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While in college, I cared for my mother with an intractable disease night and day. I experienced a great deal of difficulty when I tried to find a job.

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Seigo Miyazaki, head of the Young Carers Association. Nearly half of university juniors in Japan who help take care of aging or sick family members worry whether they can work, a welfare ministry survey showed.

© Jiji Press

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I cared for my mother with an intractable disease night and day.

While I feel for this caregiver, and the plight of all caregivers in sustaining employment around family care responsibilities, and I would not even consider subtracting from the overall theme of the quote, I am still left puzzling over the term, intractable disease, and it's use in Japan. Is this literally 'nanbyo?' Isn't that considered diagnostically a rare disease or condition of unknown etymology? with unidentifiable causes, along with a lack of curable treatments?

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If ever a nation needed state-funded in-home care and care homes, it is Japan. Most countries dodge it. Even the UK with its NHS fails to cover old age care adequately.

Most of us will get old and need it. The extra tax hit would be an investment in our own futures and relieve the burden from our families.

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