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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 May 19 - 25  > 200K signatures calling for better medical, nursing-care and welfare programs submitted to Diet
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2021 May 19 - 25 [LABOR]

200K signatures calling for better medical, nursing-care and welfare programs submitted to Diet

May 21, 2021

About 200,000 signatures calling for improvement in medical, nursing-care, and welfare programs were submitted to the Diet, with the backing of 133 lawmakers of both ruling and opposition parties.

This took place as part of a day of action organized by the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and the People's Spring Struggle Joint Committee. Their day of action included rallies, demonstrations, petitioning to government ministries and agencies, and lobbying Dietmembers. Calling for the realization of an across-the-board minimum wage of 1,500 yen nationwide, 160,000 signatures were also submitted to the Diet through 110 ruling and opposition parties' legislators.

Zenroren President Obata Masako said, "The whole of Japan is still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government should review its policy of decreasing the number of hospital beds and of abolishing/merging publicly-owned hospitals. It instead should improve the community healthcare system."

Prior to the day of action, a rally took place at Hibiya Amphitheater near Tokyo's government office district.

Obata at the rally said, "The government’s ineffective countermeasures are causing the expansion and extension of the state of emergency. It should cancel the Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled for this summer and pour its energy into the prevention of the COVID-19 spread." She underscored the need for an increase in minimum hourly wages as well as for an expansion of public services.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira reported on present Diet discussions. He said, "The biggest problem is that the government, more than anything else, wants to hold the Tokyo Games at any cost this coming July. The need now is for the government to have more effective COVID-19 countermeasures, introduce a smoother vaccine inoculation system, and strengthen the PCR testing system. On top of that, a change in government is urgently needed."

Past related articles:
> Suga gov’t sticks to policy of decreasing number of hospital beds in midst of COVID-19 pandemic [March 4, 2021]
> Corona crisis clearly demonstrates the need to raise minimum hourly wages [August 22, 2020]

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