Statistics reveal growing poverty rate in Japan linked to divorce

By on December 17, 2014

The number of Japan’s middle class is crumbling. The era of the once called strong Ichioku Sochuryu (One hundred Million middle class) is history.

The result of the 2013 National Livelihood Survey in Japan is not looking good. According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry, the relative poverty rate rose from 16.1% (one in 6 people) in 2012 to16.3% in 2013. 54.6% of single parent households and 12.4% of those with both parents have fallen into poverty.

What went wrong Nippon?

One in three couples today are divorced. With single parent households at more than 50%, it can be said that the major reason for falling into poverty is jumping into marriage too soon. The survey results further reveal that child support from the father is merely 20 percent if not lower. Even if the income of some fathers is high and able to pay 70% for child support, the priority usually goes to the new family.

Japan’s Nikkei Spa, a daily newspaper polled 200 single and unemployed men and women between 35 and 49 years of age on their reasons for being unemployed. 46% answered “contagious disease” and “depression”.
Psychiatrists at “Te no Hashi“, a non-profit support group for the homeless says as much as 60% is suffering from mental illness and depression strongly linked to poverty.

The results of a study made by Tokyo University’s Policy Research Center reveals a correlation between income and educational attainment. 62.4% of families with a household income of 10 million yen or more are able to finance their children to go to college after high school. Only 31.4% of families earning an annual income of 4 million yen are able to do so.

Parents of 40% on social welfare are also welfare recipients. 58.2% are junior high school graduates while 14.4% are high school dropouts.

Causes of divorce in Japan
Statistics point to the following as the main reason for filing a divorce petition in Japan
44.4% incompatibility
27.5% cost of living                                                                                                                                                                                                        24.7% violence
24.9% mental abuse
19.5% heterosexual relations

Wishful thinking is to blame

People not setting their sights on realistic qualities in a marriage partner is to blame. Not everyone is a marriage material. Entertaining the idea that people change for the better once children are born only results to putting the welfare of children at risk.

Nipping depression in the bud

The results of a 2013 survey conducted by U2 Plus Inc. points to the following as precursors to depression
– Relations with work colleagues
– Excessive work load
– Job dissatisfaction
This means people are taking on jobs that do not suit them resulting in increased frustration and risk of falling into poverty.

Break the pattern Japan

Education goes a long way, not just children but to the future generation as well.

The impact of education on income is undisputable.
School dropout statistics by Japan’s Ministry of Education reveal that 39.3% is caused by academic maladjustment or unsatisfactory school life, 32.8% want to change life course, 7.3% poor scholastic performance, and 4.9% have behavioral issues. Although the numbers have so far improved,  parents should be fully engaged in their children’s school life and any tendency to withdraw from school should be dealt with immediately.

About Ted Tanaka