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How-to books on living comfortably on welfare selling well

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A healthy economy affords almost everyone a livelihood. For those who fall through the cracks, there’s welfare relief. An unhealthy economy swells the welfare rolls. Japan’s current economy is extremely unhealthy. The welfare system is strained to the breaking point. “Strange world,” muses Shukan Shincho (March 3), referring to a recent spate of briskly-selling how-to books offering advice on milking welfare for all it’s worth and more. Why struggle? is the implied message. You can live pretty comfortably on welfare, if you know the ropes.

By 2005, the nation was some 15 years into its ongoing “lost decade,” and 1 million households were on welfare. By last November 1.42 million households were – 1.97 million individuals. Welfare payments in 2009 came to 3 trillion yen.

Osaka, says Shukan Shincho, is the national leader in this regard, with 148,000 welfare recipients among its citizens. That’s one-eighteenth of its population. The magazine speaks of long lines forming outside city hall on mornings when payments are issued. It also speaks of recipients hailing taxis when their business is done, pachinko parlors being popular destinations.

The how-to manuals strike both a chord and a nerve – a chord among those seeking to extend their privileges, a nerve among the outraged. Shukan Shincho is in the latter camp. “It won’t be long,” it concludes, “before the system goes bankrupt.”

The manuals are replete with “Q&A” presentations that walk you step by step through the daunting and aggravating process of dealing with the welfare bureaucracy.

Q: The case worker tells me, rather forcefully, to do some job-hunting at [job placement agency] Hello Work. How should I respond?

A: Guidance concerning job-seeking must respect the welfare recipient’s freedom.

Q: Somehow I always end up playing pachinko...

A: As long as you don’t play more frequently than an employed person might, I don’t see a problem.

And so on. There are times when a medical certificate comes in handy, and not all doctors are pushovers. Don’t worry. With a little coaching, you can wrap them all round your little finger. “When you visit a doctor,” says one manual quoted by Shukan Shincho, “let him know clearly how ill you are, even if it means exaggerating. Make sure he understands that if you end up on the street without a yen, it’s his fault... The doctor may give you a dirty look, but you can live with that.”

If, whether through your own fault or because of the sagging economy, you really are unemployable, your case worker will look for relatives who might support you, asking for names and addresses. The most effective response in that event is, “I don’t know, I forget, I’ve lost track of my family.”

Put up a sufficiently bold front, in short, and the world is your oyster.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

23 Comments
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Hmmm... I'd like some help. Guess I should read this book.

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Living well on welfare is the same as living well on a salary, granted the available money changes but the same rules apply. Yeah, the Tanto is a pain in the arse and a nuisance but those are the breaks.

Said that Japan will see quiet an increase from the current 1.44 mill households on welfare within the next year.

The goverment is still pushing "Hello Work" as they still got some form of control/feedback there but truly it has become rather useless for finding a decent job that pays a living wage.

All this books are truly telling you is how to crook the system, the same things that already been done by people with a few brain-cells for years.

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Can permanent resident gaijin apply?

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haruka.

If you got PR you are eligible, know quiet a few PR-holders on Seigatsu-hogo but the rules are strict. You will be treated just like the japanese citizens.

There is also coverage for non-PR I think but much less coverage.

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If you want more details contact me via the 'Forum" same ID.

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"( welfare ) recipients hailing taxis when their business is done, pachinko parlors being popular destinations"

Grrrrrrrr!

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Its a bit insane ... I don't think we should be encouraging living on welfare over getting a job and contributing to the economy.

I know it goes on alot in other countries, but welfare is set up to help people in need of help, not as a long term free living arrangement. I get a bit infuriated with people like this writing books, when its people who are working hard (and probably struggling to live comfortably and support their family within their own salary) supporting these people by their hard earned taxes.

I DO see a problem making enough money off welfare that they can go and play pachinko as much as an employed person. I DO see a problem blackmailing doctors into filling in medical forms.

As Zenny said though, its been done before, and It will be done again, but I just think Its wrong...

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Not to mention that people on welfare will want to buy this book, and they will spend part of their welface check on getting it. If their welfare check covers more than the most basic of necessities (rent, minimum food and gas/power/water bills), then they are getting paid too much!

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There are a few problems here in need of solving.

Jobs: The government should put more energy into job creation. I still think a new deal approach for internal investment would generate jobs and help boost the economy.

