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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 October 14 - 20  > Japan’s poverty rate of 15.7% is highest level
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2009 October 14 - 20 [WELFARE]

Japan’s poverty rate of 15.7% is highest level

October 20, 2009
The report released on October 20 by the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry shows that Japan’s poverty rate reached 15.7% in 2006 with the rate for children at 14.2%.

This is the first time that the ministry calculated the figure for poverty, while the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published its member states’ poverty rate regularly.

The Japanese Communist Party and anti-poverty organizations have emphasized the importance of assessing the actual situation of poverty in Japan in order to take effective measures to solve the issue of poverty.

Pointing out that the increasing poverty rate and the widening economic inequalities are a serious social problem, JCP members within and outside the Diet have developed struggles calling on large corporations to ensure stable employment and, at the grass-roots level, have provided counseling services for workers who lost their jobs and places to live.

As a result of people’s movements and the JCP activities, the Democratic Party of Japan-led government announced the poverty figure.

With the employment situation deteriorating, more and more people stand in line to receive free meal provided by volunteer groups.

The need now is for both the government and political parties to squarely tackle the problem of reducing the poverty rate and addressing the distortions in society created by pro-business policies.
- Akahata, October 20, 2009
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