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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 January 13 - 19  > PM Abe admits poverty spreading in Japan
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2016 January 13 - 19 TOP3 [POLITICS]

PM Abe admits poverty spreading in Japan

January 19, 2016
Grilled by the Japanese Communist Party in Diet deliberations, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo admitted that more and more Japanese people are falling into poverty and experiencing social inequality under his “Abenomics” economic policies.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Koike Akira on January 18 at a House Budget Committee meeting introduced the 2012 OECD survey on poverty rates in 34 member nations.

According to the OECD survey, Japan’s relative poverty rate stood at 16.1% and the relative poverty rate for children reached 16.3%. The data also reveals that the poverty rate for children in single-parent households reached 54.6%, the worst among all 34 OECD countries.

JCP Koike pointed out, “One in six Japanese are living under the poverty line, which means that poverty is a problem that directly or indirectly affects everyone.” PM Abe admitted that in Japan, the poverty rate is on an upward trend.

Koike moved on to the issue that household financial conditions affect children’s education. Koike asked about the college-going rate of children in poor families and that of children in better off families.

Education Minister Hase Hiroshi explained that currently, 73% of children in Japan go to university right after high school and that the percentage of children who receive higher education from families on welfare and from child welfare facilities stands at 37.1% and 22.6% respectively.

Koike said, “Poverty often thwarts children’s opportunity to receive higher education. To eliminate poverty will open a bright future for Japan.” The Prime Minister in reply said, “It is important to break the chain of poverty.”

Past related articles:
> Majority of single-parent families living in poverty [July 16, 2015]
> Japanese children’s poverty rate hits record high [July 17, 2014]
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