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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 October 14 - 20  > Pensioners demand abolition of discriminatory system for the elderly
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2009 October 14 - 20 [WELFARE]

Pensioners demand abolition of discriminatory system for the elderly

October 16, 2009
More than 10,000 pensioners held protest rallies and marched in demonstration throughout the country on October 15 demanding an immediate end to the health insurance system for the elderly aged 75 and over. The All Japan Pensioners' Union sponsored the event.

In Tokyo, about 3,000 pensioners gathered at the Hibiya Open Air Hall to express their anger at the discriminatory policy that includes drastic increases in insurance premiums, imposed by the then Liberal Democratic Party-led government.

A pensioner in his speech said, “I cannot survive unless the amount of the minimum pension benefits is raised to meet the basic cost of living.”

Another said, “Everyone has the right to receive the medical treatment or nursing care he or she needs.”

Representatives of the Japanese Communist Party and the People’s New Party spoke in solidarity with rally participants.

Koike Akira, JCP Policy Commission chair and House of Councilors member, stated, “Let’s work together to scrap this adverse medical welfare system. We need the minimum pension benefit system.”

“We must reject any attempt to increase the consumption tax rate, using as a pretext the need to fund the pension system. Revenue sources for a better pension system can be secured if wasteful military spending is cut and major corporations and the wealthy pay their proper share of taxes,” he said.

After the rally, participants marched in demonstration through the Ginza shopping district of central Tokyo carrying straw-made flags reading “Scrap the anti-welfare pension system!”

Welfare Minister Nagatsuma Akira has suggested that the government will not take steps, at least within the next fiscal year, to end the medical welfare system for the elderly aged 75 and over although the Democratic Party promised to abolish the system in its ‘Manifesto’ in the recent House of Representatives general election. - Akahata, October 16, 2009
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