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JCP issues proposal on self-support of disabled before law comes into effect

The Japanese Communist Party on February 22 published an urgent 4-point proposal to deal with the law to promote the self-support of the disabled, which will come into effect on April 1. There are many problems that will discourage them from using care services.

JCP Policy Commission Chair and House of Councilors member Koike Akira announced the JCP proposal in the news conference.

The law was railroaded through by the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties in October 2005 in disregard of objections raised by the opposition parties. It regards services that are essential for the disabled to live their daily lives as "benefits" in order to force them to pay 10 percent of the costs of services.

The law is designed to reduce government expenditure for the welfare for the disabled by introducing the concepts of self-help and market competition.

Forcing disabled persons to pay for services necessary for maintaining human dignity is contrary to constitutional principles as well as social welfare principles. Under the new law, the more handicapped they are, the more they will have to pay. The JCP in parliament has argued that the concept infringes on the right to subsistence. The movement opposing the defective law has spread among disabled people and their family members.

The JCP continues to demand that the government retract the "pay according to benefits" principle. It will also demand that the government financially support local governments, and local governments that undertake the care projects under the law take steps on their own to reduce or exempt charges.
- Akahata, February 23, 2006

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