The Tokyo government has recently conducted some empirical research into the number of adult hikikomori to be found in the capital, and their findings are some of the first credible statistics regarding the “issue”, as there have been a number of baseless assertions previously. They claim over 25,000 adult hikikomori in the capital, and they seem to think this worthy of action. Details follow.
Hikikomori were classified as such if they satisfied the criteria of “mostly not leaving their rooms”, and “only going out when hobbies/tastes demand it” (to Akiba no doubt). Main reasons given were “not adapted to workplace environment” at 28%, illness at 25%, and distrust of others at 22%, with 70% being male.
“Over 25,000” seems a fairly imprecise finding, but at any rate, it is nowhere near the high estimates bandied about before, since the very smallest population that Tokyo could be given is still 10 million, making this a rather minor proportion.
My personal suspicion is that similar findings could be replicated in any major metropolis, and the same sort of mild hysteria could be drummed up if we coined an English language term for it.