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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 May 30 - June 5  > LDP and Komei push pension bill through Lower House committee to evade state responsibility for pension fiasco
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2007 May 30 - June 5 [WELFARE]

LDP and Komei push pension bill through Lower House committee to evade state responsibility for pension fiasco

May 31, 2007
The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on May 30 railroaded a bill through the House of Representatives Welfare Committee to remove the five-year statute of limitations on pension benefit claims after only four hours of discussion on the pension fiasco.

At a news conference later in the day, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo said as follows:

“This forcible passage of the bill is impermissible. I express my strong protest. The government is fully responsible for the ‘missing pension records’ problem. Therefore, it is the government that must solve this problem. However, the measures the government and the ruling bloc have proposed are to shift the responsibility onto the public.

What’s worse, the ruling parties’ plan to dissolve and privatize the Social Insurance Agency will mean abolishing the governmental body to assume the responsibility and making it impossible for the problem to be solved on state responsibility.

It is also unacceptable that the ruling block steamrolled the bill through the Lower House committee on the very day the discussion on the bill began. Despite the existence of the problem of ‘pension record errors’ has been recognized for ten years, they forcibly closed its discussion on the day it began. The committee should have made clear the responsibility of the government and the welfare ministry for creating such a problem and come up with the measures to deal with it in a manner best benefiting the public.

The fact that 50 million pension records remain unidentified makes many people worry that they may lose their right to receive pension benefits. All parties should seriously and thoroughly discuss how to solve this problem, but the ruling parties arbitrarily closed the discussion.

The ruling block is evading the heavy government responsibility to protect pensioners’ right. Instead, they are attempting to protect the crisis-ridden Abe Cabinet. They are just trying to rescue themselves.

The JCP will demand that the bill be sent back to the House of Representatives committee because the forcible passage was totally inappropriate. Of course, it is unacceptable to push this through the House of Representatives plenary session.” - Akahata, May 31, 2007
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