Aso Vows to Drag NEETs & Hikikomori From Their Rooms


The diet is hearing a proposal which would seek to aggressively eliminate the phenomenon of NEETs and hikikomori shut-ins, forcing them to “participate in society” (earn a taxable income), and seeking to cure them of whatever ill it is which stops them holding a regular job like everyone else.

The proposed law, tentatively dubbed the “Young Persons Support Law”, will go before the Diet in 2009, with proponents citing the possibility of NEET numbers increasing in the poor economic climate.

The previous measures instituted by the labour ministry included “Regional Young Persons Support Stations”, where NEETs and hikikomori could be told to get a proper job, but as these stations actually required the shut-ins to physically leave their homes and come to the station, they are regarded as being completely ineffective.

The new measures will see the state tracking NEETs and hikikomori, and then dispatching specialists (“youth advisors”, doctors and probation officers are mentioned) to herd them into work, enlisting the aid of their parents if they do not live alone.

It is not clear what powers the scheme will grant when the targets do not want to be helped into drudgery, but it seems unlikely to allow anything more than mild but persistent harassment by the “specialists”.

Rozen Aso has this to say: “With this new law we plan to furnish troubled young people with independence, and extend a helping hand to them”.

There are thought to be some 620,000 NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) in Japan, not including the hated freeters (people working only part-time) or the almost as disdained unemployed; the actual population of hikikomori is largely unknown, having only been guessed at and then fretted about in the mass media, but is likely to be only in the thousands or tens of thousands.

Both the Japanese and international media have fretted about hikikomori extensively, but no statistical evidence has yet been presented to suggest that the problem in Japan is actually widespread, or that it is any more common than with similar (but ignored) socially withdrawn individuals in other countries.

Via Sankei.

An unwarranted intrusion of the state into the private lives of its citizens, or a valiant effort to reach out to the socially marginalised?

Whatever the case, it’s clear the government needs the extra tax revenue desperately if it is to pay the pensions of an aging society which cunningly voted itself an overly generous welfare state, and it can make a start on this by making these young deviants work to that end…

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    Comment by mikoto
    05:22 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I am an Ukrainian hikikomori!

    Avatar of kaishu
    Comment by Kaishu
    06:38 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Without getting too political... and only appealing to the anime/manga obsessed NEETS/Hikikomoris, what if they were to be given some kind of role within the anime/manga/game industry? though I realize this wouldn't have an effect on the ones that are shut up just because of phobias of society or the judgement of others. It could still be effective if, say maybe they were allowed to work in comic book shops or arcades. Not necessarily as clerks but maybe maintenance crew or stockers/receivers. Or also have schools in Japan that aren't so difficult to get in, kind of like the technical schools in the US. Schools where they can learn specialized skills such as programming and the like.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:43 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Maybe the japs should start allowing younger people from other countries into theirs, but no way that this is ever going to happne because they are so racist and all. Have fun with 70% old people.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:33 15/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They allow immigrants, you idiot. The problem is, can you speak Japanese? It looks like you're the racist one.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:01 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The same thing is happening in Europe, and will happen (to a lesser degree, but still with much effect) in the US.

    Much of Europe, especially the southern region, relies on immigration to bulk up the population. This trend will only continue in the future, and extend into the north and west.

    In the US, the baby boomers are already retiring, and demanding out-sized entitlements from the government and private pension plans. The younger generation (ie, you and me) have no chance to receive the same treatment, but are expected to pay for the happy and carefree retirement of those who wrecked our economy and sent our friends to war for the profit of the older generation.

    Take a look at the SSI portion of every paycheck you ever get. It's going to pay for those who want nothing more than to take from you all you have.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:31 27/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You're a cheery little ray of sunshine aren't you?

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:40 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Interesting topic is interesting

    Comment by varutieru
    00:27 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    on the other note:
    i'd love to marry a hikki wife like kiri komori there :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:56 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, obviously I was never a hikki, since I'm not Japanese. But I was a NEET for quite some time (about a year) and largely secluded myself in my room (I shared a house in NYC (they do exist) with some people). Mostly because I hated my job, I never was good at dealing with people, and preferred to spend my time on anime, manga, and games.

