At present, awareness among citizens is increasing and they are strongly interested in the way government and local municipalities are using taxpayers' money. However, just a little while ago, their interest was not worth mentioning. But, Morita had his opinion about use of taxpayers' money since quite time back. Morita had explained this in 1969 using a term called "Taxpayer". "At present, term called "Taxpayer" is popularly used in America. In other words, taxpayer essentially means that they have equivalent rights as well. In Japan, somehow the concept of taxpayer is not there; rather it is a kind of protection racket. Big daddy managing the place comes and proudly takes away the money". ("Jitsugyo no Nihon", November 1969 issue)
In 1968, it was decided that if the rent of company accommodation provided to executives by the company is remarkably low, difference will be deemed as income of allowance in kind and it will be taxed. With regard to that, Morita had expressed his resentment saying that method of tax calculation is ridiculous.
"Tax authorities collect tax from weak and easy-to-target people, but the worst people are simple hiding somewhere. One of the company executives known to me decided to move out of company accommodation due to tax related issues. (abbr) High ranking government officials do not pay any tax even if they are leaving in big houses. Reason why Japanese economy revived to this level is mainly because of the recovery brought by industry during last 20 years." ("Zaikai", October 1968 issue)
Morita is of course not against paying the taxes. He believes that it is duty and mission of citizens and companies to pay taxes. However, he raises he suspicions about limited amount of interest taken by both paying and receiving side as what happens with the taxpayers’ money after it is paid. He is emphasizing that it is important to take more interest about paying taxes. Shareholders of a company could hold the management responsible for the usage of money invested by them and management is bound to respond to the same. Morita emphasizes that since tax paying citizens are shareholders of Japan Inc., they should take more interest in the ways taxpayers’ money is used.
From:The Sayings of Akio Morita, published by Sony Magazines.