Govt plans survey on middle-aged recluses

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government plans to conduct in fiscal 2018 its first nationwide survey on middle-agers who are shutting themselves in their homes.

The survey will cover randomly picked 5,000 households with members aged between 40 and 59 to estimate the total number of middle-aged recluses.

The government also hopes to know how frequently those people go out, why they have withdrawn from society, what kind of family situation they are in and what assistance their families want to receive.

Based on a law enacted in 2009 to help nurture children and youngsters, the government conducted surveys on recluses aged between 15 and 39 in 2010 and 2015.

But it now sees more and more recluses getting older to leave age groups assumed by the law.

The new survey will be held amid growing calls for public assistance for households where older parents take care of jobless middle-aged children in social isolation and economic plight.

The past survey results already showed an aging trend for recluses.

Although the total number of people shutting themselves in their homes for at least six months went down from 696,000 in 2010 to 541,000 in 2015, the proportion of those who have been isolated from society for seven years or longer surged from 16.9 percent to 34.7 percent, according to the data.Speech

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