Japan must prevent its pension system from being weakened by the low birthrate and the graying of the population, the pension records fiasco, the spread of poverty and the worsening employment situation. Yet, political parties’ pension-related proposals contain many obscure points and need elaboration.

In fiscal 2008, the premium payment rate for Kokumin Nenkin (national pension) — a public pension system for self-employed people, part-time workers, jobless people, etc. — dropped to a record 62.1 percent. Even if people pay Kokumin Nenkin premiums for the full 40 years, they receive only about ¥66,000 a month. An average Kokumin Nenkin pensioner receives about ¥48,000 monthly. This amount is too small. It is also feared that 1.18 million people will be pensionless in the future.

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