Drop Barriers: Pass laws that make age and sex disrimination punishable to prevent companies from blocking older and transition workers.

Transition Work Programs: Offer tax breaks to companies that empower transitioning older workers to get reasonable jobs.

Re-evaluate Welfare. a. Stricter rules that require more job searching for able bodied workers including offers of a Japan New Deal job. b. Medical welfare must be better verified and cheats discarded from the program.

Do these things in this order and you can increase employment and decline the number of lazy do nothings who harm the system and better protect it for those who sincerely need help.

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Jobs: The government should put more energy into job creation.

Not the government's job.

The government can and must encourage more entrepreneurship and small business creation (badly needed in Japan) rather than relying on dinosaur multinationals.

Pass laws that make age and sex disrimination punishable to prevent companies from blocking older and transition workers.

Now! Now! Now!

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no more welfare. make it workfare and have them clean public toilets for couple hours a day. if they don't show up or don't do a good job, no pay. the government should get something for the money it pay.

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no more welfare. make it workfare and have them clean public toilets for couple hours a day.

I like this idea, but then it would put the janitors out of work.

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no it wouldn't alphaape ... you can never have "too clean" toilets.

Im very pro "workfare" too. I don't think it should be a couple of hours a day though, I think it should be 8 hours a day. It will soon make them realize they are better getting a job and getting paid for it, than doing a job and not getting paid for it.

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Buy 2nd-hand, go for sales and discounts (internet vouchers are big in the UK), plant your own vegetables. Be practical!

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"Pass laws that make age and sex disrimination punishable to prevent companies from blocking older and transition workers."

tkoind2 and Dentshop...

Agreed, I have heard, correct me if I am wrong, Canada no longer will support a mandatory retirement age.

I like experienced workers. I really believe linking "enthusiastic" and "energetic" with any particular age group is illadvised and impractical.

I want wise. I want people smart and street savvy. I want experts, people in their field that know more than I do. I'm not really going to be able to tell who is who and what qualities from an interview. I know a great group of men, and although they are of similar ages it's not the youngest that are the "best", the best indicator for me is time.

The focus on age just wastes my time. Enthusiastic and enegertic gets old fast, too.

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Workfare really? most of these people are signed off as too physically or mentally ill to work. Trying o amke them work for their welfare would be illegal.

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These people are learning from the politicians & bureaucrates who have the arts of thieving/stealing down to a science.

I dont condone these slackers but they are probably looking at this society & see being shafted left right & centre & figure what the.........

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"( welfare ) recipients hailing taxis when their business is done, pachinko parlors being popular destinations"

Grrrrrrrr!

Before you go wearing your teeth down, Sarge, consider the source. This is crap tabloid fare.

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oh my god, this article is one of the worst i ever saw,

the problem are not the people who need financial support or books who give information about how the system works (normally this infos should be provided by the government)

the part with the pachinko is pure nonsense, of course some people do but the huge majority does not.

that a newspaper like this one is offering a stage for this cheap rhetoric is a shame.

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"A healthy economy affords almost everyone a livelihood"

Seems to me the Japanese economy was pretty healthy when the exchange rate was around 240 yen to the dollar and there was no consumption tax.

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An unhealthy economy swells the welfare rolls.

And what does the U.S. have? An unhealthy economy. Japan, don't make our mistakes.

Why struggle? is the implied message. You can live pretty comfortably on welfare, if you know the ropes.

Which is exactly the attitude that has been the ruin of U.S. society for decades, and trillions of dollars.

I see, at my current job, people on welfare and food stamps (EBT cards) who seem to have plenty of money for the latest phones, fashionable clothes and jewelry and tattoos. Quite frustrating, and frankly insulting to the rest of us.

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"Long lines outside City Hall on payment day". Sounds like a beat up to me. Welfare eligibility is virtually impossible for anyone who doesn't have a current domicile. Also, Osaka's allegedly high rate of one in eighteen people on welfare is still less than 6% of the city's population and hardly unexpected given the still relatively depressed state of its economy. In Australia, with its vastly smaller population, close to 10% of the population rely on unemployment benefits, a disability pension or special benefits. The preferred tactic of government there in fact has been to shift the long term unemployed onto the latter two benefits in order to disguise the fact that it has basically given up on efforts to eliminate welfare dependency. By Shukan Post's reasoning, Australia must be close to collapse.

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close to 10% of the population

Typo. I meant to say 10% of the workforce.

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