Japanese retirees throw themselves to jail to "afford" retirement. - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-30-2016, 03:50 PM   #1
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Japanese retirees throw themselves to jail to "afford" retirement.

Japanese retirees are committing crimes in purpose to get sent to prison so that they can retire for free. Japanese prisons are apparently safer, cleaner and provide substantial quality care for inmates, including comfortable living quarters, food, recreation, healthcare and so on. All paid by the government.

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The reason for this choice is that life in Japan is simply unaffordable for retirees, says Hansen. According to Custom Products’ report, the state pension is 780,000 yen ($6,885) per year, but the cost of living is actually about 1,003,000 yen per year ($8,854), making it nearly impossible to get by on the pension alone.
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“Some prisons have become like nursing homes,” said Ryotaro Sugi, who was given the honorary title of special corrections officer by the Justice Ministry in 2008 to advocate for prisoners’ welfare after visiting jails over almost five decades. “Many need assistance for walking, bathing and eating. Some groan at night from pain, throw their excrement or wander inside cells because they’re suffering dementia.”Criminal offenses by those age 60 and over have quadrupled to 46,243 cases over the two decades that ended in 2014, according to Japan’s Ministry of Justice.
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Japan's crisis is badly exacerbated by runaway xenophobia, which makes immigration reform a no-go area. Without a cohort of young workers from elsewhere in the region, there are just not enough people paying into the system to support the aged. This problem is in turn magnified by the need of young, productive workers to divert themselves from waged work to look after their elderly parents, which has the double effect of reducing their ability to support children (who will provide the labor to support their pensions) and reducing the present-day tax-base, increasing the pressure on yet more elderly people and thus more young workers.
Japan’s Prisons Are Turning Into Nursing Homes - Bloomberg

Japan's Elderly Are Committing Crimes As a Way to 'Break Into Prison' - Fortune

Starving pensioners in Japan responsible for shoplifting crime-wave / Boing Boing

What a way to beat the system. It is a common perspective that most retirees in developed nations don't have enough savings or a stable fixed income over the retirement age to support themselves. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:37 PM   #2
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Japan is fucked in so many ways.

I honestly don't think there will be much point in my generation saving for retirement.

I work for a firm that manages pension funds for a lot of various businesses and levels of government. I stopped contributing to my retirement plan after I got about a year's salary deposited into a tax-sheltered RRSP, because there's no chance the pension/retirement savings programs that exist today will survive the Boomers. They just aren't funded enough to provide our parents with the lifestyle they're used to for the extended retirement periods we'll be seeing in the next decades.

People who are retiring at 60 today could very well live to an average age of 120+ with the advancements in modern medicine. That will be over half of many very long lives living off pensions and savings only. Combine that with the largest generation in history and a woeful rate of savings for most approaching retirement now. Nearly every social assistance program for the elderly is going bankrupt in the next 30-40 years.

With automation coming down the line there is no way in hell "retirement" will exist in the way we think of it now by the time I hit retirement age in 35 years. Either I won't have to work at all, or I'll have to work until I die.
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:32 PM   #3
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Why wouldn't you put into a personal savings plan, at least?
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:54 PM   #4
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I do.

I just put it into other investments now instead of a retirement account I can't touch until I'm 65.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:28 AM   #5
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would I ever be qualified to comment about this?
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:03 AM   #6
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Probably more so than anyone else on this board, Mack.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:32 AM   #7
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I feel like Japan needs some systemic changes; of course Japan has universal health care and all and from some perspective, it could look liberal (in European way). however, the welfare system is generally broken and almost bankrupt because of poor management and decreasing population; government did nothing to help people who want to have kids but can't do so financially; call me crazy, but that's why I am personally hoping Bernie wins, because whenever there's novel change in US, Japan tends to follow it (sadly, but it happens) (i mean if they did follow Bush's deregulation policy in early 2000s, they can certainly follow Bernie's healthcare plans, right? or that won't work because that requires raising taxes?)

despite the fact that people are acknowledging that there are problems, nobody want to change it; it's worst kind of stagnation and as people barely care about politics in Japan, this trend is getting worse. it is also true that xenophobia is pretty strong and lots of Japanese people's arguments against migrants when crisis happened were totally identical to republicans here; crimes, Japanese population won't be "pure" anymore, etc. This is ironic as economy in Japan is facing shrinking labor force because nobody wants to do dirty work (including me, so I'm guilty of it, unfortunately) and population is decreasing. (also colleges aren't free, either so Japanese kids are facing student debt crisis which is not as severe as US but it exists).

