Director Hirokazu Kore-eda recently won the Palme d'Or at Cannes for "Shoplifters," a critically acclaimed family drama that was partially inspired by real-life events.

It attempts to depict a slice of life in which people are struggling to make ends meet, a set of circumstances that can be easily forgotten about unless you're unfortunate enough to be facing the same financial hardship.

According to the Mainichi Shimbun, shoplifting nationwide is estimated to set the country back about ¥400 billion ($3.6 billion) each year. Studies by the National Police Agency and other organizations indicate that the majority of shoplifters are motivated by economic strife, especially the elderly. According to the National Police Agency, 72 percent of all cases involving a person aged 80 or older who are arrested for shoplifting involve food. Eighty-three percent of all such arrests involve theft committed at a supermarket. These figures speak for themselves.