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Wednesday, 21st October 2009
In General Japan News,

Survey highlights Japanese poverty levels

Figures from the Japanese welfare ministry have shown that almost one in six people in the country are living in poverty.

According to the ministry, 15.7 per cent of Japanese people lived on less than 50 per cent of the median disposable income in the country in 2006.

Commenting on the figures, health, labour and welfare minister Akira Nagatsuma said that he wishes to put policies in place to help improve the figure.

These include the introduction of child-raising allowances, he said.

Japan is "one of the worst" of the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the minister confirmed.

Overall, Japan had the fourth-highest poverty level out of the 30 member countries throughout the mid-2000s, a report from the OECD said.

As well as overall poverty levels, the OECD pointed out that among working single-parent households in Japan, poverty rates are high, at 58 per cent.

Written by Kimberley Homer.