The government adopted two welfare bills at a Cabinet meeting Friday that would spell out tougher measures for cheats.
The legislation comprises a bill to revise the Public Assistance Act and a bill to support poor people.
Under the proposed change to the Public Assistance Act, the first full revision since it took effect in 1950, welfare cheats would face a prison term of up to three years or a fine of up to ¥1 million.
Authorities would also be able to demand the cheats pay back 40 percent more than they received.
Welfare authorities would require applicants’ relatives, if necessary, to clarify why they can’t support the applicants. They would also ask the applicants to submit statements detailing their incomes and assets.
Under the other bill, a rent subsidy system would be introduced so that people who lose their jobs and homes won’t end up on welfare, and consultation counters would be set up at local government offices to advise them.