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Japan welfare recipient numbers soar

Nov. 9, 2011 at 1:22 AM

TOKYO, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- The number of Japanese on welfare rose to over 2.05 million in July, topping the previous record, set in 1951, the government said Wednesday.

Blaming the rise on economic stagnation in the world's third-largest economy and the devastation caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Ministry of Welfare said the July total of welfare recipients stood at a record 2,050,495, up 8,903 from June. The previous record was 2,046,646 in 1951.

The total is expected to continue to rise, given the nation's aging population and the quake impact, the ministry said, Kyodo News reported.

The report said Japan's welfare population has been rising rapidly since the 2008 global financial crisis and its adverse impact on employment situation. The number topped 2 million in March.

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