Many owners of mid- and small-size businesses have criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to dissolve the House of Representatives, arguing that they don’t see the purpose of an early election.
“It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money. An election can wait until Abe’s term is up,” said Naoki Yoshida, owner of Tokyo-based printer developer Wedg Co. His company has seen a drop in sales compared to the pre-Abe administration period as the company only sells its products on the domestic market and many of its clients have expanded their businesses overseas.
“We have never benefited from ‘Abenomics,'” Yoshida said in slamming Abe’s signature economic policy.
Mitsuru Kidachi, chairman of Chiba Tofu Commercial and Industrial Associations, said Abenomics has only benefitted stock owners and employees of giant enterprises. “It doesn’t do any good for members of this association,” he added.
The purchase price of soybeans, the main ingredient of tofu, has soared by over 20 percent over the past year while electricity bills and the price of packaging materials are also rising. Many mid- and small-size tofu stores are suffering from a lack of successors, and the number of association members has dropped by half over the past 10 years.