Japan's high child poverty rate driven by an increasing number of single-parent families
ABC -- Mar 02
Japan is one of the world's richest countries but one in six Japanese children now live in poverty - one of the worst rates in the industrialised world.

Poverty is largely hidden in Japan as most go without help for it is seen as a great shame, but the issue is now threatening the country's economic revival.

Nana Kojima is a single mother bringing up two children and is part of Japan's hidden but growing army of working poor.

"I struggle with the rent. Half my income goes on that and then I don't have much left for food and bills," Ms Kojima said.

In Japan more than half a million single mothers live below the poverty line, earning less than $12,000 a year.

Japan's male corporate culture means single mothers mostly work in casual, low-paid jobs.

Ms Kojima works as a waitress for $10 an hour.

"In Japan, single, working mothers are discriminated against," she said.

"We have little chance to progress as our needs are not understood."

The increase in the number of single mothers is fuelling Japan's record child poverty rates.

Community groups are starting to provide help, including volunteers dedicated to making sure children in need get a healthy meal and their mothers have a chance to connect.

The Children's Network group in Tokyo was one of the first to be set up in the Japanese capital just two years ago and it has encouraged more to be established.

News source: ABC
Jun 27
The poverty rate among Japanese children slightly improved in 2015 thanks in part to the country's better job market but one in every seven children remains poor, a survey by the welfare ministry showed Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Jun 27
Hokkaido Prefectural Police are investigating what is believed to have been a suicide after the body of a boy was found at an apartment building in Sapporo on Monday, report TV Asahi. (tokyoreporter.com)
Jun 25
Japanese newscaster Mao Kobayashi's blog on her battle against breast cancer was "groundbreaking," British broadcaster BBC reported Friday. (Jiji)
Jun 25
Confusion is spreading after teaching materials on the Japanese language brought in by four lecturers sent from Japan to one of four Russian-controlled islands as part of visa-free exchange activities were seized by Russian customs authorities. (the-japan-news.com)
Jun 24
Hanawa Hokiichi, Japan's revered blind scholar and Buddhist monk of the Edo-era, was born on this date a full 271 years ago. A Google Doodle appearing in the country Friday shows the savant seated next to a kneeling student, with dreams of books floating above his head - alluding to his reputation as a font of wisdom. (Time)
Jun 23
The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry on Wednesday released a manual for the country's new curriculum guidelines, asking junior high school teachers for the first time to have students understand procedures for constitutional revisions. (the-japan-news.com)
Jun 22
A total of 249 music school operators in Japan have launched a group lawsuit against music copyright management body JASRAC's plan to collect royalties on music played in lesson time. (Jiji)
Jun 21
Around half of junior high school students have called the English skills they acquired in elementary schools "useless," according to recent findings by education services provider Benesse Holdings Inc. (Japan Times)
Jun 18
Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested a 31-year-old teacher in an alleged attempted arson case at a kindergarten in Miyakojima Ward last month, reports TBS News (tokyoreporter.com)
Jun 17
A government survey showed Friday that 55.9 pct of Japanese men took child care leave within two months after their wives gave birth. (Jiji)