My father is facing this problem about retirement right now; probably because of shrinking welfare program and his company won't support him when he retires, he's pretty worrying about it. well, I made him pay for college in US so I am the worst human being this case, but forgive me here; it LOOKED like a great option at that time.

This is why i don't necessarily consider US and Japan politics all that different. japanese people don't have problems about Jesus and guns, but xenophobia and general hatred toward change are definitely preventing us from fixing real problems. probably people are perplexed by party system which does not have clear platform like republicans or democrats? I'm not sure the root cause of this problem and all of this might be non-answer but this is all i can give.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack_Again View Post
I feel like Japan needs some systemic changes; of course Japan has universal health care and all and from some perspective, it could look liberal (in European way). however, the welfare system is generally broken and almost bankrupt because of poor management and decreasing population; government did nothing to help people who want to have kids but can't do so financially; call me crazy, but that's why I am personally hoping Bernie wins, because whenever there's novel change in US, Japan tends to follow it (sadly, but it happens) (i mean if they did follow Bush's deregulation policy in early 2000s, they can certainly follow Bernie's healthcare plans, right? or that won't work because that requires raising taxes?)

despite the fact that people are acknowledging that there are problems, nobody want to change it; it's worst kind of stagnation and as people barely care about politics in Japan, this trend is getting worse. it is also true that xenophobia is pretty strong and lots of Japanese people's arguments against migrants when crisis happened were totally identical to republicans here; crimes, Japanese population won't be "pure" anymore, etc. This is ironic as economy in Japan is facing shrinking labor force because nobody wants to do dirty work (including me, so I'm guilty of it, unfortunately) and population is decreasing. (also colleges aren't free, either so Japanese kids are facing student debt crisis which is not as severe as US but it exists).

My father is facing this problem about retirement right now; probably because of shrinking welfare program and his company won't support him when he retires, he's pretty worrying about it. well, I made him pay for college in US so I am the worst human being this case, but forgive me here; it LOOKED like a great option at that time.

This is why i don't necessarily consider US and Japan politics all that different. japanese people don't have problems about Jesus and guns, but xenophobia and general hatred toward change are definitely preventing us from fixing real problems. probably people are perplexed by party system which does not have clear platform like republicans or democrats? I'm not sure the root cause of this problem and all of this might be non-answer but this is all i can give.


This is very interesting and it's nice to hear new perspectives from different countries in FYM.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack_Again View Post
despite the fact that people are acknowledging that there are problems, nobody want to change it; it's worst kind of stagnation and as people barely care about politics in Japan, this trend is getting worse. it is also true that xenophobia is pretty strong and lots of Japanese people's arguments against migrants when crisis happened were totally identical to republicans here; crimes, Japanese population won't be "pure" anymore, etc. This is ironic as economy in Japan is facing shrinking labor force because nobody wants to do dirty work (including me, so I'm guilty of it, unfortunately) and population is decreasing. (also colleges aren't free, either so Japanese kids are facing student debt crisis which is not as severe as US but it exists).
For all the problems immigration is causing in Belgium, it is probably the only reason why the ageing/retirement crisis isn't as bad as it is in Japan, yet. I imagine this is the same in most Western European countries.

Migration cannot be the solution to this problem as it clearly isn't sustainable but it can definitely help to ease the transition to a more sustainable system.
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Old 03-31-2016, 01:01 PM   #10
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I think fundamental problem isn't about not accepting immigrants; but it's more about how open people are. people should at least be open-minded about different ideas like accepting more immigrants or structuring society so that married couples don't have to be discouraged having kids because of financial (or any other) reasons. or even accepting the rights for LGBTQ people. it just bothers me so much that many people think that problems are gonna work themselves out. I know similar stagnation is happening everywhere including US but at least in US people talk about those possible changes and current problems.
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