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Pension bills rammed through Upper House committee


   Amid growing public anxiety over the government pension mismanagement, the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on June 28 pushed through the House of Councilors welfare committee two pension bills, one to dissolve and privatize the Social Insurance Agency and the other to remove the statute of limitations on the pension benefit claims.


   Discussions in the committee meeting were often suspended because the Welfare Ministry failed to provide data necessary to deal with the pension problem and to give adequate answers.


   Japanese Communist Party representative Koike Akira in his discussion criticized the bill, saying, gThe dissolution of the Social Insurance Agency means that the government will evade its responsibility for the pension problem.h


   Separately, at a House of Councilors special committee meeting on the same day, the LDP and the Komei Party rammed through a bill to revise the Political Funds Control Law with the aim of warding off the public criticism over the office expenses scandals.


   At a press conference held later in the day, JCP Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi expressed his high indignation at the forcible passages by saying, gHow many forcible passages will satisfy the ruling parties?h


   gAn in-depth discussion on the pension problem is just beginning. Now is the time for every party to show their wisdom in order to seek the truth and cope with the problem without creating a single person who cannot receive pension benefits that he or she is entitled to,h said Ichida.      - Akahata, June 29, 2007


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