‘Why Don’t You Go to Fukushima I Nuke Plant? Lots of Jobs There …’, Says City Official In Charge of Public Assistance For The Poor In Hokkaido

#Radioactive Post-#Fukushima Japan: “Why Don’t You Go to Fukushima I Nuke Plant? Lots of Jobs There…”, Says City Official In Charge of Public Assistance for the Poor in Hokkaido (EX-SKF, Jan 4, 2013):

According to Hokkaido Shinbun, this is what a city bureaucrat said to a 27-year-old man who went to the counter at the City Hall to ask about public assistance after he lost his job and couldn’t find a job for a year, being late on rent, subsisting on one piece of bread per day.

Public servants whose salary derives from taxpayers’ money and/or money borrowed on the backs of taxpayers (municipal bonds for general expenses) told this young man that the assistance was not meant for people like him, and that he should go to Fukushima I Nuke Plant so that he didn’t need to receive public money.

From Hokkaido Shinbun (1/3/2013; part) as copied by this blog:

あのころ…昨年4月。男性の財布に現金はほとんどなかった。建設会社の期間雇用作業員だったが、2011年春に雇い止めに。地元企業数十社に履歴書を送り、3社の面接は受けたが、採用してもらえなかった。

Back then, in April last year. There was hardly any cash in the man’s wallet. He used to be a seasonal worker at a construction company, but the company didn’t hire him in the spring of 2011. He sent his resumes to dozens of local companies. He landed on three job interviews but he was not hired.

蓄えは底をつき、食事は一日菓子パン一個。一年で10kgやせた。アパートの家賃も払えず、家主は退去を求めてきた。行き倒れも覚悟したある日、気が付くと市役所に向かって歩いていた。最後の助けを求めるために。

His savings were depleted, and his meal consisted of one piece of bread per day. He lost 10 kilograms in one year. He couldn’t pay the rent for his apartment, and the landlord wanted to evict him. He thought he would die on the street. Without realizing it, he was walking toward the City Hall. The last resort.

だが、生活保護の窓口で、見ず知らずの職員に怒鳴られた。

But at the public assistance counter, an official, total stranger, shouted at him.

「あんたのような若い人が来るところじゃない」

“This is not for young people like you.”

頼れる親族も友人もない。仕方なく翌日、再び窓口に行った。今度は別の職員が言った。

He did not have friends or relatives he could rely on. With no other help available, he went back to the counter again the next day. A different official said to him,

「福島に行けば、原発作業員の仕事があるでしょ。生活保護が無くても生きていける」

Why don’t you go to Fukushima? There are lots of jobs as nuclear plant worker. You can make a living without public assistance.”

途方に暮れた男性は生活困窮者支援団体に相談し、保護申請手続きを手伝ってもらい、5月になんとか受理された。

Totally at a loss, the man asked a support group for the poor for help in filling out the application for public assistance. The application was finally accepted in May.

初支給の際、職員が紙とボールペンを出してきた。紙には鉛筆でうっすらと文字がみえる。「なぞれ」という意味だった。

On the day of the first payment of assistance money, the official at the counter gave him a pen and a piece of paper. On the paper, he could see the words written in with a pencil. The official was silently telling him to trace the words.

―――生活保護を受けさせていただき、ありがとうございました。一日も早く保護から抜け出します―――

– I thank you very much for kindly allowing me to receive public assistance. I will do my best to stop receiving the assistance as soon as possible. –

悔しかった。

He felt humiliated.

男性は今、日雇い作業の傍らハローワークに通い、正社員の就職先を探す。

He is looking for full-time employment at a public job agency, while he works as a day laborer.

In Japan, the public assistance involves a monthly monetary payment, paid medical, and rent subsidy.
The number of public assistance recipients peaked in 1951, and was declining steadily until mid 1990s. Since then, the number has been on the increase, and there are 2 million people (2% of population) receiving the assistance, costing 3 trillion yen per year.

 

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