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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 December 14 - 20  > Bills to cut pension benefits and legalize casino businesses forcibly enacted
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2016 December 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

Bills to cut pension benefits and legalize casino businesses forcibly enacted

December 15, 2016
The bills to cut pension benefits and legalize casino businesses in Japan were forcibly enacted in the final stage of the extraordinary Diet session. The Japanese Communist Party and other opposition parties strongly protested against the forced passage.

On December 14, the last day of the Diet session, the bill to reduce pension benefits was rammed through the House of Councilors by the majority vote of the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties as well as the Nippon Ishin no Kai.

Prior to the vote, JCP parliamentarian Kurabayashi Akiko took the platform in the Upper House plenary session. She criticized the bill, claiming that it is unacceptable to hand over to future generations a program which cuts pension benefits endlessly. She went on to stress that the need now is instead to increase pension payments substantially and introduce a system which guarantees minimum pension benefits.

Later in the same day, the measure to lift a ban on casino gambling was also railroaded through the Upper House by the majority vote of the LDP and Nippon Ishin along with some lawmakers from the Komei Party. In the discussion ahead of the vote, JCP legislator Daimon Mikishi condemned the bill as “treacherous”, saying, “It will only help foreign casino operators absorb the hard-earned savings of Japanese people.”

The bill, slightly amended at the Upper House, was returned to the House of Representatives. With the aim of enacting it, the governing parties unilaterally postponed the end of the Diet session by a couple of days. Just before dawn on December 15, the measure was enacted by being steamrollered through the Lower House.

In protest against the ruling parties’ outrageous management of the parliament, the four opposition parties – the JCP, the Democratic, Liberal, and Social Democratic parties – jointly proposed to the Lower House a no-confidence resolution against the Abe Cabinet. The motion was rejected on December 15 by the majority vote of the governing coalition and the Nippon Ishin.
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