Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
Blog [Japanese]
HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 May 23 - 29  > LDP and Komei push bill through Lower House committee to dissolve Social Insurance Agency
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2007 May 23 - 29 [POLITICS]

LDP and Komei push bill through Lower House committee to dissolve Social Insurance Agency

May 26, 2007
The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on May 25 pushed through the House of Representatives Welfare Committee a bill to dissolve the Social Insurance Agency and privatize the management of the pension system.

Amid the strong public criticism of the Social Insurance Agency’s mistakes regarding pension recordkeeping that have risen as many as 50 million disputed cases, the ruling parties, by relying on their majority, took the outrageous action that amounts to abdicating state responsibility for the pension system.

Japanese Communist Party Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji at a press conference after the vote expressed his strong protest against the ruling parties’ sudden closure of the committee discussion and the forcible passage of the bill without taking any measure to resolve the problem.

At a committee meeting earlier in the day, JCP representative Takahashi Chizuko demanded that the committee refrain from putting the bill to a vote, pointing out that many questions regarding the bill still remain unresolved.

She criticized the bill, stating, “The dissolution and privatization of the Social Insurance Agency will lead to entrusting the management of the important pension information to the private sector and will cause such information to leak out and create more recordkeeping mistakes.”

Faced with public criticism, the government on May 25 announced that it will investigate the problem, but failed to make clear the details of its plan.

Still unresolved are questions such as the government-planned punishment for those who failed to pay pension premiums, the diversion of pension premiums to office expenses, and the creation of corruption related to high ex-government officials’ “parachuting” into the private sector and involvement in concession hunting.

In order to maintain a reliable management of long-term recordkeeping and insurance premiums in the public pension system, the state has been responsible for directly running the management. Government employees have been engaged in the operation in order to guarantee fairness and neutrality.

The government bill will fragment the operation and outsource the work through competitive bidding.

In a committee hearing, witnesses criticized the bill by stating, “the government plan goes against the world trend to put pension systems under comprehensive management by the state.” - Akahata, May 26, 2007
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved