National / Politics

LDP-Komeito bloc plan basic law for dementia support as Japan's demographics shift

JIJI

The ruling parties are considering jointly submitting to next year’s ordinary session of the Diet a lawmaker-initiated bill, to set out a basic law urging central and local governments to comprehensively promote support measures for dementia sufferers, according to sources.

The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, plan to discuss the details based on an outline of the planned draft law, compiled in May by Komeito, hoping to create a society that is more supportive and accessible for dementia sufferers and their families, the sources said Monday.

The two parties aim to draw up the draft bill by the end of the year, according to the sources.

The number of dementia sufferers in Japan is soaring as older people make up an increasing proportion of the country’s population.

In 2012, some 4.62 million people aged 65 or over were believed to have dementia. The number is forecast to reach some 7 million in 2025.

Under the envisioned basic law the ruling parties hope to promote preventive care and treatment, as well as the comprehensive development of measures in various fields such as employment, education and community development, the sources said.

The coalition also intends to support sufferers of early-onset dementia.

The Komeito-compiled outline says that central and local governments bear responsibility for carrying out policy measures related to dementia.

It obliges the central government to work out a basic program, to promote projects to tackle dementia and ask prefectural and municipal governments to formulate similar programs.

The outline also calls for the creation of a liaison council within central government to coordinate policies among relevant ministries and agencies.

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