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Citizens hold a rally to eliminate poverty

 

   An assembly was held in Tokyo on August 26 to discuss ways to eliminate poverty by making use of citizensf power.

 

   The theme was: gLetfs increase power to fight poverty.h

 

   The assembly adopted a declaration calling for the need gto join hands beyond the boundaries of labor, social welfare, or consumer movements to establish a society in which all can live a decent life with dignity.h

 

   The rally was organized by a national council to deal with issues concerning public livelihood assistance that lawyers, scholars, experts, and ordinary citizens had founded in June for the purpose of improving daily life protection in compliance with laws in order to solve expanding poverty problems.

 

   This council on August 24 filed a criminal complaint against the director of a welfare office in Kitakyushu City over a case in which a man had been found dead from starvation on May 23 in the city after his application for assistance was rejected several times.

 

   Sugimura Hiroshi, professor at Hosei University, reported that as shown in the Kitakyushu case, many welfare offices throughout Japan are trying to curb welfare expenditures while residents in need visit the office to apply for welfare benefits.

 

   Teruoka Itsuko, professor emeritus of Saitama University, in a panel discussion stressed the importance of citizensf unity by stating, gPoverty in Japan is something that is created. People with human rights that can challenge such poverty should join hands to defend human rights.h

 

   Lawyer Utsunomiya Kenji said, gThe underlying idea should be the protection of human rights and human dignity.h

 

   Kasai Akira, a member of the House of Representative, spoke at the rally on behalf of the Japanese Communist Party.          - Akahata, August 27, 2007




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