Record number of people living on welfare


The number of people claiming benefits, grants and financial aid in Japan has reached 2.1 million for the first time, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Wednesday.

The ministry released figures on its website showing that in March of this year, 1,528,381 households were receiving welfare. The number increased by 10,695 people over the previous month. The figures also show that the number of claimants broke the 2 million mark in July 2011 and climbed every month for the next nine months.

The ministry has announced plans to review the benefits system in an attempt to ensure that the money goes to those who genuinely need it to survive and not to those who may be cheating the system, Sankei Shimbun reported.

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Yea, and this number will soon increase if Noda gets his way with the tax hike .

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Alladin, it is going to increase regardless. I see plenty of help wanted ads all over the place. Shame many think they are too good for such jobs!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Lazy parasites in Japan?? No! Unheard of!!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Why do people always assume those on welfare are all lazy and workshy?

5 ( +6 / -2 )

Thunder, because the many are?? Sure, some are down on their luck but many are not and are too lazy to work the jobs that are out there. Plenty of issues in Fukushima with this right now. Jobs out there but no one wants manual labour, they want office jobs with benefits...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You have to add Politicans to this Group. They are the BIGGEST WELFARE BUMS of all. Maybe if the government took some of the money these Political do nothing waste full bums get and give it too ordinary people the world (in this case Japan) would be a better place.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Thunder, not necessarily lazy or work shy. A good deal of recipients are elderly (who already have pensions) and those who have gone into early retirement (because they have a lot of money stashed away), which is exactly who should not getting benefits. However, considering the aging population, there may be plenty of people who simply don't know how to use money and are therefore struggling (while buying TV shopping products because they are lonely)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is irresponsible to claim that any particular portion or the beneficiaries would be lazy. The whole point of doing work is to increase one's standard of living. There are plenty of jobs that simply do not do that. Maybe the commute is several hours one-way, effectively tearing one's family apart and reducing worker's buying power? Maybe somebody is not comfortable doing night shifts with a baby alone at home? Maybe professional Japan is catching up to the western model where one's career and education and all the work and effort associated with them would be effectively nullified if one has to accept even a single job outside one's field.

There are dozens of valid reasons for not accepting just any job. All of us aren't in it for "the greater cause" if we won't be the ones collecting also. Why would anybody want to be the oppressed victim? And no, the "trickle on our heads" economy model does not function in any meaningful way (other than as the scam that it is).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gaijin, again, I suggest you look into the Tohoku issue. No one wants to do manual labour in their neighbourhoods. They want office jobs. They think they deserve better. Many thing they are too good for such jobs and refuse. Sure, not everyone is lazy but you are looking at extreme cases. I was raised to work and not take handouts. Others were not. It isn't just Japan with this issue - Canada, the UK... plenty of able bodied people on welfare due to being lazy. In many cases, doing nothing pays more which is an issue.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

But tmarie, there are people who actually are too good for certain types of jobs. When somebody goes through 17+ years of high-level education and in many cases has valuable hands-on experience on his/her respective field, why should that be thrown away just so somebody can keep a kombini open 24h in the middle of a field of tsunami devastation? Even without a degree, people have particular experience of their own, and it is not irrelevant to one's standard of living.

It is a problem that their cushy office desks and corresponding employments were washed away. But relocation, especially from a disaster area to another part of Japan, is not easy at all. Getting on one's feet takes time, and they need to eat during that time.

If you don't take away their dignity after the tsunami already took everything from them, they will search and find motivated employment that brings a helluva lot more taxes, purchasing power and more employment than forced, unmotivated grind job ever could.

Of course, the ones that don't look for better future for themselves are the exeptions, but there are always those and in sufficiently small numbers that it won't pose a threat to anybody except themselves.

