Support groups deluged by inquiries after Kawasaki and Tokyo murders involving social recluses
Japan Times -- Jun 11
Following recent stabbing incidents involving middle-aged hikikomori, or social recluses, and their parents, the number of inquiries received by support groups and similar organizations that support such individuals has surged.

A stabbing rampage in Kawasaki by a recluse and the murder of a reclusive man by his father, a former top agriculture ministry bureaucrat, in Tokyo have seen extensive coverage, and have prompted some hikikomori and their families to further distance themselves from society, experts have said.

Following the two incidents, Rakunokai Lila, a Tokyo-based nonprofit organization supporting social recluses, was swamped by phone calls from people seeking advice. Many of the calls came from recluses in their 40s and 50s.

“I can’t go outside for fear of being seen in public,” one such individual was quoted as saying. Requests for advice from parents also increased, the support group said.

“The most difficult thing is to call for help the first time,” said Otochika Ichikawa, a 72-year-old senior official of the support group, whose daughter was once a social recluse.

“The stabbing incidents became a turning point in a way, in that they led to encourage people (to seek help), and we hope to continue providing support,” Ichikawa said.

One challenge is how to help those who have not reached out or called for help.

Many reclusive people feel rejected by society or have a sense of inferiority over not securing work, and their parents sometimes have similar feelings due to the criticism they see aimed at their children.

Strong fears of prejudice in the wake of the shocking stabbing incidents have also made them reluctant to seek external support, the group said.

News source: Japan Times
Jun 03
Japan's Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has effectively given up on plans to change the start of the nation's school year from April to September. (NHK)
Jun 02
A national university in northeastern Japan on Monday ended in principle the long-standing custom of requiring documents be stamped with seals, in a bid to promote workplace efficiency and teleworking among its staff. (Kyodo)
Jun 02
Major firms in Japan on Monday fully started interviews, written tests and other activities to hire students graduating in spring 2021, with companies and students both struggling to adjust to unprecedented online recruiting methods introduced to cope with the new coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)
May 31
High school students learning the Japanese language in the United States have had their knowledge of Japan put to the test in an annual quiz. (NHK)
May 30
The number of foreigners staying in Japan under a new visa for workers with specified skills totaled 3,987 as of the end of March, less than a tenth of the maximum set by the government in the first year of its introduction, immigration authorities said Friday. (Kyodo)
May 28
Seventy percent of Japanese prefectural boards of education say schooling will be limited in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the government's lifting of the state of emergency, a Nikkei survey has found. (Nikkei)
May 25
The threat of sexual harassment is an all-too-real concern for Japan's student job hunters, and it is sometimes university alumni who use promises of patronage to abuse their position of trust. (Japan Today)
May 24
The health ministry plans to raise subsidies for governments that bolster staff at child consultation centers to help them deal with the surge in child-support demand caused by the coronavirus, informed sources say. (Japan Times)
May 23
The government has set an additional criterion for foreign students hoping to receiving cash handouts of up to Y200,000 ($1,900) for students struggling financially amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, making only those in the top 30 percent of grades eligible. (Japan Times)
May 20
The Cabinet approved Tuesday a program to provide up to ¥200,000 ($1,900) in a cash handout to each of around 430,000 university and other students in the nation struggling financially to pay for tuition or living costs amid the spread of the new coronavirus. (Japan Times)