Voices of poor young mothers in Japan

This article is from the WeChat public account: Kyushu Tourism Information Network (ID: jzlyxxw), author: Jiang Jiang, original title: “Japan’s poor young mother’s Heart Voice: Life is so tight, how dare I have a second child? “, the header picture comes from: “Nobody Knows” stills

On July 25th, the Japanese cabinet released expectations at the economic and financial consultation meeting. In 2022, the composite index of consumer prices including fresh food will increase by 2.6% from the previous year.

This also means that Japan’s price increase has reached the highest level in 31 years since 1991.

Now domestic friends are under great pressure to raise children due to economic pressure. Although Japan next door is a developed country, it is equally difficult for young people to raise two children now.

“Life is so tight, how dare I have a second child?” The person who uttered this sentence was only a teenager this year. 21 years old, Nana lives in Kanagawa.

Graduate from high school Later, Nana did not choose to go to college, but immediately married and had children. At the age of 18, she married her husband after the legal marriage date in Japan, and soon gave birth to a daughter.

However, Her marriage road was not smooth. When her daughter was half a year old, she divorced her ex-husband. Now her three-year-old daughter is taking care of her all by herself.

The hard work of a single mother is unimaginable. In order to earn money to support the children, Nana can only go out to work.

Last year, Nana began to contract with a large transportation company as a temporary worker, working as a delivery driver.

this The work is not easy. Every day, Nana wakes up very early and drives a long distance of more than 100 kilometers.

Kanagawa is not far from Tokyo, but the road conditions in Tokyo are a bit complicated for her who doesn’t come often. Even if you follow the navigation, you will still get lost. Although it is for the company’s delivery, the fuel costs and other expenses consumed by the car are all borne by Nana herself.

This year Ukraine The crisis led to high energy prices, and after paying the high fuel bills, Nainai’s income was directly reduced by more than half.

“Turn on the air conditioner really burns oil, and the fuel tank is empty at the speed of light”.

In order to save money, the temperature in the car exceeded 35°, and she insisted not to turn on the air conditioner. The sun shines directly on her face, scorching hot, and wearing a stuffy mask, you can imagine how tormented it is.

at the end After taking the job of a delivery driver, Nana didn’t go home to rest, but instead started her second job of the day – delivering food.

After receiving the order, she drove to the restaurant and hurriedly delivered the goods to the customer.

She earned 771 yen for this delivery, and it took 33 minutes in total. (below)

This time the money is deducted from the gas bill, and there is really not much left. But Nana said that it doesn’t matter, “It’s good to make some money with the fragmented time”, “I still feel that I have to do it in a down-to-earth manner…”.

Single mother It is always difficult to achieve a balance between working hours and childcare time. It seems that for Nana, it is a very “happy” thing to be able to take time to do “odd jobs”.

Because of the spread of the new crown epidemic in Japan in recent years, where my daughter is If there is a confirmed case in the nursery school, it has to take a week off. In this case, Nana will have to take care of her daughter and will have no source of income.

At four o’clock in the afternoon, just a little while before picking up her daughter from school, Nana has arrived at the door of the nursery school.

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But she is not simply waiting, but hurrying to find a way to make money. Nana has a sense of crisis, which may be said to exist in every Japanese character A sense of anxiety in the workplace.

Under the epidemic, a regular employee is at risk of being laid off, not to mention that she is a temporary delivery worker .

“If all sources of income depend on delivery, if the car breaks down, or when you feel unwell, you really won’t be able to eat meal. ”

for Just in case, Nana shares her work and parenting experiences on blogs and other platforms, and wants to earn advertising revenue in her spare time.

Two jobs a day, and it takes time to write again, Nana is like a spinning top, every moment Don’t dare to relax and busy.

Even so, her monthly income is still not high, only 150,000 to 200,000 per month.( About RMB 7440~9920, the current price on July 4, 2022)

(ps: seeing this figure, Xiaojiu was shocked, knowing that the exchange rate of RMB to Japanese yen broke 5, but did not expect 150,000 yen to depreciate to such a degree. You know, in the first half of 2020, 150,000 yen can be exchanged for 9,000k+ RMB.)< /p>

Salary It’s not ideal, and Nana’s sense of unease is even stronger.

Her life is tight every day, shopping in the supermarket Pick and choose again, the price is compared to the lowest.

Like an onion that was less than 100 yen two or three years ago, the price has now risen to 170 yen. The high price made Nana say “can’t afford it”, so she could only give up and pick some affordable ingredients to come back.

Worth a visit It is mentioned that Nana remarried this year. The current husband is a construction worker and is currently off work due to physical discomfort.

The result of working alone is that the family’s expenses depend only on Nana’s income.

In Nana When she first assumed the role of a mother, she felt that it was a matter of course for her to take her children to the amusement park, so she once promised her daughter that she would go to play whenever she was on vacation. However, the current economic situation makes such a simple thing extraordinarily difficult.

Nowadays, she takes her daughter to the amusement center to play free-of-charge events. Or go directly to the park near home, and when you are tired from playing, it is already a luxury to have a meal outside occasionally.

distressed Life gave Nana a strong sense of unease. She wanted to buy toys for her daughter as much as possible, take her to play, and let her children leave beautiful childhood memories.

But in this way, I won’t be able to save much money. In the future, my children will have to go to school. If I don’t invest a certain amount of education costs, my daughter may not be able to go to the ideal university.

All the pressures forced Nana to choose between the two.

“I hope that the whole environment in Japan will allow me to not have to make this choice.” Nana, who is only 21 years old, is faced with all kinds of work. Unable to achieve the status quo of abundance, very unwilling.

she said I recently had this feeling:

“I think the era of cheap things selling well may be a symbol of poverty.”


“Isn’t real shopping only because the things are good? The status quo is not the case. It is that this thing is a necessities of life, and I only buy it Buy it if you can afford it.

“Cheap things are becoming more and more popular, and I can’t help but think: Ah, Japan is already poor! ”

as The most common people in Japan, Nana’s ideas seem a bit “unbelievable”, and a reasonable explanation can be found after further investigation.

In the past, Japan has always been considered a It is the country most affected by the “aging trap”, and its economic development is almost stagnant in the “lost 20 years”(1990~2021).


And the long-term existence of the new crown epidemic has made the situation even worse. According to an official Japanese survey, as of 2020, the number of freelancers in Japan is 4.62 million, and it is predicted that the number will increase in the future. Formal working groups will face greater unemployment pressure.

On the other hand, with the soaring commodity prices and daily A weaker yuan is forcing Japanese companies to pass on higher costs to consumers at a rate not seen in decades, and Japanese prices are showing signs of a wider rise, putting a heavier burden on ordinary people.

It’s no problem to feed yourself, and then Raising a child is hard, but it makes sense. But if you want to have a second child, from an economic perspective, it’s really not enough.

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“In a state where even I can’t say whether I can meet all the needs of the child, there is really no way to have a second child. ”

Although Nana is very eager to have a child of their own with her current husband, but she can only give up the idea of ​​having another child.

After all, for her, there are more priorities Making some money is serious business.

This article is from the WeChat public account: Jiuzhou Tourism Information Network (ID: jzlyxxw ) by Jiang Jiang

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