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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 19 - 25  > Persevering movements successfully restore grants program to legal apprentices
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2017 April 19 - 25 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Persevering movements successfully restore grants program to legal apprentices

April 19&20, 2017
A bill to reinstate a grants program for legal trainees was passed through the House of Councilors and enacted on April 19.

On the previous day at a House Justice Affairs Committee meeting, Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Yamazoe Taku took the floor to welcome the bill and urged the government to further improve the program.

Until 2011, under the program, legal apprentices received grants to cover their living expenses during the statutory training period because they are prohibited from taking part-time jobs. However, the government abolished the program and instead introduced a loan program. This imposed excessive financial burdens on legal trainees and has become a major social issue. The JCP, jointly with young lawyers and legal school students, has worked hard to have the previous grant program reinstated.

In the committee meeting, JCP Yamazoe noted that the former program granted legal apprentices a 210,000 yen monthly stipend in addition to allowances, including a transportation allowance. He said that the reinstated program in its present form will only provide trainees with a 135,000 yen monthly grant and 35,000 yen in housing allowance. Yamazoe demanded the improvement of the program by saying that even under this program, legal trainees will be burdened with debts.

Yamazoe also called on the government to take measures to compensate those who completed their legal training before the reinstatement of the program.

Justice Minister Kaneda Katsutoshi took a negative stance toward the compensation while admitting to the necessity.

Past related articles:
> Grant for legal trainees will be reinstated thanks to persistent movement [December 21, 2016]
> JCP Dietmembers join legal trainees’ petition for reinstatement of scholarship program [October 15, 2014]
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