After serving as president of a public athletics college in China for decades, Bunji Tanaka resettled in Japan in 1988 at age 47 and found work at a liquor wholesale warehouse in Yokohama.

He retired from that job in 2001 and last July applied for public livelihood assistance. Tanaka needed the aid because his short working life in Japan means he is eligible for only limited pension benefits, which barely cover the cost of living for him and his wife.

Tanaka's wife suffers asthma and leg disabilities. The couple live in Yokohama.