Even though Japan is an advanced and prosperous nation there are the hidden human costs of progress. The image of Japan, and one that the Japanese would love to project, is that this is a society with everything put together right. One area that has been growing since the 1980’s is the number of people who are working but are just above the poverty line. An article with a good example can be found in a Yahoo News article http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081026/ap_on_re_as/as_japan_working_poor_1/print;_ylt=Av.GTib1YUH7w5dh9iDkbzj9xg8F
One good friend of mine is a social worker in one large ward of Tokyo. He has told me on and off over the last 20 years that the growing numbers of people on the financial ropes has been growing. This is causing social and political problems.