Fifty-four of the Diet’s 725 members have admitted failing to pay some of their mandatory pension premiums since 1986, when a reform measure obliging lawmakers to join the national pension scheme was put in place, according to a Kyodo News survey released Tuesday.
In addition, 36 others who did not directly answer the survey have admitted on their Web sites or in other ways to failing to pay pension premiums.
The survey, submitted to all lawmakers in both the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors, received valid responses from 351 members, or 48.4 percent.
Of the 54 in question, 20 are members of the Liberal Democratic Party, 25 are members of the Democratic Party of Japan — the nation’s largest opposition force — and four are members of the Japanese Communist Party.
The 54 also comprises one member of the LDP’s coalition ally, New Komeito, one member of the Social Democratic Party, one member of the Independents party and one member of a small political group, plus one independent lawmaker.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a government-sponsored package of bills to reform the pension system amid public anger over the nonpayment of premiums by several Cabinet ministers and other lawmakers.
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