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2022 June 22 - 28 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Medical fees will be waived for under 18-year-olds in Tokyo's 23 wards

June 23, 2022

A council of mayors of Tokyo's 23 wards announced on June 21 that medical services will be waived for under 18-year-old ward inhabitants from April, 2023 without setting an income limit. Currently, medical fees are not charged for those under 15-year-old of age.

The Japanese Communist Party Metropolitan Assemblymembers' Group and all JCP ward assemblymembers' groups have repeatedly demanded that free medical care be provided to up to 18-year-olds. The JCP submitted an ordinance bill to the same effect to the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly in June 2018 and in December 2021, respectively. However, both bills were rejected by majority vote of the Liberal Democratic Party, the "Tomin First no Kai" party, the Komei Party, and the "Nippon Ishin no Kai" party.

JCP Assembymember Shiraishi Tamio said, "This is a one step forward for Tokyoites. However, the income limit and out-of-pocket payments will be maintained in the remaining 39 municipalities, including financially-weak western Tokyo and islands under Tokyo Metro jurisdiction. The JCP will continue making efforts to realize free medical service for all children of all Tokyo municipalities."

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