1,000 protesters stage sit in under burning sun

In spite of the intense heat in Tokyo, about 1,000 people, including medical workers, union members, and people of religious faith, on July 23 held a sit-in all day around the Diet Building in protest against the bill for adversely revising the medical insurance system.

The ruling parties tried to break off the discussion of the bill in the House of Councilors on the 25th and railroad the bill through.

On the same day, more than 200 people observed the discussion of the bill at the House of Councilors Health, Labor, and Welfare Committee meeting. One of them, a 29 year-old dentist said, "If young people will have to pay 30 percent of their medical care in addition to high premiums, they don't want to carry health insurance any more. The government must not pass the bill, ignoring us as we protest everyday."

Demanding a thorough discussion of the bill, Japanese Communist Party House of Councilors member Koike Akira stated at the committee directors' meeting, "Even ruling party-recommended experts opposed the bill at the House of Representatives last month. The cabinet must not bulldoze the bill through without responding to the huge opposition from citizens." (end)