I mentioned recently that many young Japanese are turning to the Communist Party. This is another article describing the situation in Japan.
TOKYO – IN ONE of the world’s wealthiest nations, Junpei Murasawa is a poor man.
He skips meals to make ends meet. A bachelor, he lives in a tiny apartment in Tokyo, sharing a kitchen, toilet and shower with nine neighbours.
He doesn’t have health insurance because he can’t afford the premiums.
The 29-year-old labourer is one of a burgeoning class in Japan – the working poor.
The number of Japanese earning less than 2 million yen (S$29,541) a year surged 40 per cent from 2002 to 2006, the latest data available, the government says. They now number more than 10 million.
In a country that boasts the world’s longest-living population, where young women with Louis Vuitton bags crowd the sidewalks, Mr Murasawa’s is a voice of hopelessness and despair – a voice increasingly heard in Japan.
‘Everyday I live in deep anxiety’, said the soft-spoken temporary worker, making 90,000 yen a month by bagging purchases at a home improvement centre. ‘When I think about my future, I get sleepless at night.’