    I was basically forced back into the job market because I simply ran out of money. I sold everything I could, but it wasn't enough. My mother wouldn't pay for me obviously, since parents in the US don't feel obligated to support their offspring forever like they do elsewhere. If the same thing happened to Japanese hikkis, maybe they'd be forced to pull a Satou and drag their asses to the ramen shop for a job.

    tl;dr parents need to stop enabling their NEET children.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:23 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Firstly, there are a finite number of primes p where the reduction of E to p is bad for one reason or another; we multiply all these primes p together to form the conductor N, which then gets carried along throughout the rest of the construction. ,

    Avatar of mtallmen_184
    Comment by mtallmen_184
    02:35 07/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    If you can find a cure for Aspergers, let me know.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:01 19/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Humans were originally social animals, perhaps why many people find it uncomfortable that there are people who choose to move away (ie: Hikkikomori).
    Despite having the freedom of choice, this is not how the system works. The system dictates us, we have no freedom. If freedom was real, then there would be no social hierarchy, bureaucracy, money etc.
    Because we choose to differ each other with such things, the system will always dictate us what to do.
    And thus, they demand every human to be sucked into this whirlpool of money. You must work to have money, this and that needs money. It isn't the government or the society's fault, it is the system.
    The 'system' makes everyone it's victim. Until we can break free from it, we shall be dictated and trapped by it.

    Avatar of tyciol
    Comment by tyciol
    14:16 06/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why 'young person'? There's nothing in the NEET acronym implying youth.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:28 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i have an aunt, and she isn't what you'd call straight out neet, but well, she doesn't have work and her sisters(my mom included) support her.

    and well, frankly, i believe in survival of the fittest.

    if you can't work for a reason or don't wanna. too bad.

    i know its cruel reading it, but srsly, it will only get worse. we have enough people now as it is.

    my cousin, perfectly healthy, capable, but unemployed. why? he a lazy fucker.

    what's irking me is that he is good looking. srsly. he coulda gotten a girl with a job, maybe even a good lookin girl with a good job, but no, he had to knock up an unemployed bitch.

    if they can drag all em hikki and whatnot, fine. i doubt it tho. what happened to this generation anyway? vidya games? animu? mango?

    Comment by d zero
    21:49 16/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Man does not live by bread alone. No one can live - in any extended sense of "to live" - by the grace of economic necessity alone, or the threat of physical violence. A human being is not a beast or machine, and the value of human life does not come from work. The argument that in a free society everyone should support themselves is hypocritical because what do you do in a free society? - spend the first eighteen years of your life having your physical movements essentially controlled day in and day out and your brain crammed full of information regardless of your own tastes or wishes. Freedom does not mean you get tossed out on your ass after being totally subordinate to another's discretion for two decades (and before that, of course, not asking to be born in the first place). Society must do better than that.

    I'm not saying that NEETs are a form a political activism against society's failure to make life feel worth while for so many of the members whom it forcibly introduces. But they almost certainly are a symptom of the times, and it is staggeringly smallminded to try and force these individuals to do something, anything in times like this. I think it is noble to try and help them, since most likely no one actually wants to live as a shut-in, but I doubt if that's the main point of Aso's initiative. He obviously does not have the most refined mind among world leaders, and E Asian societies in general have a history of stressing the appearance of harmony in lieu of the reality; you could say that the nail that sticks out gets pounded *down* not necessarily *in*

    Economic arguments aside, no society can justify its own structure and norms by the threat of force or "you have to." Human dignity demands better. For the most part people seem to derive value from their relationships with others. A parent will work happily even at a lame job to support their offspring (incidentally this raises the question of the actual initiative: whether they worked for the kids' sake, or in the first place they just popped out a kid for normality's sake and so that they could stop questioning how they lived their own life - forcing the crisis on the subsequent generation).

    However, when no one needs you and you don't have any pressing desires it is a much different case. It is virtual slavery, by coercion if not force, to be expected to spend the rest of your life doing unpleasant (and perhaps pointless) things just to pay your own rent. Some people will find purpose. Some will pass the onus of doubt to the next generation. However many people will choose poverty, alienation and even death over such a disingenuous existence.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:41 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    well ifn you need someone to point out to you that you need work, you need to pay for rent, for food.

    well that's the problem there. (not you tc per se)

    we are born, we go to school(optional), we get jobs.

    now if yer bill gate's spawn, well then good for you, damn bourgeois ppl born with a damn silver spoon in their pie whole.

    but if yer like the majority of the world, well then ya hafta work.

    its not "the norm" because someone willed it. its not a conspiracy. money makes the world go round. shape up or ship out. what then if the loving parent dies. the 40 something son/daughter just starves to death? better shape up now before whoever is providing goes away so to speak.

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    15:02 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    breaking a entering?

