The poverty situation in Japan has improved since 2012. In the 2015 survey, child poverty rate decreased 2.4% from 16.3% (2012 data) to 13.9% (2015 data). Overall poverty rate decreased 0.5% from 16.1% to 15.6%. However, the improvement is still limited, and the situation remains extremely severe in some household types, such as in the single parent homes. The number of children in need may be close to 2.8 million.
Poverty is a major problem. To solve this issue, a more fundamental problem should be addressed, as poverty is a part of a more basic difficulty.
In the current capitalistic economy, too much emphasis is placed on achieving short term gain/profit that collecting money is an objective in itself for many business operations and economic advisory organizations. The force is so acute that sometimes, conformance to rules on socially acceptable behavior and accounting rules is deemphasized. Moreover, the present profit distribution scheme prioritizes delivery to the largest contributors, who are normally already strong and wealthy members of the society.
This environment forces us to play the money game, which encourages us to take as much as we can without regard to anybody or anything else. When pushed to the extreme, we relax the restrictions that keep us from generating income and act while ignoring people that are hurt, ignoring ethical behavior, and ignoring the law. We relax the constraints little by little at a time, and soon become accustomed to acting irresponsibly. The world is full of situations where people in need are overlooked, reports are falsified, and things concrete or intangible are stolen in supposed secret.
Economy is a field of science and a set of rules. The behaviors of the undisciplined people who use the rules only for their advantage worsen the environment. Unfortunately, so many people and corporations play this money game that unacceptable and undesirable behavior is the norm in many areas. Undesirable thoughts and actions lead to undesirable society, where people may be constantly overworked, contract terms are frequently violated, and upset people relieve stress through violence. The way of thinking and behavior must change to prevent the environment from worsening even further.
The different concept, although not new, is about sharing. It is about realizing a better balance between giving and taking, such that everybody has room to live well. In developing regions, the task may be more difficult. However, the balance, that is tipped too steeply towards the stronger members of the society in many economically advanced countries, can be adjusted to make everybody more comfortable. To shift the balance, changes in the way of thinking and behavior are necessary, because the current thought processes, assumptions, and priorities that have created and are maintaining the money driven environment are not useful.
A good starting point will be to have ears to listen. By re-examining why and re-evaluating how we act today, we may be able to address the problems in a better way.