Japan's New Social Security Panel Holds 1st Meeting

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Sept. 20 (Jiji Press)--A newly established Japanese government panel for debates on building a social security system benefiting all generations held its first meeting on Friday.

"We'll discuss sustainable reforms for pensions, medical care, elderly nursing and labor in the light of the sluggish birthrate, the aging population and 100-year lifespan," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the meeting.

The panel is slated to draw up an interim report at the end of this year and a final report next summer.

The focal point will be to what extent the government will take painful reform measures at a time when the country is about to see a surge in social security costs amid the rapid aging of society, while Abe has refrained from mentioning the possibility of raising the consumption tax rate to over 10 pct after the planned hike to that figure from 8 pct on Oct. 1.

The panel, chaired by Abe, comprises related cabinet ministers, including economic revitalization and social security reform minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Katsunobu Kato, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press