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Over 40% of young people in Japan who grew up at foster homes due to domestic violence and other family issues work as nonregular employees, a labor ministry survey showed Friday.

The survey also showed that some 20% of respondents held off on going to hospitals in the past year.

“They are facing severe financial difficulties,” said Ichiro Matsumoto, professor at Hokkaido University, who advised the ministry on the survey.

It was the first time for the ministry to conduct a survey on the livelihood of young people who grew up at foster homes.

Matsumoto called on the government to keep track of such people and provide support to them.

The online survey was conducted between November and January, covering 20,690 people who left foster homes between April 2015 and March 2020 after graduating junior high school. Answers were collected from 14.4% of them.

Among the respondents, those age 21 accounted for 549 people, or 18.4%. Those age 20 made up 547 people, or 18.4%, and those age 19 accounted for 487 people, or 16.3%.

In the survey, 2,115 respondents, or 71% of the total, said they have a job. Of them, 51.8% said they are full-time employees while 34.5% said they work part time. Contract workers made up 8.6% and day and seasonal workers accounted for 1.3%.

The survey showed that 23% of respondents said they are attending school. Of them, 35.7%, the largest group, said they are studying at a four-year university.

According to the survey, 20.4% of respondents said they could not go to a hospital or dental clinic in the past year. Asked about reasons for not being able to go to such medical institutions, with multiple answers allowed, 66.7% said it is costly to see a doctor.

Asked about what troubles them in daily lives, 33.6% cited costs of living and school expenses.

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