Soka Gakkai Representatives Outline Priorities to New Komeito
* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.
TOKYO, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The New Komeito party and the Soka Gakkai Buddhist association, its main endorsing body, held an official liaison meeting on January 17 at the party's headquarters in Shinjuku. New Komeito Secretary-General Kazuo Kitagawa and Policy Research Council Chair Tetsuo Saito and Soka Gakkai Vice General Director Koji Harada and Women's Division Advisor Ikuyo Sakaguchi were among the attendees. The New Komeito introduced the party's achievements during the recent extraordinary Diet session: -- Succeeding in delaying the implementation of a law which would have increased the proportion of health care expenses paid by elderly people. -- Helping revise the Political Funds Law in order to require receipts for all political outlays. -- Taking the initiative toward the legislation providing universal relief for those suffering from hepatitis as a result of tainted drug products. Concerning the next House of Representatives election, the party expressed its determination to remain prepared for an election at any time and do its utmost to ensure victory. The Soka Gakkai representatives requested the party to: 1. Provide more information to the public on its policy direction and achievements. 2. Strive to play a pivotal role in building consensus between the ruling and opposition parties in the current split Diet. 3. Make further efforts to promote the true interests of the public as the leading advocate for the vulnerable in Japanese society. The Soka Gakkai then raised questions regarding the party's plans for addressing geographical inequalities in health care provision and employment issues. New Komeito stated its commitment to addressing the serious shortage of medical practitioners in rural areas. One proposal is to encourage regional medical schools to give priority allocation to students who agree to work as hospital doctors in the same region after graduation. The party also confirmed its intention to help stabilize the employment situation by increasing the minimum wage, and improving working conditions for women, young people and the elderly through revision of the Labor Standards Law. In addition, Soka Gakkai representatives expressed concerns about the social impact of high oil prices and the missing pension records, and requested the party to take appropriate action. Official liaison meetings between New Komeito and the Soka Gakkai are held at least twice a year. www.sgi.org SOURCE Soka Gakkai International Joan Anderson, Office of Public Information of Soka Gakkai International, +81-3-5360-9482, or Fax: +81-3-5360-9885