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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 January 25 - 31  > Abe is trying hard to cover up issue of increasing poverty
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2017 January 25 - 31 [POLITICS]

Abe is trying hard to cover up issue of increasing poverty

January 29, 2017
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is eagerly trying to distract attention from the fact that poverty and economic gaps are increasing in Japan under his economic policy dubbed “Abenomics”. In order to hide the truth about the extent of poverty, Abe is claiming that there has been “a drop in the poverty rate”.

PM Abe has frequently cited the results of the Internal Affairs Ministry National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure indicating that the relative poverty rate decreased to 9.9% in 2014 from 10.1% in 2009.

Based on these figures, PM Abe claims that low-income families became better off. However, according to the survey, the amount of disposable income held by one out of every ten Japanese was no more than 1.35 million yen in 2009. The amount fell to no more than 1.32 million yen in 2014, down by 30,000 yen.

The relative poverty rate is a percentage of people living below the “poverty line” which is set at half of the median income of the total working population.

In the household economy survey, the median of disposable income declined from 2.7 million yen in 2009 to 2.63 million yen in 2014 and the poverty line was lowered from 1.35 million yen to 1.32 million yen during the same period of time. Thus, some workers and their families who were in a state of relative poverty in 2009 “escaped” from that state in 2014 even if they received the same amount of income as before.

While the relative poverty rate showed a slight drop, the middle class became impoverished and earns less.

Past related articles:
> PM Abe admits poverty spreading in Japan [January 19, 2016]
> Abenomics has increased poverty and inequality in Japan: Gov’t data [November 19, 2014]
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