by Marie Fudaba
I’m living a happy and stable life in Japan. My stable life is all thanks to my parents. I was born in a two-parent family and both of my parents work. My father has his own business and my mother teaches many children piano. They work hard for my family. Therefore, I have enough to live on and receive enough food every day. I can also attend Ritsumeikan University because my father has saved money for my college education since I was born. Owing to their stable wages, I can be free to study what I want. However, Japanese society has serious problems in that irregular employees struggle. Particularly, many single mothers are suffering from an unstable life now in Japan. In my future, if I am a single mother and work as an irregular worker and earn minimum wage, I will struggle with two things.
First, I will have trouble making a living. An irregular worker’s income is less than a regular worker’s. The minimum wage is a monthly income of approximately mere 100,000 yen in Japan even if you work hard full time. However, 80 percent of single mothers in their twenties earn less than 1,140,000 yen a year. The wage is far from sufficient to live with stability because single mothers have to cope alone with a child in a low-paid environment. They have the potential but they cannot afford the money living costs, such as rent and the cost of food. There were incidents in which children died because their single mother did not give the child enough food, because of her serious financial trouble. Moreover, the Japanese government raised the sales tax recently. This must makes worse the difficulties of making a living.
Second, I will struggle with the expenses of bringing up children. Even if my child wants to go high school or university, I will not able to pay school expenses because the entrance fee and tuition are too expensive. Therefore, my child needs to sacrifice the desire to go to university for economic reasons. Although there is a scholarship system, a single mother may feel stressed out and strapped because under the scholarship system, families have to pay back the money with interest. If I am a single mother, I must felt guilty about it because my economic reasons could wreck child’s dreams and future.
Actually, there are many people who are suffering at the minimum wage in Japan. However, the Japanese social security system is too weak. Japanese government should beef up social security and provide a basic level of subsistence through it.