Japan Press Weekly
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Lower House unable to discuss bill to repeal notorious health insurance system due to DPJ boycott
The House of Representatives was to begin discussing a bill that had been jointly submitted by four opposition parties to repeal the new health insurance system for elderly people aged 75 and older. But that did not happen due to the refusal by the opposition Democratic, Social Democratic, and Peoplefs New parties to attend the plenary session.
Japanese Communist Party Diet Policy Committee Chair Kokuta Keiji at a news conference criticized these opposition parties for their boycott by stating their task is to present the nation with an alternative bill.
In the effort to get the deliberation started, the JCP spent the whole day trying to persuade other opposition parties to attend the plenary session
The JCP also proposed to the ruling bloc that a session be held for the explanation of the bill with time for questions and answers. The ruling parties replied it would agree to do so if the boycotting opposition parties agree to have the JCP explain the bill on behalf of the opposition bloc.
The JCP, then, asked the other opposition parties to give consent to the idea but the effort was unsuccessful. It also reiterated the demand that the House of Representatives Steering Committee hold a meeting to discuss the bill but in vain.
gWhat the public wants is the abolition of the problematic health insurance system, not amendments that the ruling bloc seeks. The JCP will make every effort to get the system abolished,h said Kokuta.
JCP Chair Shii criticizes DPJes irresponsibility
Concerning the DPJfs refusal to attend the plenary session, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo said, gThe bill to abolish the new health insurance system was jointly introduced by four opposition parties. It is very irresponsible of the DPJ and the two other opposition parties to boycott the session.h
He also said, gThe three opposition parties should fulfill their responsibility as sponsors of the bill to abolish the health insurance system in question. They should be ready to answer questions on the floor of the Diet. The JCP is ready to explain the bill and answer questions on it alone if other opposition parties do not want to attend the session. In that case, they should leave the right to explain the bill and the right to answer questions about it to the JCP. If they keep turning their back, they are throwing away their own bill themselves.h - Akahata, June 13, 2008
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