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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 January 13 - 19  > JCP Policy Commission Chair calls for compensatory payments, not punishment, in COVID-19 countermeasures
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2021 January 13 - 19 [POLITICS]

JCP Policy Commission Chair calls for compensatory payments, not punishment, in COVID-19 countermeasures

January 14, 2021
The government on January 13 presented to both ruling and opposition parties a proposal for penalties for not responding to government requests such as to shorten business hours as well as a proposal for criminal punishment for those who fail to comply with hospitalization instructions as measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Regarding compensatory payments for business operators, however, the government only said, "Efforts will be made to provide support."

Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Tamura Tomoko said, "Why is it that you will just 'make efforts' for support while considering imposing penal regulations? The first thing you should do is to guarantee compensation for coronavirus-caused losses. This is the way to ensure effective COVID-19 countermeasures."

More than 6,000 COVID-19 positive people in Tokyo stay at home at present, waiting for hospitals or accommodations available for admission. Under such circumstances, the government thinks of putting those who disagree to a government request for home/hotel recuperation. The government also intends to introduce criminal penalties for neglecting inpatient measures.

Tamura stated that what is needed is for the government to correct the current situation where many COVID-19 positive people are forced to stay outside of hospitals or accommodations. She said, "Criminal provisions could encourage those who cannot afford to pay fines to hide and could drive them into a corner. The important thing is to find the best way on how to provide support and eliminate discrimination against COVID-19 infected people." She criticized the government for considering imposing punishment without doing what should be done.

The government is considering levying fines of up to one million yen or 1-year imprisonment for non-compliance with hospitalization instructions; and fines of up tp 500,000 yen or up to 6-month imprisonment for non-cooperation with contact-tracing surveys.

Past related article:
> JCP: Not fines but consent and grants are needed to fight COVID-19 pandemic [January 11, 2021]

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