Also, low applicant numbers might make employers think why s#it jobs are exactly just that.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Record number of people living on welfare

let's raise taxes!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Tmarie is exactly right. People feel entitled and feel they deserve the jobs with all the bells and whistles. Unfortunately they do not know humility and what it takes to survive in this world. One, there are numerous hakken jobs out there that provide benefits, but a lot of people feel it's beneath them to take this kind of work. Two, there are even more construction jobs out there - readily available, and would probably pay cash - that I think people can easily survive on. Three, why not go back to school? Or is that too much of a sting to their pride?

Dignity you say? Get over it and be an adult.

Not all the recipients of welfare are cheats or are lazy, but it does breed contentment. I know a lot of people (ie. single moms, disaster victims) are in dire need of support and I am all for helping them get their kids in school and putting food on their table. Even the tsunami victims have had over a year to sort out their lives and move on. Rather than be stubborn and wait for the government to come to your rescue, they should have moved away and started anew. Isn't that what people do? Pick yourself up, dust off, and start again. Is it tough? Well la dee dah. Have some self respect and get back to work.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Wheneverf the economy is doing badly the weakest are the first to be picked on, whether it is single mums, unemployed, mentally ill or pensioners, it don't matter easy to look down on them and moralise.

Todays society makes me sick.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I want to be on welfare. I am tired of working.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I enjoy these short bits of news and the comments that follow. So far we have the "welfare recipients are mostly lazy bastards" and "they're down on their luck."

So I decided to do a little reading about Japan's welfare system. The first thing I found was:

a poor person physically able to work is not eligible for help

And stories:

Last April, a 77-year-old woman and her disabled son starved to death in their Tokyo apartment. The local authorities apparently knew that the family was having trouble getting food, although it does not seem that they formally applied for welfare.

An applicant who owns a home is normally advised to sell it and use the proceeds until the money runs out -- and then to apply again. In May, a 96-year-old man was dropped from welfare because it came to light that he had $30,000 in savings. The caseworker told him to use that up and then reapply.

And a few facts:

About 33% of recipients are elderly people, 45% were households with sick or disabled members, and 14% are fatherless families, and 8% are in other categories. If a household's total income falls below the minimum living expense set by the health and welfare minister, the household is eligible for welfare benefits.

I guess that means 78% of welfare recipients can't work. I suppose we can accuse the other 22% of being lazy.

I wonder if that 96-year-old man has used up his savings yet? And why would he want to keep $30,000 on hand anyway? In case he got sick or another emergency arose?

One reason people don't apply for welfare is that the welfare people contact all of your relatives to ask them to help you. Some people, yes those prideful ones, don't want their cousins to know they're poor and can't work (physically able to work means no welfare). Swallow that pride, my friends, and apply for welfare. Or starve to death with your pride, I guess.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In light of the Tohoku earthquake and the number of people displaced and unemployed as a result, surely this spike in welfare numbers is unremarkable?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And to add, it is common knowledge that the Japanese are some of the hardest working people in the world, and in terms of population have one of the lowest welfare records. Ever noticed how homeless people keep to themselves and don't ask for money? In most countries, or dare I say all, hobos will badger you for all the shrapnel you've got. The Japanese don't expect any monetary assistance from people outside their families. People who are dismissing these new welfare recipients as lazy and work-shy should do some thinking before they comment. Or come to the UK and see the real scammers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But tmarie, there are people who actually are too good for certain types of jobs. When somebody goes through 17+ years of high-level education and in many cases has valuable hands-on experience on his/her respective field, why should that be thrown away just so somebody can keep a kombini open 24h in the middle of a field of tsunami devastation? Even without a degree, people have particular experience of their own, and it is not irrelevant to one's standard of living.

That is a joke. No one is EVER too good for any job when they don't have one. Again, people are raised differently. I was raised not to think I am above certain jobs, more so when if I don't have one.

Kenjo, BS. Japanese people are known to "work" for long hours. Working long hours doesn't mean hard working - which is exactly why the Japanese economy is in the toilet. If japan was oh so good, they wouldn't have the issues they do.

