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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 October 18 - 24  > Pensioners: Stop cutting pension benefits!
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2017 October 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Pensioners: Stop cutting pension benefits!

October 21, 2017
Calling for the creation of a pension program where everyone can receive benefits without anxiety, a day of action took place on October 20 in Tokyo.

More than 1,000 pensioners participated in this day-long event jointly organized by the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and the Japan Pensioners' Union. They took part all day in an action of submitting to the Ministry of Welfare a petition of each individual pensioner and a rally. In a demonstration march, shouts of "No more cuts! " echoed around the area.

Many people over 65 years old gathered at the Hibiya Amphitheatre near the administrative district. Each of them carried a placard reading, "Create a minimum-guarantee pension system!" A 68-year-old woman said, "I cannot live on only pension benefits." She said she still has to work five days a week cleaning at a childcare center.

Kaneko Tamio, head of the pensioners' union, said that a proposal presented by the citizens/opposition parties coalition is meeting demands of pensioners, and expressed his hope that opposition parties will unite to dislodge the Abe government from power.

A message from the Japanese Communist Party, a key player in the joint struggle by the opposition parties, was read out at the rally. The JCP proposes to end the present pension-cutting scheme and instead introduce a minimum-guarantee pension system. The party's idea to secure resources needed for its proposal is to use revenues from taxes collected according to ability to pay, not from the consumption tax.

On the other hand, the Abe Cabinet reduced the amount of pension payments over the last five years and revised the pension law last year to allow more pension cuts. The Abe government is even planning to increase the eligible age for the start of benefits from the current 65 to 70.

Past related articles:
> Ruling coalition again uses its majority force to steamroller ‘pension cuts bill’ through Diet [November 26, 2016]
> Bill to cut pension benefits in defiance of price rise should be abolished [October 26, 2016]
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