The Lower House plenary session passed legislation Tuesday to revise the 1963 Small and Medium Enterprise Basic Law, clearing the way for the government to shift its policy from assisting all small firms as economic underdogs to encouraging “diverse and dynamic” businesses.

Because the definition of small and medium-size companies has been expanded so that more companies can benefit from measures under the revised legislation, a total of 32 other bills amending relevant laws also cleared the Lower House the same day.

While the bill passed the chamber with no amendments, the Japanese Communist Party objected, saying the legislation would lead to reducing support for the weakest firms.

In an effort to respond to such criticism, the Lower House adopted a supplementary resolution that stipulates that the revised law should pay due heed to the plight of existing small companies that are in dire need of help.

The legislation is expected to spur small and medium-size companies to step up self-help efforts to develop into vigorous growth businesses by helping them revamp their operations, strengthen their managerial bases and promote creative research and development.

On Friday, the Cabinet will endorse a comprehensive package of legislation and another bill revising other laws pertaining to small firms that will be submitted to the Diet for deliberation. These are intended to boost creation of venture businesses.

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