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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 December 21 - 2023 January 10  > About 45% of Ainu indigenous people earn less than 3 million yen a year
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2022 December 21 - 2023 January 10 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

About 45% of Ainu indigenous people earn less than 3 million yen a year

December 26, 2022

The government on December 20 released a written response to a written inquiry submitted by Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Kami Tomoko concerning the Ainu economic and social situation.

To a question about Ainu income, the response indicates that 44.8% of Ainu households in Japan other than in Hokkaido and 50.9% of Ainu households in Hokkaido live on an annual income of less than three million yen, as of 2011, while the national average (excluding the Ainu) of less than 3-million-yen-income households accounted for 33.2%.

The government in its written response admitted to the fact that the disparity in education and living standards between the Ainu and other Japanese people is attributable to historic injustices.

To a question if the government intends to conduct a survey of the living conditions of Ainu people based on the 2019 Ainu Promotion Act, the government responded that it is not considering carrying out the survey at this point.

In addition, 18.6% of Ainu people in Japan other than in Hokkaido and 8.3% of Ainu in Hokkaido have not joined the national pension system or do not receive pension benefits, according to the government response.

The government in its response said that it has not analyzed why many Ainu people do not receive pension benefits and that it does not have any support measures for the Ainu who are left without pension benefits.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People calls for improvements in social security programs for indigenous communities. The government response, however, reveals that there has been no improvement in the Ainu situation.

Past related article:
> Japanese gov’t in response to JCP Kami shows its reluctance to respond to UN declaration on indigenous people’s rights [January 23, 2022]
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