613,000 Midlife, Aged People Living as Recluses in Japan

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, March 29 (Jiji Press)--An estimated 613,000 people aged 40 to 64 are living as "hikikomori" social recluses in Japan, with men accounting for nearly 80 pct of the total, the Cabinet Office said Friday.

According to the estimate, 51 pct of the total have shut themselves in their homes for more than five years.

The estimate is based on a questionnaire survey conducted in December last year with 5,000 people nationwide. Of them, 3,248 people, or 65.0 pct, gave valid answers.

Forty-seven respondents fit the definition of hikikomori. Their percentage in the total respondents was multiplied by the estimated population of those aged 40 to 64, which stood at 42.35 million.

Of the respondents socially isolating themselves, men accounted for 76.6 pct and women 23.4 pct. The survey also found that 21.3 pct of the hikikomori recluses have shut themselves in their homes for three to five years, and 6.4 pct for 30 years or longer.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press