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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 June 18 - 24  > Abe’s policies heighten public concerns about aging
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2014 June 18 - 24 TOP3 [WELFARE]

Abe’s policies heighten public concerns about aging

June 19, 2014
Akahata ‘current’ column

“How much will it cost for a married couple to continue to live after retirement? The answer is 100 million yen.” This is a passage of a feature article in the weekly Economist published by Mainichi Shimbun.

According to the Family Income and Expenditure Survey released by the Internal Affairs Ministry, the average monthly consumption spending of a household whose head is 65 years of age or older is about 250,000 yen. Multiplying this amount by the years of their life expectancy and adding the cost for entering a special nursing-care home for the elderly, it exceeds 100 million yen, the magazine estimated.

As the government has continued to reduce pension benefits, it is absolutely impossible for the general public to cover such an enormous cost. A trial calculation shows that pension payments for a couple of a working husband and a full-time housewife will be 30% short of the amount required to spend their remaining years without distress. Even though the economic journal encourages people to create “collateral” before it is too late, ordinary citizens, swamped by the costs of daily living, cannot afford to save money for the future.

The government must take the responsibility to build a society in which everybody can enjoy longevity. On the contrary, the administration led by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has been creating deep anxiety among the public by reducing spending for social security programs.

The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties rammed through the Diet a bill to adversely revise the current medical and nursing care programs as a package. Although Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Koike Akira revealed that the government’s argument on the need to raise charges for using public nursing care services was groundless, they forcibly enacted the measure to impose heavier burdens on the public as well as to cut benefits.
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