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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 November 21 - 27  > JCP Yamashita urges prime minister to abandon ‘structural reform’ policies
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2007 November 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

JCP Yamashita urges prime minister to abandon ‘structural reform’ policies

November 27, 2007
In the House of Councilors Plenary Session on November 26, Japanese Communist Party representative Yamashita Yoshiki urged Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo to put an end to the “structural reform” policy line that has shifted intolerable burdens onto the weak.

In his question regarding the FY 2006 government statement of accounts, Yamashita stressed that the government must take seriously the public anger shown in the recent Upper House election.

Yamashita demanded that the government cancel the introduction of a new medial system that requires the elderly aged 75 and over to pay high medical insurance premiums.

Prime Minister Fukuda insisted that the government will stick to its plan to implement the new system in April next year, although he hinted at taking some measures to temporarily soften the adverse impacts.

Citing a family suicide committed by a father and his two disabled daughters in Shiga Prefecture last year, Yamashita urged the prime minister to remove the “beneficiary-pays system” in the “self-support assistance law” that imposes heavier burdens on disabled people in accordance with the severity of their disabilities.

Yamashita also took up the issue of the shortage of physicians, particularly to obstetrical sections, stating, “In the second wealthiest nation in the world, many mothers cannot safely give birth to their babies. This is absolutely unacceptable.” He stressed that the government must fulfill its responsibility by retracting the cabinet decision to limit the number of doctors and adopting a policy of increasing doctors.

The JCP representative stressed that it is totally wrong to finance the social welfare programs with the consumption tax that bullies the weak. He stated the government must hold a general election to ask the public if they agree with increasing the consumption tax rate.

The prime minister in reply stated that the government will have wide-ranging discussions on the consumption tax issue.

Yamashita stated that the military concession scandals revealed that the Japanese and U.S. military industries, politicians, and bureaucrats are exploiting the annual Japanese military expenditure of five trillion yen to further their special interests. He demanded that the prime minister be held accountable by leading the investigation into this matter. - Akahata, November 27, 2007
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