Japan sees record number of welfare recipients

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  • 1

    some14some

    ...but unemployment rate is 'kept' steady.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    How true, I suspect the government eventually will use the people displaced by the problems in Tohoku and Fukushima to justify the numbers but facts are facts. Japan is sliding further and further down a slippery slope into insignificance.

  • -8

    Robert Dykes

    @some14some: yes... but laziness is not.

  • -2

    Utrack

    rapidly graying society

    Age has nothing to do with being Lazy. Every year more people are retiring and the pension may not be enough.

  • 0

    JapanGal

    Pension is not enough of course. And divorces mess that up. One must have an address to get benefits, so there are many more people not showing in these stats.

  • 8

    JapanGal

    Also, just because the guy is laying on the street catching a nap, does not mean that he is on welfare.

  • -7

    tmarie

    Wait, are you guys suggesting that people can get welfare while waiting for their pensions or people on pensions can collect welfare? Either way, that is sketchy.

    I would think that most of those recipients would be single mothers who have divorced. Why this country hasn't made it clear that women just can't stay at home for the rest of her life after getting married is beyond me. Those women who do and then get a divorce are pretty much condemning themselves and their kids to a life in poverty. No idea how they afford the "free" schools here - uniforms, class trips, books... The system needs to change to help these kids and their families.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    Welfare here is called Seikatsu Hogo (livelihood protection) and divorced mothers already are eligible to collect a different subsidy which is not a part of that. There are many social welfare programs here that the government pays for and those truly on welfare are under the system I mentioned above. Sometimes it is permanent in the case of the elderly but usually it is for a max of 6 months until a person can get back on their feet.

  • 0

    kwatt

    Japan is a socialism country and welfare benefits system is one of good things. People who can't work for life because of sickness / physical difficulties and people who lost jobs for a long time because of company restructuring are able to get enough money for apartment and food monthly from the welfare. As a result they can keep living.

  • -11

    tmarie

    Kwatt, but that is the thing, lost jobs for a long time? There are plenty of jobs out there. The thing is, some people think they are above doing them and would rather collect than work.

    Yubaru, wasn't aware that moms got something else. In that case, would the numbers of those needing assistance be be higher than what we're being told?

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    No surprise here!!

  • -2

    zurcronium

    Thank you Koizumi for your winner dog, loser dog policy. You can apologize to the 2 million loser dogs whenever you have time. Maybe between hair appointments.

    Koizumi adopted the Bush economic strategy for Japan while PM. Japan now has record poverty rates, just like the US does. The US has 40 million in total, about one in eight.

  • -2

    kwatt

    @ tmarie

    Yes, there are still some bad people who try to pretend fake to get free money from the welfare. The welfare should carefully check them sometimes but they don't because maybe many recipients, however this is still good system.

  • 0

    marcelito

    Interesting - welfare recepients numbers continue increasing but the unemployment numbers are getting better.. It is an Olympus like miracle..

  • 3

    whiskeysour

    people with financial difficulties that's our future sadly to say. People are struggling around the world.

  • 1

    zichi

    Prior to 3/11, there were an estimated 30,000 homeless, mostly men. Since 3/11 that number has increased to more than 150,000, now there are many families.

    More than 1.5 million people are living below the poverty line. But at least that compares well with the American figures.

    Without an address you can't request welfare or health care.

    If you're not one of these unfortunate people just take it as your own good fortune.

  • -2

    DenTok2009

    In the states, there are employers who are willing to hire older applicants for dead end positions. It's not surprising to see a someone well beyond retirement age in a fast food restaurant or a retail store or a grocery store but not in image conscious youth conscious Japan. There are plenty of jobs offering minimum wage or a few yen above minimum wage but with age restrictions ("targeting teens, 20's and 30's!" or "applicants up to age 45!").

    I worked in Tokyo during the 80's and marveled at the vast range of opportunities available. I usually got hired at the interviews I went to. I juggled two to three jobs (receptionist, demonstrator/handing out freebies, interpreter) . It was a fun time.

    Fast forward to now, what a dreary time. Economic doldrums all around the world but at least there are jobs (for the younger generation) here.

  • -1

    Johannes Weber

    There are a few things which might explain the disparity between welfare recipients and unemployment numbers (though I do not know how it is handled in Japan). In Germany, you can apply for welfare if your wages for work or your pension is below a certain limit. These people are not counted as unemployed, but they receive welfare. And these numbers are steadily increasing since the German working laws got liberalised (towards American-style). The reason for a discrepancy in Japan might be similar.

    The Japanese child poverty rate has been at a long term high of about 16% for many years now according to OECD (http://www.oecd.org/document/38/0,3343,en_2649_34321_37130854_1_1_1_1,00.html).

