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JCP in Tokyo publishes proposal to improve services for the elderly

The Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Committee on June 18 published a 15-point proposal for improving social welfare services for the elderly by providing financial support and solving the shortage of nursing care facilities.

The JCP says that as a result of the budget cuts carried out by Governor Ishihara Shintaro, Tokyo, which was in second place in expenditures for services for the elderly in 1999, fell to the lowest in 2007 and 2008 in a row. Per-capita social welfare spending for the elderly decreased to 80,000 yen in 2007 from 130,000 yen in 1999.

The JCP's 15-point proposal calls for free medical services for the elderly aged 75 and over and the construction of nursing care facilities for 10,000 aged people within three years.

Regarding financial resources, the JCP pointed out that the size of the metropolitan government annual budget is equal to Sweden's national budget and that the metropolitan government has 1.6 trillion yen in reserve, including 300 billion yen of preparatory funds for hosting the Olympic Games, and said, "The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has enough tax revenue but doesn't have the political will to use it for much needed for social welfare services."

- Akahata, June 19, 2009

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