon lifetime employment and cut staff amid the slump.

“Managers of big companies used to distribute to small companies part of the profits their companies earned when the economy was healthy,” Kamei said. “But now they are accumulating such profits as internal reserves so they can use them for business restructuring.”

Mitarai reportedly asked Kamei: “Is Keidanren to blame?” for such deaths.

Kamei has accused Keidanren of altering the corporate culture by supporting the 2001-2006 structural reform drive Junichiro Koizumi waged as prime minister.