Hikikomori asked what they would do if their parents, for most their only source of income, were to die overwhelmingly gave responses such as “commit suicide” or “starve to death.”
He found that amongst the “first generation” hikikomori, now aged 40-45, many will over the next decade face the prospect of losing their parents as they begin to succumb to old age, and perhaps more importantly their pensions will no longer exist to support them.
Asking these hikikomori what they would do were their parents to pass away, he found the majority of answers were along the lines of “commit suicide” or “starve to death,” with only a small minority prepared to finally enter society as working adults.
Indeed, he claims that cases of hikikomori suicide for this reason have begun to come to light, not welcome news for a nation experiencing record levels of suicide.
Generally, the only way hikikomori are thought to be able to sustain themselves is through lavish parental indulgence, as Japan’s benefit system is inadequate to sustain such indolence for any great length of time.
With Japan’s ballooning population of pensioners desperately concerned about whether they will be able to extract enough taxes from the shrinking younger generations to support their lavish pensions, it seems media hysteria about hikikomori, NEETs and freeters is only set to grow.