national

1st nationwide survey sheds light on young carers in Japan

19 Comments
By Satoshi Iizuka

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
Login to comment

The Japanese society does not allow children to be children! What a shame!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Im bamboselled that an accident, sickness, mental health issue means somehow those afflicted have broken a unwritten social code, and are left to fend on their own. My wife as a child experienced this. Shunned by others purley on circumstances. It is a cold society for those unable to play happy family.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

"The issue has not been closely analyzed in Japan, where awareness of children's rights has remained low and people believe it is a good thing for children to work hard for their family members and help each other," the professor said.

BULL! It's more about the unwillingness to openly accept that there are serious problems in society here and society wants to point the finger at everyone else but itself!

13 ( +15 / -2 )

taking on tasks that are seen as compromising their rights as children and ability to lead normal childhoods.

sounds like school!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In fact it’s a very normal life cycle. Someone cared , fed and changed diapers when they were unable to do it themselves as a baby or toddler. Therefore it’s now their turn one day earlier or later. Complaining and crying doesn’t solve any of the problems. It just has to be done, if possible. Of course, support, also financial one, is welcome and often very necessary, but finally someone has to do it and remains left with the burden.

-16 ( +0 / -16 )

She now runs a company sending caregivers to the disabled out of gratitude toward her teachers, social welfare systems, and her mother's support for her. "I believe it is necessary to promote social welfare that doesn't rely on nursing care by family members in Japan," she said.

Wow, talk about turning lemons into lemonade!!

CLEARLY a child in her situation needs help assistance in addition to what her mother received, that Japan hasnt sorted something like this out many decades ago shows how clueless & cold( and YES Japanese can be ETXREMELY cold to the fellow Japanese, very unbecoming & rather common sadly) this society can be.

I dont think I could show gratitude to the social welfare systems( to some individual staff yes, but not overall).

Extremely well done on her part for getting through this, I dont think words could adequately describe what she has accomplished, makes me both sad & happy at the same time.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How about rewarding such children with free tuition and flexible study schedules so that they can both support their families and get an advanced education?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I take my hat off to all young carers all over the world. In the UK many are recognized and given prizes. Still, it's not the job of a child.

Also, adult carers should get more support, more respite as they are unpaid workers, (saving the country millions) some may get paid a few peanuts. There is day for the aged, mother/fathers day, let's have a carers day.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Referencing the varying statistical data concerning young caregivers, Shibuya, the good professor states: "Without systems that take into consideration such a situation, nobody will be able to give birth to children and raise them," the professor warned.

That is a very odd conclusion. It is mere opinion by a social scientist, without any evidence of fact. With the supposition it is the primary or sole cause.

The entirety addressed concerning young caregivers is not peculiar to Japan. In a broader context, the lack of care provided by institutions and insurance is a large contributing factor.

There is no reference to the number of individuals surveyed. And in the particular case mentioned, the Father's responsibility or role is neither alluded to or his absence explained. Which is not to deny the difficulties experienced by Ms. Okimura.

 What exactly does this mean? "A recent government survey has revealed that there are, on average, one or two such "young carers" routinely looking after family members in the classrooms of Japan's junior and senior high schools." In each and every classroom? The vagaries concerning the 'information' cited in the article is bamboozling.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well done Yukiko Okimura. It was a tough situation but you did it out of love for your mother. Why should you be looked at as a victim? In my eyes you're a heroine.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She turned out very well. Children helping out in the family business or chores is very normal where I am from. In this article it seems to overlook insurance payouts in car accidents. I would expect the mother was awarded quite a large amount.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It’s a very serious issue for the future emotional health of the children as they miss the key development stages of childhood. Kids get “stuck” emotionally at the age they become caregivers if it happens before they are able to safely detatch from the parent - even if they are able to do the caring. There’s a massive difference between doing some chores and the responsibility of parenting a parent.

The mother should have reached out for more support - she probably worried about being a “burden” on others (other than the children) which in Japan is a sin.

The paid caregivers should be punished for not doing the cooking and laundry if the child. How can you separate the laundry and cooking and leave an 11 year old to fend for themselves. More compassion for the rules than for an 11 year old. Utterly shameful.

Bravo JT for raising this as an issue.

Hope that those children suffering right now get the support they need.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Huge respect for Ms Okimura and all others like her. Until one faces similar situation most people just can't imagine what it's like.

It's more about the unwillingness to openly accept that there are serious problems in society here and society wants to point the finger at everyone else but itself!

Spot on...that's it in a nutshell.

How about the west? Here is stat:

Children and adolescents have easy access to guns

Another puppet account from our resident troll master, LOL ..as usual going off on irrelevant tangents about gaikoku - not very wisdom speaking.

My wife as a child experienced this. Shunned by others purley on circumstances. It is a cold society for those unable to play happy family.

Indeed, it's a shame as those less fortunate deserve society's compassion the most.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

She now runs a company sending caregivers to the disabled out of gratitude toward her teachers, social welfare systems, and her mother's support for her. "I believe it is necessary to promote social welfare that doesn't rely on nursing care by family members in Japan," she said.

I think this is what is most necessary to change, the culture puts a lot of pressure on the care being performed by the family, no matter how difficult or irrational is to expect this. If help from outside becomes a normal thing to expect it will be reflected in the available options that can be accessed by social welfare.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

67.7 percent of junior high school students and 64.2 percent of senior high school students said they never consult with anybody about their worries, suggesting an overall tendency to keep things in that may exacerbate the isolation felt by kids looking after relatives.

Not only the kids, the majority of the Japanese psyche is like this. Just gaman suru and smile. Until when though. I also think that this problem stems a lot from their notion that seeking help would make them a nuisance and would violate their outside face-inside face norms. That shouldn't be. I respect Japan's culture, but its making its people suffer unnecessarily. I wouldn't mind lending an ear to my neighbors and coworkers about their problems if that would help. If more people were voluntarily more open to break down their walls and learn to reach out and be reached out to, there would be a lesser need for Okimura's business.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If the country had functioning, adequately funded, competently staffed social welfare, disability and pension schemes this could be avoided. It doesn't. Half of households headed by single women live in poverty.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In many parts of the world, children as young as 9 help their parents and family members in all aspects of life, here all I see is kids running around doing nothing while their parents work as hard as a mule, kids here can't even go to the local store and buy their own pencil or eraser.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would think that most Japanese would want to volunteer to help one another but most are too occupied with their own daily living. They don't really seem to project or understand ones hardships only until they experience it. Once this happens they too fall into the ranks of not knowing where to get help. They seem to think their problems is theirs alone and don't want to seek help bothering others. On the social level those who are in the work force during the caring they lack real skills, everything is done by the book instead of real life situations and adapting a plan to fit the person in need. They simply look at the problem as a job and that's it

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've got a lot of respect for these guys. It's always happened and WILL always happen in every country at any time. Here in Japan maybe the case of these capable young people highlights the general uselessness of so many young people, which often shocks me. Show me a Japanese guy who can find the "On" switch on a Dyson...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites