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2014 October 15 - 21 [WELFARE]

155K signatures opposing pension cuts submitted to gov’t

October 18, 2014
Many pensioners who are angry over the Abe government’s pension cuts policy took part in various rallies and demonstrations on October 17 at many different locations in Japan.

The government on that day received a sharply worded petition with 155,200 signatures demanding that the government retract the policy to reduce pension benefits, and that it create a pension system guaranteeing everyone minimum pension benefits.

In a Tokyo action, about 3,000 pensioners showed up for the rally. Rally organizer Tomita Hiroyasu of the Japan Pensioners’ Union called on participants to stand up against the merciless cutbacks in social welfare programs by saying, “The elderly and pensioners feel angry about the present politics and strongly demand for a policy change.”

Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Koike Akira participated in this rally and said, “The government raised the consumption tax rate and now plans to cut pension payments. How can it be so cruel?” JCP member of the House of Representatives Takahashi Chizuko also took part in the rally.

A 67-year-old woman said to an Akahata reporter, “My husband and I manage to get by on our pension benefits. I want government leaders to try living on only the small amount of pension for a month to see what it’s like.” A 72-year-old man said, “I cannot cut down on living expenses any further.”

Past related articles:
> Abe outlines further cuts in welfare budget next year [August 13, 2014]
> Abe’s policies heighten public concerns about aging [June 19, 2014]
> Over 110,000 elderly protest against cuts in pension benefits [February 1, 2014]
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