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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 March 28 - April 3  > Supreme Court turns down citizens’ call for ‘right to live’
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2012 March 28 - April 3 [WELFARE]

Supreme Court turns down citizens’ call for ‘right to live’

April 3, 2012
The Supreme Court on April 2 overturned a lower court decision that supported the plaintiffs’ demand for the restoration of additional welfare benefits for needy senior citizens and sent the case back to the Fukuoka High Court.

The 35 plaintiffs of the so-called “right to live” lawsuit live in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, and are calling for reinstatement of supplemental welfare benefits for citizens aged 70 and older who receive basic welfare benefits. They are arguing that the abolition of the benefits goes against Article 25 of the Constitution that guarantees “the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living.”

The latest ruling reversed the Fukuoka High Court’s recognition that the welfare minister abused the power of discretion in abolishing the additional benefits.

Similar lawsuits have been filed at seven other locations throughout Japan and this was the second Supreme Court ruling, following the first one in February, which dismissed the plaintiffs’ demand.
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