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The Divide between the Rich and Poor in Japan

by Ewa Nowogorski

Like in any nation, there will always be gaps in income between the wealthiest in the population and the poorest. The gap is huge in certain countries such as India, China, and even the USA, and the gap in Japan is not small either. Japan flourished during its bubble economy in the 1980s and it had a strong middle and upper-middle class, but since the economy crashed the majority of the population has been struggling to survive.

The minimum wage has stagnated over the years, and it takes an enormous amount of time for it to increase by even a little. In addition to that, living costs have become more and more expensive. This has deterred many people from buying homes and having children. But the minimum wage in Japan ensures that people have at least enough money to get by without discomfort, so long as they sacrifice wants that are not necessary to their survival. These circumstances are enough to keep the people from protesting.

But while the poor are unknowingly becoming poorer, the rich seem to be getting richer, and this was especially so under Prime Minister Abe’s administration. In Japan, a company’s interests always come before the worker’s. They are not protected, and they do not have a voice. Companies can treat their workers with the bare-minimum standards and they will still be protected, allowing them to cut corners at the expense of their employees and become wealthier.

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