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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 October 31 - November 6  > 6,500 disabled people participate in rally calling for drastic review of ‘self-support assistance law’
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2007 October 31 - November 6 [WELFARE]

6,500 disabled people participate in rally calling for drastic review of ‘self-support assistance law’

October 31, 2007
Demanding a drastic review of the “self-support assistance law,” some 6,500 disabled people on October 30 took part in a rally at the Hibiya Amphitheatre in Tokyo.

The rally participants adopted a resolution calling for the abolition of the law’s “beneficiary-pays system” and made representations to the Welfare Ministry.

The “self-support assistance law” put in force in April 2006 requires disabled people to pay 10 percent of the cost of any welfare services they use. This law has not only negatively impacted the living conditions of the disabled people but has also reduced the revenues of workshop facilities for the disabled due to the reduction in the number of users and has forced staff members to leave their jobs.

As part of the rally, a symposium was held in which representatives of political parties (Japanese Communist, Liberal Democratic, Komei, Democratic, and Social Democratic parties) took part. From the JCP, House of Councilors member Kami Tomoko attended.

Kami stressed the urgent need to abolish the “beneficiary-pays system.” Calling for an earliest possible drastic revision of the law, she said, “The required budget to abolish the ‘beneficiary-pays system’ is 51 billion yen, only 1/60 of the money that the government will pay for the U.S. military realignment plan.”

The ruling LDP and Komei Party representatives, while avoiding touching on calls for the “beneficiary-pays system” to be abolished, insisted that the idea of the “self-support assistance law” is justified, provoking boos from the participants.

“I’m worried about my daughter’s life after my death,” said Hayashi Miyoko, 72, whose 32-year-old daughter is physically disabled because of the aftereffects of cerebral infantile paralysis and who needs assistance in her daily living.

Miyoko said, “Under the ‘self-support assistance law,’ my daughter has to pay 40,000 to 50,000 yen a month for the use of welfare services out of her disability pension benefit of 80,000 yen. Disabled people like my daughter cannot raise their voices if something happens to them. The government is taking away things they need from those who are unable to complain and are most in need.”
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