A recent survey conducted in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward has shown that as many as one-third of hikikomori, or social recluses, living there have no desire for the government to help them reintegrate into society.

What began as a survey to get a grasp on the sheer number of hikikomori in the ward's 700,000 population ended up revealing that 1-in-24 households have someone who will not go out to work or school and rarely interacts with anyone outside their immediate family.

For local authorities, although a majority of hikikomori do want some type of assistance, such as job introductions or mental health counseling, the fact that more than 30% of respondents say they want to be left alone is indicative of a wider failing in the government's outreach efforts, they say.