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The Japanese Social Insurance Agency May 26, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Japan, Politics.

The SIA, which administers employees’ pensions and health insurance, is enbroiled in another scandal.

The Agency has previously been accused of using pensions contributions to build unnecessary facilities (which are often run by companies and agency related institutions which are given the job in the first place in a non-competitive selection process – the idea being to secure positions within these organisations for government bureaucrats after they retire from their government jobs) and thereby wasting pensions contributions. A serious claim (which the facts bear out), seeing that the aging population indicates that the system will run out of money before many current contributors get a chance to draw their pensions. The pensions system is based on a social contract whereby current contributors pay for the current set of pensioners. The system breaksdown when we see old people living longer, and a lot less contributors coming into the system due to the declining birthrate.

Anyhow, many people refuse to pay their contributions, either because they are young and can see they aren’t going to get a penny, because they could make use of the money now, or because they are rich and would prefer to make the money work for themselves rather than for other members of society. 30 something % of people who should be paying contributions are currently not doing so.

Clearly the SIA and the government as a whole see this as a problem, and the SIA has been on a drive to improve the contribution rate. A target was set for a 2% increase in the contribution rate.

The contribution rate equation is fairly simple.

Contribution Rate = # of Actual Contributors/ # of people who meet contribution guidelines

You would expect that the agency officials in the local offices around Japan would be going around to meet people on the non-payments list (mostly people who are not in employment or are self-employed, as most companies deduct at source) and discuss the situation with the people who are refusing to pay, and attempt to convince these people to pay.

They probably did get some people to agree to start contributing.

However, what they have also been doing, is to put people on the exemptions list, many without having processed the necessary paperwork.

At the current count (some local agencies are dragging their feet about making the data available) more than 70,000 people have been exempted from the contributions scheme without the correct procedural paperwork. It seems the agency officials have been phoning people and allegedly getting people’s authorisation over the phone, and then filling out the paperwork themselves.

The pattern has been repeated all over the country, and the SIA has denied that they gave orders for this kind of manipulation of the statistics. So it would seem that individual offices (either separately or communicating directly amongst eachother to share tips) have taken the initiative to improve their numbers by reducing the denominator of the equation, rather than increasing the numerator. I would think the latter would be the correct procedure per the spirit of the initiative.

So, if it is true that the SIA head office was not encouraging these types of tactics, we have a huge number of local managers who clearly are more focussed on meeting a target by hook or by crook, than in maintaining the integrity of the social contributions scheme.

The government has been trying to push through social insurance reforms since the allegations of wastefulness and bad management came to light. The proposal basically means splitting the health insurance and pensions parts, and giving the new agencies new names. There are accusations that the government is just trying to rebrand these functions, so they can get rid of the tarnished SIA name. With these new allegations which suggest that the SIA is rotten to the core, a simple rebrand isn’t going to be an effective solution. Yet LDP politicians claim that they have to make that change because otherwise we are left with the SIA which we know is a problem. Does the LDP think the public are that stupid? Apparently so.

This attempt is another example of cosmetic reform, to deceive the voters. For all his rhetoric, many of Koizumi’s reforms are the same. Yet many voters still vote LDP.

The LDP may be right about the ignorance/apathy of the public. The media doesn’t help either, with its short attention span and appetite for tabloid newsfodder over serious issues. The media would suggest they are giving the public what they want. So it comes down to finding some way of enlightening the public, who have been educated and trained not to think too much about the serious issues which affect us all.



1. James - May 27, 2006

With all the money being thrown away on useless crap in this country, I just wish they’d pay to have all the potholes on the road near my apartment fixed…

2. from the inside, looking in » Social Insurance Agency update…. - June 14, 2006

[…] An update on the scandal surrounding the Social Insurance Agency that has been covered in a previous post. […]

3. Carlos Kawase - September 16, 2008

I´d like to know about a process, i´ve sent in begineer of this year a form with same documents to apply to have back the tax that i had pay while a worked in japao, i´ve sent by post in a tradicional way, and i can´t check in the post office, they don´t have any information.
what can i do now? how can i apply again?
can you send me de aplication form and the documents you need to have my tax back.

4. marlyn sugimoto - November 24, 2008

good day, I’am marlyn sugimoto married to a japanese men , i would like to ask some question regarding pension, 3 days ago i recieved a pension letter coming from japan and its for my husband not mine, but sorry to say i was been separated to him a year ago, i would like to us if i have a right for this pension? he already abandoned me as his wife.pls.waiting for your response as soon as possible……. Thank you very much.

gemma kato - April 3, 2010

march 3,2010

dearest marlyn,

You can claim that! your situation is same as me.I am from Cebu.I am gemma Kato.My advise you get extra judicial power of attorney.You go to lawyer and ask to make Espicial Power of attorney you bring his bank account number.If you have a children bring to sign you are authorized to withdraw.And dont forget to bring your marriage contract.

If you want more information call my cell number+63 9152249163

gemma kato

5. Gemma Kato - December 21, 2009

December 21/09

to whom,

Mr.Kenzo Kato died last November 13/09 in the Philippines.I am his wife reported to the Japanese Government.I want to ask help because i am living in the Philippines.

your truly,

Gemma Kato

Gemma Kato - December 21, 2009

December 21/09

Dearest in charge of the japanese insurance,

I am Gemma Kato living in Casay Argao Cebu Philippines with Mr.Kenzo Kato.I am living with together Mr.Kenzo Kato about 24 years ago.

I have a big problem here i never visited Japan even one time.And i dont know how to get continue his pension.Please help and guide my family.

I am praying someday help me.

your truly,

Gemma Kato

6. gemma kato - April 1, 2010

April 1,2010

Dearest japanese goverment,

I am Mrs.Gemma Kato.I am the wife Kenzo Kato A Japanese Jourlist.

I hope I can recieved my pension within this month because I have many problem to pay.My daughter delivered a baby last March 29,2010.I have a cxredit in hospital.I hope you help me!

Truly yours,

Gemma Kato

Casay Argao,Cebu,Philippines


7. gemma kato - April 2, 2010

april 2,2010

to japanese insurance agency,

I hope and pray that my family can recieved soon because i have many problem of financial i did not pay the Kenzo Kato coppin and the credit of funeral etc.I hope can recieved soon because my family cannot eat good food.

I have many sad story in life now.I hope japanese insurance believed me.
And i am looking a japanese have soft heart willing to help my family.I am willing to work in japan even any work so that i can earn money for my family.

more sad story i did not meet my hushband Kenzo Kato brothers.I hope someone help my family to meet them.

Sorry i stop my emails because i want to cry my problem.If you want to know more news please contact me in my cell phone number.+63 9152249163.or in my email address.

gemma_marzon2009@yahoo.com or gemma_kato200896@yahoo.com

gemma kato

8. gemma kato - May 5, 2010

May 6/10

Dearest japanese goverment,

Again i am the victim of lies.Last December i call in japanese office.But you answer to me.After 6 months i can recieved my pension.Why until now nothing.

All my document is finish Mr Miyashita past to your company.My family no eat? We expect my pension i can recieved last April.Until when my family wait and can eat?

I hope you read my emails.Maybe no other reason.I hope no monkey business to my pension!

Gemma kato

9. gemma kato - January 21, 2014

to whom in japanese social insurance agency.i am mrs gemma kato from casay argao cebu philippines. why my pension every i recieved not same amount? please check this.

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