The Japanese don't expect any monetary assistance from people outside their families. HaHAHAha! Really? So it that why kids get free medical care? It that why my taxes pay for the pension and health care of stay at home wives? Is that why people are moaning about the child bonuses being cut?

Borschst, poor elderly is a problem. My question is though, why on earth weren't they a) paying pension and b) saving their pennies for old age? In many cases, the people who are poor are women. Women who haven't paid a personal penny into the Japanese tax system. I have a very hard time thinking society should look after them when they didn't bother to look after themselves. Is that harsh? Indeed but why should Japan dig itself into debt even more when people didn't take responsibility for themselves?

And yes, pride. Swallow it and ask for help or suffer and die. I do wonder what is going to happen to all these parasite singles when their parents pass away and have no money.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )


Japanese work long hours with many hours of unpaid overtime but their productivity is por and one of the worst of the first world nations.

You refer to the UK where many abuse the system and possibly in japan as higha percanetage also do so especiallly pretendinfg to be mentally ill which is the prime income for many low level yakuza.

We should all look at why some feel life is better on welfare and what has gone wrong with society.

As for the UK here is some usefull info, only 1 out of 8 claiments of housing benefit are unemployed. And another UK statistic , the amount paid yearly in beenfits is only approx 30% of the estimated revenue lost to tax evaders.


-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@tmarie 'they want office jobs with benefits'. That really is symptomatic of lazy,spoiled generation. Why is it when headlines like this appear it turns into open season on the less well off? Can we please stop demonizing the poor and redirect the anger towards the plutocrats and politicians with their sustained attacks on living wages and terms of employment? Office jobs with benefits doesn't mean a Goldman Sachs salary with paid flights to Monaco.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Jim, I'm not stating that politicians shouldn't be attacked for their abuse of power and whatnot. What I am saying is that some of those on benefits abuse the system and don't get off their butts to work. The abuse of this must stop and those really in need of help should be helped. Thing is, the system makes it easy to be abused.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You know, its super easy to comment on another persons life situation when you yourself have never been there. I mean, how many of the folk making comments on this forum regarding the tsunami victims were actually affected by it,?How many of you lost family members, your home, your belongings, your business and/or job in one fell sweep? How many of you are, only over a year later, trying to deal with the physical and emotional aftermath? I personally feel that unless you are one of those poor folk directly affected, you don`t have the right to comment. I am all for getting back on your feet but sometimes people need someone to help them to stand in the first place.

Japan can hardly be compared to other countries,such as Britain. During my time in Japan, I felt that most Japanese had a strong work ethic and were too proud to ask for help, even when totally warrantedand at times with quite dire consequences.That`s why welfare systems were supposedly set up, to help out people when Fate throws those curveballs.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Same old same old: demonize welfare recipients by making it sound like many people may be cheating. What they really need to do is attack corporate welfare and make sure companies that get tax breaks and handouts and then externalize environmental and social costs really need them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sam, you have no idea who has been in what situations in their life. Suggesting you can't have an opinion on something because you haven't walked a mile in their shoes isn't smart nor realistic. I have no doubt you'd complain about a bad teacher to your children but have you ever been a FT teacher with qualifications? You compliment a good teacher so why not complain about bad ones? I tend to like your posts but disagree with you on this one.

I have a friend who is up in Tohoku right now who is doing his best with helping out. He's fed up with people who won't get off their butts and help themselves and want handouts. He's there, he's living it and he's the one commenting on it all. Does he not have a right to an opinion?

Japan CAN be compared to other countries with all of this. Japan gives out a lot of money but they have a different system of "welfare". You may feel that people have a strong work ethic but I will 100% disagree with that. They will do something when told but won't do anything on their own. The younger generation out there now have no work ethic - which is why Japan has an issue with parasite singles. Too proud to ask for help? Yep but that isn't honorable. It is just silly.

Indeed, the welfare system is set up to help those in need of help. How many are really, really in need of help? Those who aren't are robbing those really in need.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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