Japan, Being the third richest but the 6th poorest.

Japan, Being the third richest but the 6th poorest.

Well what does this mean?

Japan currently has the 3rd highest GDP in the world. But it is currently the 6th highest percentage of population below poverty threshold. (OECD Countries)  

 Resource: OECD. 2013.

And in terms of single parent families, it has the highest poverty rate, being 50.8% in 2009.

(the highlighted part is Japan)
Very Left: Poverty Rate, 16% of the population in poverty

Child Poverty: 15.7% of the population (children) in poverty

Next Three:Families with Children

Average: 14.6% of the families are in poverty

Single Parent: 50.8% of the families are in poverty

More than 2 parents: 12.7% of the families are in poverty. 

This growing inequality is also affecting the education of this country, the future of the next generation.

But first of all, what is “poverty” in Japan?

According to the research done by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, families with a net income of less than 1,220,000yen per family member, are in poverty.
(1,220,000yen is half of the medium net income of this country.)

and 16% of the population are in poverty.

What does it have to do with the Education System?

First of all this following graph shows the correlation between salary and educational background in Japan.

Green: University degree or higher

Blue: Technical Schools/2year degrees

Gray: High School Graduate

Black: Middle School Graduate

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 00.02.05.png

Resource: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

As you can see, university graduates receive significantly higher wages, but the problem starts here. The average salary (anual) of families with university student children are the following. (Resrouce: JASSO, 2014)
(For Education System: another post )

Country-Owned Universities or KOKURITSU 国立
Y8,390,000 ($75510)
State-Owned Universities or KOURITSU 公立
Private Universities, SHIRITSU 私立

and the average salary in Japan (By the ministry of health, labour and welfare in 2010)
Y5,496,000 ($49,464)

Generally state owned or country owned universities are supposed to be affordable, which they are, but due to the high competition, generally all of the students come from private high schools, cram schools, private tutors, study abroad experiences and those who can’t afford it, just can’t.

According to a survey done by Tokyo University Online Newspaper , (Tokyo University/東京大学 or TODAI 東大 is a country owned university, known as the best university of Japan) , 65% of the students were enrolled in cram school since primary school.

Cram schools, costing about Y300,000 -600,000, since elementary, families who can not afford cram schools are being left behind.

“Average Income and Academic Performance” (Grade 6) 

Resource: ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology,

The y axis meaning the how many ten-thousands of yen

(the first, 200万円means 2,000,000yen, $18,000)

The red, meaning language and blue, mathematics, there is a clear correlation between salary and the academic performance of a standardized test for 6th graders.

And thus, the inequality grows, stabilizes and creates a
“The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer” Society.

We believe in equality and that every children deserve a chance, an opportunity no matter their background.
To break this cycle of poverty, rising inequality we work to combat the educational inequality, to raise awareness and to share experiences through our programs and projects.


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