  • -1

    CrazyJoe

    According to the JCP website, an address or a dwelling is not a requirement to apply for "seikatsu hogo". I've seen a number of homeless people receive seikatsu hogo on TV news. It comes under Article 19 of the Livelihood Protection Law. Tokyo Distrct Court (Nov. 8th) ruled in favor of a homeless man who was refused seikatsu hogo by the Shinjuku ward Tokyo.

    http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1108/TKY201111080590.html

  • -2

    DenTok2009

    I wondered about the homeless population. When I came back to Tokyo, I noticed the homeless around Shinjuku station and park plus out in the suburbs somewhere out around Kitasenju. I asked a few co-workers about them; I wondered whether they got any government assistance and nearly all of my co-workers were of the opinion that the homeless were denied any welfare benefits because of no fixed address. A couple said they believed the homeless who were getting help lied about a fixed address.

  • 0

    Al Stewart

    like many govs. This gov is pretty lazy about updating some types of data specially when it has a negative impact on the reputation of said gov. Many of the Pensioners may be dead and their surviving families may be just reaping the benifits as illustrated in a previous article about the system of checking on the validity of centinnials. They dont send people to check on the health status of these people who turn one hundred anymore. They have found mummified corpses in some homes.

    But on the other side, for some of these retirees, I dont blame them for wanting to retire quickly. Some of these companies really take the cake in the category of unfair treatment and abuse. Some people just want to keep their heads down and avoid any conflict and just get out as soon as they can with some type of life security.

  • -1

    soldave

    Is this number including the people who (as reported earlier in the year) have been dead for 30 years with the family still collecting benefits for them>?

  • -1

    akkk1

    Shocking to see formerly rich and powerful USA, Europe and Japan on a simultaneous downward spiral.

  • -2

    ubikwit

    and by coincidence the poverty rate in the USA is also at an all-time high, since they began keeping records after the depression, that is.

    and by coincidence the incidence of white collar crime is at an all time high, as is the number of billionaires

  • -1

    noriyosan73

    Tough love is exactly what it says and means. In 1982 approximately 28% of Americans received some financial support from the government. Today it is 47%. In addition, the government has just recalculated all the social benefits people receive in order to calculate the National Poverty Level. Enough is enough. 50% of the students in a typical USA high school receive a free breakfast and lunch because there is no way to prove their parent's income. As they pass through the line in the cafeteria, they are calling or texting their friends on a mobile. What is wrong with this picture. "Liars figure, and figures lie." Demand true accountability from the government. This may sound an unconcerned public, but there is only so much a government can afford without becoming Greece or Italy.

  • 1

    zichi

    The unemployment rate inside the disaster zones is four times the national rate. Many jobs there are only offering minimum hourly rates.

  • -1

    lucabrasi

    @noriyosan73

    Personally, I can't think of a better use of any government's money than making sure that the nation's children are adequately fed. Would you rather the money went on nukes, perhaps, or a tax cut so that Bob and Wilma can finally afford that new flat-screen TV for the bathroom in their second home in the mountains?

  • 1

    palanteboricua

    I know this may not be relevant with the article, but...Has anyone heard of the Retirement Labor Board agency? (not sure if I am saying it right...do excuse me for this). I overheard if you register and turn in a month's salary annually, by law, your employer is to match it. Furthermore, employers know this but refrain offering it.

  • 3

    weedkila

    We're living under a kind of 'musical chairs' economic system where there is a manipulated business cycle of booms and busts. The record number welfare recipients is a reflection of this.

  • -2

    pointofview

    People are too dependent on the government. Why does everyone need them to babysit you? Gov'ts shouldn't be in the business to make jobs. Fed gov't is too big and inefficient.

  • 1

    Rolf Schlumpf

    That's a trully worldwide case. How can you expect that there will be less unemployment or social welfare cases, as long as the only goal for companies is to optimize their benefit and earn as much money as possible. One is for sure: there is nothing sure in life except that we have to die. Maybe you will find yourself living on social welfare or living in the streets once in your life, there is a chance for everyone of us...

  • -3

    BlueWitch

    @Yubaru

    Welfare here is called Seikatsu Hogo (livelihood protection) and divorced mothers already are eligible to collect a different subsidy which is not a part of that. There are many social welfare programs here that the government pays for and those truly on welfare are under the system I mentioned above. Sometimes it is permanent in the case of the elderly but usually it is for a max of 6 months until a person can get back on their feet.

    Really? I didn't know divorced mothers with children were allowed to receive seikatsu-hogo for ONLY 6 months?!
    wow

  • -2

    BlueWitch

    @Rolf Schlumpf

    That's a trully worldwide case. How can you expect that there will be less unemployment or social welfare cases, as long as the only goal for companies is to optimize their benefit and earn as much money as possible. One is for sure: there is nothing sure in life except that we have to die. Maybe you will find yourself living on social welfare or living in the streets once in your life, there is a chance for everyone of us...

    Well said!!

  • -1

    7777777

    "People are too dependent on the government. Why does everyone need them to babysit you? Gov'ts shouldn't be in the business to make jobs. Fed gov't is too big and inefficient."

    I agree with this except when you have a system that requires you to pay into it to ensure your financial security. So when someone does fall into economic hardship, they expect to get back what they paid for. It is a form of insurance that people pay for with their tax money. I don`t think government is the best manager of money, but since people are required to buy this "insurance", then they should be able to collect when they need it.

