A Psychological Ailment Called Hikikomori.
The seriousness of hikikomori has resulted in the first reported government action plan. It has allocated ¥20 million from the fiscal 2018 budget to finance research for Japan’s first nationwide survey on middle-aged hikikomori — people who have shut themselves in their homes, reported by the Japan Times. While cases of people locking themselves in their homes for at least six months fell from 696,000 in 2010 to 541,000 in 2015, the ratio of those who were isolated from society for seven years or more surged from 16.9 percent to 34.7 percent, according to government data.
The survey, to take place in fiscal 2018 starting April 1, will be held amid growing calls for public assistance to help aged parents take care of their jobless, financially dependent and socially withdrawn children. The survey will cover 5,000 randomly selected households with members aged between 40 and 59, to identify the total number of middle-aged social recluses in Japan. The government also hopes to know how frequently these people venture out, why they have withdrawn from society, what kind of family situation they are in and what assistance their families hope to receive. Credit: Jiji Kyodo for The Japan Times, 7 January 2018.
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