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Poverty and Inequality in Japan

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Submitted By Yuya
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Poverty and Inequality in Japan Compared to other countries, Japan was an equal community until the beginning of the 1990s. Almost every single person was feeling that they belonged to the middle class. Yet, income inequality has been increasing drastically since around 1990, as a result of rapid changes of Japanese society such as “population aging and declines of birthrate” as well as Japanese experience of the bubble economy from 1986 to 1989 (Japan’s Declining Birthrate). In addition, some might think that the most significant cause of the rising income inequality is the technological development. According to Keiko Takanami, a professor in San Diego State University, “there is a shift in demand from unskilled workers to skilled workers largely due to the technical changes and globalization.” This actually ended up with an increase of income inequality, because the wages would go up for workers who have well trained or high skills, while the wages would go down for unskilled workers. Recently, there is no doubt to say that Japan has been struggling with poverty and income inequality. This is also true for many other industrialized countries such as the U.S.A. and South Korea.
Reasons why poverty was not a big social problem in Japan until the early 1990s is that the rate of poverty, majored by poverty survey of OECD, was not as high as other countries, and the rate of unemployment and income inequality were low (Poverty). In addition to this fact, even if there were a number of people who were reduced to extreme poverty at that time, it was not a major problem since the poor were supported and helped economically by family members. Things have changed significantly for the last decades. For example, the unemployment rate has been getting high because of depression in result of bankruptcy and amalgamation like Lehman Shock. Furthermore, a shift from a nuclear…...

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