    However, I dont think divorcees should qualify (I know I will get a thousand thumbs down for saying that!). But divorce and women having multiple children out of wedlock is what made the welfare figures skyrocket in America. And it will do the same in Japan if people think they can walk away from marriage and get a free ride off the backs of hardworking taxpayers. Divorce isnt a reason for welfare. It is a situation one creates by choice in most cases unlike disability, insanity, sickness, or ones company suddenly closing when one is 55 years old. Therefore the divorcees should support themselves and if they cant then they shouldnt divorce or they need to rely on their family for support, not other peoples families.

  • -3

    tmarie

    Luca, if people can't afford to feed their kids, they shouldn't have them - nor buy them cell phones! I am against free breakfast for all because it sets up a cycle of expectations. By all means, feed the ones that need the food but when Jr has the newest sneakers, a flat screen TV and a mobile? The system is clearly broken. That money should be going to people who need it.

    And yes, these people need to be checked up upon to make sure they need this money. The whole thing with the pension system and dead people's family collecting was enough to make me think that these things certainly need more reg. Help the people who need help, not the people that just want to abuse the system.

  • 0

    pointofview

    7777777,

    Not really. Because you wouldnt be paying into a Fed tax system that would cover such things. If theres going to a any kind of minimal social welfare it should be done at the municipal level. That way the community can have have direct say. At the moment, you have absolutely no say when it comes to Fed govt programs. They dont dont care what you say. At a municipal level the spending can also be controlled. The problems dont exist now because our taxes are too low its because spending is out of control. Too much corruption. Private business should be creating jobs not govt. Give tax breaks to those businesses that are producing something under the condition that they hire people. People just need to stop giving up their country to tyrants who are robbing them blind.

  • -1

    Rob Robertson

    Could it be that -video game releases- are tied into the record number of welfare recipients.?

  • 0

    rys2sense

    Couldnt this statistic be jarred because of the government's new program granting money to all families with new children as a means of boosting the birthrate? Any family with a young child, even if both parents have jobs, is recieving a small amount of welfare. I think its 13000yen a month or something but it is spaced out so that every three months they get a lump sum. That counts as welfare and would explain why unenployment figures stagnate but welfare stats have spiked. You have to be careful of statistics, people love to use them to lie. Thats not to say 2008's bubble in the US has not been a problem but lets be acurate here. I'd like to know if those figures were excluded or not or any other hidden figures that dont exactly translate to unemployed.

  • -1

    gogogo

    To get welfare you have to have an address, the photo is of homeless people, they don't have an address, they can't get welfare.

  • 0

    weedkila

    Just to add to what I wrote above re the manipulated business cycle of booms and busts …

    Much of Japan's industry has been hollowed out because costs and wages in Japan are too high. When hollowing out occurs the factories along with jobs go offshore to places like China. In other words less factories = less jobs = more welfare recipients.

    The high costs and wages in Japan (Europe, the US etc) has occurred because the central bank FIXES the price of money. Central banks control both the volume of money (through printing) and price (by setting interest rates.)

    During boom times, people expand their lifestyles and business portfolios.

    According to the ministry, the number of welfare recipients in Japan steadily fell as the nation enjoyed rapid post-war economic growth to hit a record low monthly average of 882,229 in 1995.

    When the inevitable bust comes, those who have overextended themselves are often faced with losing everything. At such times, money power expands its control by using their central banks to print money from nothing to buy up failing businesses and properties.

    “The number of people with financial difficulties and older people who have less job security is increasing,” the official said.

    Price fixing distorts the economy, bankrupts firms, puts people out of work, more people are on welfare and wealth is transferred from those who create it to those who did not.

  • 0

    7777777

    Pointofview, I`m not defending the current system b/c I think federal governments all over the world tend to take care of their top politicians first, and the people who feed these politicians last. So I would also prefer to see more local care in social systems too, but my point was b/c the system is federalized and people are forced to buy into this system, then if you, me or anyone else here who has paid into the system, and we suddenly found ourselves in real need (hopefully that will never happen to any of us) then we should be able to collect because we paid for this with our own money. I am not speaking of the ideal social system but the system we presently have. I mean it would be rather foolish to pay unemployment and disability taxes, find yourself unemployed or disabled with no source of income, and then not collect on what you paid into the system. I also feel the people who lost everything in the tsunami should be able to collect whatever benefits they can since they had paid into the social welfare system. But of course, I think as soon as they get back on their feet they should stop collecting, and they should be encouraged to seek work outside this area rather than just sitting in shelters waiting for the government to come in and rebuild their towns and lives.

  • 0

    kurisupisu

    There are many out there not on welfare but should be.

  • 0

    noriyosan73

    At the 11/12/2011 Republican debate the idea of starting at $0 for foreign aid and then deciding how much the taxpayers can afford to invest in a foreign country rather than in the USA. The basic same idea needs to be applied to the welfare system. Decide how much the Japanese taxpayers can afford in its budget for welfare, then divide it among all the registered recipients. More recipients means less per person. This is a cruel proposal because of the the consequences of it; however, just because a person can register for aid does not mean the taxpayer must pay the amount that has been given by law for years.

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