Tokyo gov’t employed worker over 20 years on temp contracts without benefits

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government employed a woman as a librarian for over 20 years through repeated renewals of short-term contracts, meaning the woman has not received commuter expenses or other allowances, or been entered into government employee medical insurance, it has been learned. “We cannot determine if there is a city-employed worker who worked for … Read more

Worker health checks to cover depression

The health ministry plans to make mental health checks mandatory in regular health examinations given at the workplace, health minister Akira Nagatsuma said Monday. The step is aimed at preventing depression and suicide, problems that have been making headlines in recent years, he said. A ministry task force, formed in January, is expected to propose … Read more

Uninsured matter of death for 33

At least 33 people died in 17 prefectures in 2009 after not visiting doctors because they lacked national health insurance, a private survey showed Thursday. The 33 stopped being covered by the national health insurance scheme after failing to pay insurance premiums due to financial difficulties, the Japan Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions said, referring … Read more

Foreigners rally over job security

Hundreds of foreign and Japanese people staged a rally Sunday in Tokyo demanding better working conditions and employment benefits for foreign residents. At the annual “March in March” event at Hibiya Park in Chiyoda Ward, Louis Carlet, deputy general secretary of the National Union of General Workers Tokyo Nambu, said foreign workers have a great … Read more

Health insurance nixed as visa renewal condition

The Immigration Bureau has effectively scrapped a guideline that compelled foreign residents to present health insurance cards when applying to extend visa status, it has been learned. The new guideline, due to be enforced on April 1, states it would have requested non-Japanese to enroll in the social insurance system and present health insurance cards … Read more

Social security policy should leave no one behind

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)-led administration has called for a “shift from concrete to people” — spending taxpayers’ money on people’s livelihoods, rather than public works projects. This is reflected in the fiscal 2010 budget draft, but it suggests that the government desperately secured financial resources to carry out its election campaign pledges, rather … Read more