    Comment by Question Mark
    21:27 01/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    drag them out by the ankles, to hell with waht they say, freedom didnt work on them now well force them, epic strategy

    Comment by Hentaispyder
    22:08 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    BACK THE FUCK OFF!!!!!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:31 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    screw that. don't leave em alone.

    i mean its not like hikkis are trained in self defense or shit. get in there, pull em out, make em work.

    no work = no internetz. and food and other shit

    Avatar of Aeromax
    Comment by Aeromax
    07:40 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The answer is simple, if the government solved all the problems nobody would need the government.

    Comment by shalala
    06:57 15/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    leave us alone.

    Comment by dood
    22:06 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wonder how is the male:female ratio of NEETs ?
    (my guess is 80%:20%)

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I'm wondering if housewives are included as NEETs, as they should be...

    Comment by 360E
    11:33 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually if you examine the whole economics behind housewives, they would definitely NOT be classified as NEETs.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Not convinced. NEETs also do domestic labour, and generate economic value (in the form of leisure activity)... Not that I condone or condemn either of them.

    Avatar of RaikenTB
    Comment by raikentb
    14:33 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Avatar of eksuterru-kun
    Comment by eksuterru-kun
    14:43 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    LOL! nice pic that is funny and perhaps the similar scenario when hikkis in japan get draggged out for work!

    Avatar of Aoshi_88
    Comment by Aoshi
    14:32 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I say get them out. Though i'm a bit of a hikki myself, i still worked during my holidays to earn some extra cash.

    For one thing, getting a job and keeping it is liberating. A good start if you ask me. Just keep it persistent but not forced.

    No freedom of speech issue as far as i can see.

    Avatar of Kuromimi
    Comment by Kuro
    15:12 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just have the government open a booth at comiket, and encourage getting jobs with rewards or even promote loans for otaku self employment so they can open businesses like website construction or model kits.

    Stop trying to force shut-ins to do something. It's stupid. But I do hope people that need help get it. Carrot and encouragement works much better than the stick and regulation.

    Also find a way to lower rent, no wonder people live at their parents. Hardly anyone can afford a place to live.

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    16:27 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree on the carrot encouragement method. It is better to encourage and entice the NEETs and Hikkis rather than drag them.

    The government can not only put up a booth at otaku-related events but also maybe put up a help center for NEETs & Hikkis in Akiba or something.

    Comment by User
    01:51 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    There have been different methods that have worked with Hikki's. Some by forcibly getting them out into society or others, by slowing integrating them in by having them socialize and living independently with other Hikki's who are in the same situation. The sooner the better.

    Comment by Rei
    13:40 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree with s0me31john,lol.

    Comment by Darks AKA Ecstasy
    13:31 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow... that doesn't sound like the right approach at all. Sounds like it'd make the problem even worse.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:52 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    making the problem worse is the governements job. they just need to make incentives for them to get out and about, they'll get a job eventually if they run out of money.

    govenment is supose to be small and unintrusive.. yeah right!

    Comment by Nother Anon
    16:38 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Small and unintrusive so you can you drown it in a tub like a baby?

    Avatar of s0m31john
    Comment by s0m31john
    13:26 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    If the advisors are anything like Misaki from Welcome to the NHK then I approve, if not then leave the poor hikikomori alone.

    Avatar of eksuterru-kun
    Comment by eksuterru-kun
    Avatar of asianprostitute1500
    Comment by asianprostitute1500
    14:20 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's exactly what I was thinking.

    Avatar of stewie
    Comment by Mr. Rawr
    13:44 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    You mean a psychologically scarred with serious issues cute girl :p?

    Avatar of ashton
    Comment by Ashton
    03:59 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    since many of neets/hikikomori have some psychological scars it'd be a proper choice ;)

    Avatar of theandysan
    Comment by TheAndySan
    15:48 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good one, John!

    I think that the Japanese government should assign teleconferencing jobs or other jobs that do not require a physical presence to NEETS, hikikomori, freeters, etc.

    Doing things this way will allow them to contribute without having to leave their houses.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:45 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    One step closer to elimination of freedom of speech. Free will? Bah.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:00 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not going to work. Will only drive them further away from society. It's pretty pathetic they only care about getting taxes from these people instead of really helping.

    What would really help is for people to stop ostracizing people for their hobbies and trying to censor anime and manga into oblivion.

    Obviously, the neet problem is not as bad as the reactionaries think, since there are obviously a lot of anime and manga fans with money to buy all the stuff.

