Elderly citizens' rally resolves to defend social services and Article 9

The 18th National Convention of Elderly People, held on September 15 and 16 in Chiba City, confirmed the resolve to increase the movement to defend social services and the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution.

About 4,000 people attended the plenary session in a hall with a signboard on the platform reading "Let's defend the Constitution's Article 9 and Article 25 (guarantee for wholesome and cultured living)."

Koike Akira, Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission chair and House of Councilors member, in his speech stated that the JCP will strive to get the Diet convened to discuss reforms that are truly in the public interest and that it will join forces with elderly people to increase the struggle against adverse constitutional revision and another consumption tax increase.

Participants took part in discussions in 29 groups on various subjects, including pensions, medical and nursing care insurance, environment, and the Constitution. Many stressed the need for them to develop local and regional movements to thwart cutbacks in social services. The pension system was adversely revised this year, and the government is preparing a similar adverse revision to the nursing care insurance system in 2005 and to the medical insurance system for the aged in 2006.

Mori Nobuyuki, All Japan Pensioners' Union chair, called for the minimum guaranteed pension system to be put forward in the movement as a united demand of the people. (end)

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