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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 December 11 - 17  > Elderly stage sit-in protest near Welfare Ministry
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2019 December 11 - 17 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Elderly stage sit-in protest near Welfare Ministry

December 14, 2019

A total of 150 elderly people, on December 11-13 near the Health and Welfare Ministry office building, staged a 3-day sit-in protest against the Abe government's attempt to cut back on social welfare spending, calling for a Japan in which everyone can live a secure life.

The Abe government is aiming to increase the amount that patients aged 75 or older have to pay for care at medical institutions.

Tsuji Kasumi, 75, said, "The amount of pension benefits I receive has been decreasing. In contrast, my premium payments for the nursing-care insurance has been increasing, but I've never used this care."

Oginuma Hiromi, 75, said that she started to work in October to make up for the shortage of living costs because her pension benefits are not enough to live on. Oginuma said, "When you get older, you need to go to see a doctor more frequently. So, it's not fair for the government to impose more costs on the elderly."

Pension payments began this year for 66-year-old Kanda Toyokazu, but he said, "The amount of pension benefits is so little that my household is in the red every month. I'm participating in this sit-in action not just because I want my pension benefits increased but I want to leave a better society for my children and grandchildren and for younger people."

An 81-year-old man from the Japan Pensioners' Union, who participated in the entire 3-day action, said, "The Abe government is bullying the weak while building armaments."

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira visited the sit-in protesters on the second day and said, "PM Abe is using a tax-funded event, the 'cherry blossom-viewing parties', for his personal gain. On the other hand, he forced through the increase in the consumption tax rate and also adversely revised many social welfare programs. Let's work together to increase the voices protesting against Abe the bully!"

JCP Vice Chair Tamura Tomoko, a House of Councilors member, and more than ten JCP Dietmembers also took part in the sit-in protest.
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