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Party Leaders' Debate at the Diet

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Photograph of Prime Minister in discussion at party leaders' debate

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a debate with President of the Democratic Party of Japan Ichiro Ozawa at the Joint Examination Meeting of the Committee on the Basic Policy of the Nation at the Diet.

In a discussion that mainly focused on pension issues, Prime Minister Abe presented his plan to complete the identification process within a year to address the issue of 50 million pension numbers for whom the contributors are unknown.

Prime Minister Abe furthermore laid out ideas including the following: notification of future pension recipients of their payment history at the time they hit the benchmark ages of 35, 45, and 58; establishment of a 24 hours a day telephone consultation service; scrapping of the time limit that nullifies claims for unpaid pensions; and establishment of a third-party organization to evaluate evidence on contributions in the case that payment records have been lost, so that any contribution verified by the organization will be reflected into the pension payments.

Prime Minister Abe expressed his determination, saying, "The pension system is built on the trust of the people. We must devote all our efforts to eliminating the anxiety of the people. It is imperative that we solve this issue, sharing the thoughts of those people who have been making pension contributions carefully and with all sincerity."