• Kyodo

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The number of people receiving welfare benefits nationwide hit an all-time high for the eighth consecutive month in December, totaling 2,151,165, the welfare ministry said Wednesday.

The number of households on welfare hit 1,570,823 — also a new record.

These represent rises from the 2,147,303 individuals and 1,567,797 households as of the end of November.

Households of recipients aged 65 and older accounted for more than 40 percent of the total, at 681,229, while households with ill or injured people totaled 297,923.

Meanwhile, recipient households that include family members who can work totaled 289,197, with the proportion of those households having grown markedly over the last decade.

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