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2014 August 13 - 19 [WELFARE]

Meeting held in Osaka to defend welfare recipients’ right to live

August 13, 2014
An organization consisting of welfare benefit recipients and lawyers is working hard to put a stop to Osaka City’s ruthless policy against people on public assistance programs, labeled the “Osaka Method”.

Hashimoto Toru, who is hostile to the right to live guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution, is the mayor of Osaka City.

The organization on August 11 held a meeting in the city with 170 people participating. It reported on its activities, including research on the actual conditions of welfare administration in the city.

The Osaka City government is taking the initiative in restricting the fundamental human rights of welfare beneficiaries and applicants because it is planning to propose that the national government “reform” the overall public welfare system. Among 20 major cities in Japan, Osaka City is the only one that continues to cut spending on welfare payments.

Lawyer Fumon Daisuke pointed out problem areas uncovered by the research:
- The number of staff handling welfare assistance is insufficient and many of them are inexperienced;
- The city is hardening its policy to require residents on welfare to work;
- The city is holding down spending on medical and nursing-care payments for elderly welfare recipients; and
- The city is strengthening its policy to oblige relatives to provide support for family members on welfare.

In the meeting, participants watched TV footage of Mayor Hashimoto saying, “I will address any violations of rule but I want to change the rule itself,” adding, “It is also necessary to revise Article 25 of the Constitution.”

Another lawyer, Bito Hiroki said, “We should work together to prevent the Osaka Method from spreading nationwide. Let us establish an Osaka fully honoring the constitutional right to live.”
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