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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 July 18 - 24  > Weekly anti-poverty action starts in front of PM’s office
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2012 July 18 - 24 [WELFARE]

Weekly anti-poverty action starts in front of PM’s office

July 19, 2012
A wide range of people dealing with poverty issues launched a planned weekly action in front of the prime minister’s office on July 18 in protest against cuts in livelihood protection benefits and other social security programs.

Nearly 200 participants in the action, which was posted on Twitter, expressed their protest by giving speeches or playing music.

Lawyer and Anti-Poverty Network representative Utsunomiya Kenji (former president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations) criticized national policies as being incapable of dealing with the widening poverty and social gap. “The voices of victims must be directly heard in order to change government policies,” he stressed.

Komatsu Chiyako, one of the initiators of the action who received livelihood protection benefits till January, revealed how users of the program are cornered by welfare recipient-bashing campaigns run by some politicians and media.

A woman living in Tokyo’s Kokubunji City said that she and two of her siblings have to repay a total of 10 million yen in college scholarship loans and that their father had to give up his business due to the 1997 increase in the consumption tax rate from 3% to 5%.

Parliamentarians of the Japanese Communist, Democratic, and Social Democratic parties participated in the rally.

The action will be held every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m.
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