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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 November 17 - 23  > Elderly carry out sit-in to block gov’t from doubling their burden for medical payments
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2021 November 17 - 23 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Elderly carry out sit-in to block gov’t from doubling their burden for medical payments

November 18, 2021
November 18, 2021

Seeking to block the Liberal Democratic-Komei government’s plan to raise out-of-pocket medical expenses for the elderly aged 75 and over to 20% from the current 10% in October 2022, elderly people and seniors advocacy groups on November 17 held a sit-in protest near the Welfare and Health Ministry office building.

Japanese Communist Party members of the House of Representatives Kasai Akira, Miyamoto Toru, and Motomura Nobuko as well as JCP members of the House of Councilors Takeda Ryosuke and Yamazoe Taku visited the protestors to express their solidarity.

Kasai in his solidarity speech said, “The Prime Minister Kishida-led government’s move to slash government spending for medical and social welfare services and decrease the number of hospital beds is unacceptable. We will work hard together with a wide range of people, including senior citizens, to create a society where everyone can live without anxieties.”

Representing the organizer of the sit-in protest, Japan Senior Citizen’s Council head Yoshioka Hisashi said, “Let’s do everything we can to scrap the government plan.”

Sugiyama Fumikazu, 83, who heads the Tokyo local of the Japan Pensioners’ Union, pointed out that a substantial decrease in pension benefits due to the adverse revision of the public pension system under the Abe government has caused financial difficulties for the elderly, and called for a change of government.

A 66-year-old certified social worker, Otsuka Masako, said that if older people receive medical and nursing-care services without financial anxieties, this will help them to prevent their condition from getting worse and thus contribute to reducing government health expenditures.
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