    Comment by varutieru
    14:06 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    i just don't understand these hikkikomori's
    aren't we go to school & college so that we can be useful for society, or think we are?

    i personally hate myself for being dependent on something

    i still living with my parent and 18 though :p

    Comment by ipood
    04:56 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I went to school and college for my own interests, I say screw society as it screwed me over plenty of times. I'm not much of a social withdrawal but studying and working for the sake of others' happiness is just lying about your own feelings in my opinion. I had things I wanted to achieve in life and being almost there I still have much of a freeter lifestyle.
    I think the main problem with the NEETs is the fact that they lack a combination of passion and assertivity. Keeping the japanese schooling system, culture and general doctrine in mind that being successful and getting a high pay is considered a prime personal goal; I'm not surprised by the large development of these troubled men. Under these pressures of actually being individualists vs. following the system they either kill themselves or become NEET.

    Avatar of linkinstreet
    Comment by linkinstreet
    14:26 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The thing is people outside Japan don't understand the culture there. For me personally, shutting yourself in your room is not something that I would do, because of my own upbringing, and my religion's teaching which wants me to be a better man for the society.
    There, the society don't really care. If not why there are some chikan incidents where the culprit does it in full view but no one helps the victim? Because they don't care and they have been brought up by this "I don't want to be involved" kind of mentality.
    Back to hikkis, they are right now leeching the resources out of the country, when in fact, they are the future, and should contribute back. Yes, the steps might be wrong, but then again, the implication of not doing anything to counter this would be larger on the long run to the economic structure, when the current generation of leaders have retired, and they have to rely on the youngsters to lead the country.
    Also from another economic view, try looking at it this way, you have opening for work, and yet to fill it, you have to higher foreign help because local youth are not fulfilling these quota. Now by hiring foreigns, they have to pay for Visa, passport, and also some of these foreigners might cause some trouble.

    Comment by Zelgadis4tw
    15:02 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    To add to your comment on chikans, as has been posted on this site a few times before, helping those poor girls gets you in more trouble with the police than what the perpetrator would get even those that DO care know full well that it will very likely get them in trouble.

    Perhaps I'm opening a can of worms I shouldn't here, but if they really want to stop this "problem" that they have, they need to go and abolish welfare. Yes alot of people need something like that, but how else are these NEETs and hikkikomoris getting their funds to live and satiate their collections. Their parents? That's a problem that the parents need to solve. Being about half NEET myself, i can understand to a degree how these guys get away with it. I've been unemployed in the USA for a substantial length of time I won't discuss, but the point is that they have almost no motivation to NEED to go outside, NEED to contribute, and since they can get away with it, they do.

    I personally have plans to get into the armed forces, specifically the US Navy, but that is for another day's discussion.

    Comment by Zelgadis4tw
    17:38 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hmm...I do think I agree with these guys that are going commi on Japan...since at least according to those news articles the Japanese government is basically telling them "you take what employers give you and you will like it" and while advancement I don't see being the main problem, it's the job security and shitty pay mostly, though NO chance of advancement is too much.

    Comment by wandaba
    16:07 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know you mean well, but the welfare situation in Japan is completely different from the situation in America. Here's an article on how hard it is to get on Japanese welfare: []

    Now, that article's from 1996, so you might think it's out of date. If anything, it's even harder now to get on welfare- in late 2007, a 53-year-old man died from starvation after repeatedly being refused welfare. Officials were supportive of the action until his diary was revealed- he wrote of eating nothing for 10 days and wanting a simple ball of rice:

    It's far more likely that a NEET survives by living off his family than off welfare, since the NEET won't be getting welfare anytime soon. As you say, this is "a problem that the parents need to solve". Don't blame the parents entirely, though- Japanese youth are forced to choose between a rock and a hard place- unemployment, or part-time work for terrible wages:

    The above article emphasizes the "Communist Party" stuff to draw eyes, but the reasons behind the move are more important: Japanese youth are getting crap part-time jobs with little hope of full-time employment. All those "fleeters" might not be that way by choice.

    To keep this anime-related, think of how they always show the male lead taking some part-time job in construction. Now imagine having to do that for the rest of your life without any chance of a promotion or raise. In this case, welfare isn't the problem- having no future prospects is.

    Comment by Zelgadis4tw
    16:27 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hey man, thanks for reading the post, I did somehow know what i was saying was going to end up being refuted, but thanks for the reading material, always looking to learn something, though I more often than not doubt I'll remember it.

    Comment by JoJo
    15:03 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Chikan don't get away with things as much as anime likes us to think they do. I remember one old article where one Chikan got his dumb ass killed because someone stomped on his head after a molesting spree.

    Comment by Zelgadis4tw
    15:27 29/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well that's good in a way, dude didn't need to go and kill the chikan though. It does help ensure he doesn't hurt more girls...but yeah...well every action has it's consequences :/

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