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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 29 - August 4  > Fukuoka court rejects pensioners’ claim that cutting pension benefits is unconstitutional
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2020 July 29 - August 4 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Fukuoka court rejects pensioners’ claim that cutting pension benefits is unconstitutional

August 1, 2020
In a lawsuit against the national government in which 149 pensioners claimed that unilateral cuts in pension benefits are unconstitutional, presiding judge Matsubasa Takayuki of the Fukuoka District Court rejected the plaintiffs’ claim.

The plaintiffs, after the ruling, issued a protest statement criticizing the ruling as unfair, and resolved to appeal to a higher court.

This lawsuit is one of a number of court battles which about 5,300 pensioners launched at 39 district courts nationwide after the government reduced the amount of pension payments by 2.5% in the three years between 2013 and 2015. The Fukuoka court ruling was the 10th in this regard.

The ruling acknowledged that in revising the public pension system, the Diet has legislative jurisdiction. By saying this, the court flatly turned down the plaintiffs’ claim that the decrease in the pension benefits is in violation of Articles 25, 29, and 13 of the Constitution.

After the ruling, the plaintiffs and their lawyers’ group held a rally in Fukuoka City. Lawyer Yamamoto Kazuyuki who heads the plaintiffs’ legal team said that the court decision is “totally unacceptable” as it ignores the reality of pensioners and fully accepts the arguments presented by the state. He stressed that in solidarity with other pensioners fighting in similar court battles nationwide, his team will work hard to support the plaintiffs in order to eventually overturn the ruling in a high court.

Japan Pensioners’ Union Fukuoka local chair Maki Tadataka said, “Human rights and democracy are in danger.” Noting that their court battle’s ultimate goal is to establish a minimum guaranteed pension system, he stressed, “We will never give up and will keep fighting.”

Past related article:
> Cuts in pension benefits are unconstitutional: pensioners [May 30, 2015]
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