LDP Proposes Welfare Reform Before Election, Netizens React

The LDP announces its social welfare reform in Japan

Social welfare, or ‘namapo’ as it is now colloquially known, has been a huge talking point in Japan in recent months. With the announcement that the lower house is to be dissolved and an election set for 16 December, political parties have begun to use the issue to compete for votes.

The article below discusses the proposed reforms to Japan’s social welfare law by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which had been the ruling party of Japan for fifty-four years until its defeat in the 2009 elections. One of the key features of the reforms is that welfare recipients are to be given the choice between cash benefits and ‘benefits in kind’, that is, they can opt to receive coupons to pay for food and clothing, and so on.

Given the topical nature of social welfare reform, the article attracted a lot of attention on internet message boards, with a wide range of netizen opinions appearing online.

47 News:

LDP Proposes Amendment to Social Welfare Law; Food Costs Will Also Be Possible As Benefits In Kind

On November 19, the framework of the proposed amendment to the social welfare law compiled by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Social Wefare Project Team (led by Seko Hiroshige) was revealed. The central reform was a system in which welfare recipients can elect to receive food costs and so on as cash benefits or as benefits in kind. They will also be able to request generic drugs from their doctors.

Social welfare, with the exception of medical aid (cost of medical care), are in principle received as cash benefits. However, the ‘poverty industry’ which exploits welfare benefits, has become a social problem, so the use of benefits in kind has been included.

The object of the reforms is a livelihood assistance that pays for food costs and clothing costs. Specifically, the LDP team is reviewing handing out coupons that can be exchanged for food instead of cash to welfare recipients, and also supplying benefits in the form of electronic payments and so on.

Itai News:




Took your time, idiots.


I guess we’ll have no option now but to vote for the LDP.


This is great!


Why are they abolishing free clinics?




They haven’t made it obligatory so it doesn’t mean very much. Push for punishments for those guys who are living comfortably from being in the beggar business.


Take away their right to vote already


Idiots who’ll sell their rice to pay their pachinko bills will definitely appear, so just give them all onigiri


Benefits in kind, eh? So companies who make the food will be bidding for contracts, of course.


The thing about food coupons is that if a shop accepts that bit of paper, it’s pretty useless, so the city council will have to redeem them for the cash value, and then the cost of redeeming them, turning them into cash, and then getting them back to the shops. What are they going to do about those costs? In total, it’s going to cost too much money, I guess.


Seems like the systems we have are gradually getting more and more complicated. I think it would be best to just get rid of social welfare completely, but if they did, vulnerable people would be in trouble I suppose.


Seems like it’s going to cost too much money.


To prevent other businesses from buying the coupons, they should make it obligatory to carry social welfare recipient ID that carries a photograph of the person receiving the benefits.


So they’re making a hot-bed of injustice in order to prevent injustice? Get rid of this shitty system.


It’s absurd that they can make more money from benefits than from working. If that’s how it is, who’s gonna work?


Choice? Don’t mean a thing


While they’re at it, it’d be perfect it they’d put an expiry date on the coupons.


I wonder if they’ll accept them if a welfare recipient says they want to eat expensive beef.

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