Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 December 11 - 17  > High court supports abolition of additional welfare benefits for elderly
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2013 December 11 - 17 [WELFARE]

High court supports abolition of additional welfare benefits for elderly

December 17, 2013
The Fukuoka High Court ruled on December 16 that the abolition of supplementary welfare benefits for the elderly is “constitutional”.

Authorities had provided welfare recipients aged 70 and over with a supplement of about 18,000 yen a month along with the basic benefits. The welfare ministry proposed in 2003 to abolish the additional benefit system and ended it in 2006.

A total of 33 people on welfare in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka, filed a lawsuit to seek the revival of the system, arguing that the abolition of the system goes against Article 25 of the Constitution which guarantees the public’s right to live. Although the district court decided against the plaintiffs, the Fukuoka High Court ruled in 2010 in favor of them, stating that the discontinuation was groundless. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the high court in 2012.

This time, the high court ruled against the plaintiffs, claiming that the then welfare minister’s decision to end the additional measures does not constitute abuse of discretionary power.

Takaki Tateyasu, the head of the counsel for the plaintiffs, told reporters that this court decision is “utterly unreasonable”. He condemned the court for not reexamining the data used by the authorities as an excuse for ending the supplementary system, despite the complainants’ request to have that done.

Regarding the court decision that elderly recipients are able to maintain a minimum standard of living even after the system was repealed, lawyer Nawata Hirotaka said, “The court gave no consideration to those who can barely make ends meet by reducing the amount of meals, frequency of bathing and visiting friends and relatives due to the sharp cuts in benefits.”

Anan Seiki, 82, the plaintiff group leader, said, “I will appeal against the ruling and continue to struggle as long as I live.”
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved