1.62 million single jobless Japanese socially ‘isolated’: study


A total of 1.62 million single unemployed people between the ages of 20 and 59 were “isolated” in Japanese society in 2011, according to a new study released Sunday.

The study defined as “isolated” those who fell within the age parameters and were not employed, receiving education or married, and who were alone or only in contact with family members on two consecutive days of the year.

Based on surveys conducted by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry every five years, the study estimated that some 2.56 million single people in the 20-59 age bracket were not working or studying in 2011. Of those, 1.62 million were judged to be “isolated” from society, a 45 percent spike from the 1.12 million seen in 2006.

The study, led by University of Tokyo professor Yuji Genda, was commissioned by the education ministry-affiliated Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

” ‘Isolated’ people tend to lose the will to find a job, and they are highly likely to end up in a financial bind,” Genda said.

He pointed to the urgent need for the central and local governments to assist such people by sending counselors to visit their homes and by introducing other measures to curb the rising social security costs engendered.

Meanwhile, a government white paper has shown that the total number of people aged 15 to 34 who were not in employment, education or training in 2012 stood at 630,000.

Experts have warned that the growing number of older single people without work is an emerging issue that especially needs to be addressed by the government.

  • Ben

    it’s bothered me for a while actually, not so much that it starts in school, but that all japanese are fine with allowing kids to run away from their problems rather than dealing with them. people have disagreements and fights that’s just part of the human experience, and of course those experiences are negative and make kids want to avoid the classroom or going to school altogether. the very worst thing we can do as parents and teachers is allow this. providing special rooms (euphemistically called ‘soudan shitsu’ at my school) and repeating excuses only enable this reclusion.
    i’ve been called terrible (‘hidoi!’) for saying i’d insist my daughter go straight back to school if she every came home early after being bullied. what is really terrible is never learning to deal with disagreements, and never gaining education or social skills is a sure way to end up as one of these 1.62 loners wasting away what would otherwise be happy and enjoyable lives.

  • Hiroki Sano

    Recently, I have many times to think of the importance of establishing relationships with other people, such as family, friends, and teachers.
    One of my kouhai, a younger grader student, in my faculty often skipped the lesson which is necessary for him to graduate. When I asked him why he did not go to school, he answered that he had no friends in this faculty to study together and support each other. As a senior grader, I must pay attention to him and support academically and mentally him whenever he needs some help.
    There are many students like him. It is not a local problem, but a widespread issue. Therefore, now we are required to hold the bonds with your acquaintances. Although it is very hard time for everyone to get a job to work, we must think of the important role of relationship in order not to make more ‘isolated’ people.

  • Agape/Amae

    I have been studying Amae and Hibakusha for about 3 years now.

    Is this similar; they are “isolated” or set apart, is this their decision, or something forced upon them by their Peers?

    The Powers that ruled at the end of WWII tried to wipe out

    the survivors of Hiroshima & Nagasaki by declaring them

    “Non people”/”Hibakusha”, denying them recognition, jobs, &
    Medical care. We will never know how many have died
    from the after effects but we do know about these who
    refused to die, they have given testimony about what
    happened, They gave a name to their “Cooperation”, expressed as

    I have found that Amae works best locally, in small groups,
    especially in
    those who are “noncooperative”, those who are “maladjusted to the
    Those “Not letting the Empire inside them”, or inversely those
    expelled by

    the Empire!