Japan Data

Japanese Food Bank Users Struggling Amid Soaring Inflation

Society Economy Family

A Japanese NPO reports on the difficulties low-income households face as wages fail to keep pace with price rises.

Good Neighbors Japan conducted a survey about annual income from February 2 through 18, targeting 2,391 single-parent families who use the NPO’s food bank service Good Gohan.

Looking at respondents’ annual income in 2023 just from employment, 25.1% earned “¥1 to under ¥1 million” and 43.4% took home “more than ¥1 million but less than ¥2 million,” meaning that nearly 70% of households earned less than ¥2 million a year. More than half of the respondents had nonregular employment and there were many cases where they could not work enough hours because of factors such as needing to do housework and look after their children, care for family members, or that they had health issues.

Even when calculating in social allowances and income from other family members living with them, 58% earned less than ¥2 million.

Annual Household Income (Including from Employment and Allowances)

Asked about wage increases at their place of work in 2023, more than 75% stated “my wage hasn’t changed,” an indication of an emerging situation where people’s lives are becoming even harder because despite prices rising, their incomes are not doing the same.

More than half of the respondents’ families had been affected in their daily lives as they were needing to refrain from using air-conditioning and heating, as well as cut back on food spending. Many families had also had to give up on plans for their children’s extracurricular lessons and higher education.

Countermeasures Against Higher Costs and the Impact on Household Budgets

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

family income food bank