Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. is the only news agency providing information of progressive, democratic movements in Japan

Disabled people hold rally demanding disability pension benefit

On July 23, disabled people who filed lawsuits demanding that the government recognize them as eligible for disability pension benefits held a rally with their lawyers and supporters.

About 320 participants are determined that they will collect more than 100,000 signatures calling for a fair ruling by the Supreme Court.

Plaintiffs became disabled due to illnesses or accidents while they were students sometime between 1961 and 1985. At that time, it was not compulsory for students 20 years old or older to become a national pension plan member.

Students under 20 years old were automatically eligible to receive the basic disability pension benefit while those who were over 20 had to be national pension plan members to receive the same benefit.

In 2001, 26 plaintiffs filed lawsuits in eight district courts demanding that the government reverse its decision not to pay them the benefit. The government has appealed against decisions made in Tokyo, Niigata, and Hiroshima district courts to the Supreme Court.

Saruki Tadashi, a plaintiff in Osaka who is confined to a wheelchair, injured his cervical cord while playing American football in 1978 when he was a university senior. He said, "Disabled people need to receive the pension benefit not only to secure their living but to retain their dignity and to actively participate in society."
- Akahata, July 24, 2006

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.