The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Monday that the number of welfare recipients in Japan reached a record high of 2.60 million as of Aug 31. The ministry said it will step up efforts to help unemployed people find jobs and also crack down on those fraudulently receiving welfare benefits.
The jobless rate for men stood at 4.8%, while that for women was at 4.0%, the ministry said, attributing the high numbers of jobless to the strong yen and the March 11 disaster.
Health Minister Yoko Koriyama said her ministry will work with local governments to revise the welfare benefits system to help get welfare recipients back to work, NHK said. She said officials from Hello Work job agencies will visit local welfare offices and establish vocational training programs with non-profit organizations.
Koriyama also said that benefits may be discontinued to those not making an effort to find jobs, especially those who do not attend vocational training programs. Penalties will also be toughened against those people fraudulently claiming welfare benefits, NHK reported.© Japan Today