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Ruling camp can’t keep avoiding pension system debate

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With just one week left in this regular Diet session, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe engaged in his first one-on-one debates with opposition leaders June 19. The discussion focused almost exclusively on issues concerning the nation’s public pension system.

Of primary concern is how to alleviate public anxiety about their sunset years in light of a recent Financial Services Agency panel’s report that said elderly couples would need at least 20 million yen ($185,000) in savings to make ends meet over a 30-year period. The political discourse on the future of the pension system has barely begun.

Opposition leaders blasted the Abe administration’s decision to refuse to accept the FSA’s report. Yukio Edano, head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, called it another sign of the administration’s “tendency to turn a blind eye to facts it doesn’t want to see, pretending they do not exist.” Edano said the decision is reminiscent of how the administration responded to political scandals involving Moritomo Gakuen and the Kake Educational Institution, two school operators directly or indirectly linked to Abe.


© The Asahi Shimbun