State compensation fund eyed for damages caused by people with dementia


The ruling camp is ready to begin work on a system that would see the central government compensate families who incur losses caused by members with dementia.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, think the system is needed in light of a ruling by the Supreme Court that exempted the family of a 91-year-old man with dementia from paying damages after the man was hit by a train in 2007 after entering the tracks.

In its first ruling on the liability of families of dementia patients, the top court on March 1 overturned the Nagoya High Court’s 2014 ruling ordering the man’s wife to pay ¥3.6 million in compensation to Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) for disrupting service.

The ruling, however, failed to mention who should cover losses caused by dementia patients if their families are found not liable.

The LDP plans to examine the idea of tapping public nursing care insurance premiums to establish a state compensation program for families caring for dementia patients at home, informed sources said, adding that some party members are calling for setting up a fresh fund.

Komeito, for its part, will start on Wednesday intraparty discussions on the damage compensation issue and on community-based support measures for dementia sufferers, the sources said.