Abe vows to improve Japan's social welfare as population grays
Japan Times -- Sep 21
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Friday to step up efforts to reform social security as Japan faces a multitude of challenges stemming from its rapidly graying population and low birthrate.

“Reform toward social security for all generations is the biggest challenge,” Abe said at the first meeting of a government panel tasked with dealing with the issues. “We will consider sustainable reforms for the entire social security system.”

Abe instructed his Cabinet members, including Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister in charge of social security reform, to come up with concrete measures.

A major topic will be how to encourage the elderly to work longer and continue to pay taxes.

The plans under consideration include encouraging companies to hire those who wish to work until they are 70 and scaling back or abolishing a system that reduces the pensions of people who still earn at a certain income level.

The nation’s social welfare expenses, including public pensions and medical care, are projected to skyrocket from 2022, when people in the postwar baby boomer generation will turn 75 or older.

News source: Japan Times
Oct 16
The government's response to Typhoon Hagibis dominated Tuesday's debate in the Diet. (NHK)
Oct 14
Japan has canceled its first fleet review of the new Reiwa era as the Self-Defense Forces support areas of the country battered by Typhoon Hagibis. (Nikkei)
Oct 09
An art exhibition that sparked controversy for featuring a statue symbolizing “comfort women” reopened Tuesday in Nagoya, with organizers placing tighter security and limiting the number of visitors after it was abruptly closed two months ago following threats. (Japan Times)
Oct 06
The European Union has informed the Japanese government that it will likely ease import restrictions on Japanese food products before the end of the year. (NHK)
Oct 04
Japan is ready to share, as requested by South Korea, information related to the launch a day earlier of what North Korea claims to have been a submarine-launched ballistic missile, government sources said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Oct 03
North Korea's state-run media reports that the country has succeeded in test-firing a submarine-launched ballistic missile, or SLBM. (NHK)
Oct 02
A South Korean F-15 fighter jet has flown over the Takeshima Islands in the Sea of Japan as part of an Armed Forces Day ceremony. The islands are controlled by South Korea but claimed by Japan. (NHK)
Oct 02
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday Japan's national interests are protected under a trade agreement with the United States but he vowed to prepare measures to address the concerns of farmers in the country before the pact takes effect. (Kyodo)
Oct 01
In Japan, the consumption tax rose from 8 to 10 percent on Tuesday. The government says the increase was needed to help cover ballooning social security costs and pay down massive public debt. (NHK)
Oct 01
NHK has learned that a deceased deputy town mayor in Fukui Prefecture kept a detailed list of cash and gifts he gave to officials of Kansai Electric Power Company, which runs a nuclear power plant in the town. (NHK)