The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says that Japan's poverty rate is the fourth highest amongst developed nations. Only the countries of Mexico, Turkey, the United States and Luxembourg were poorer.
From The Straits Times, we read more statistics from Japan.
In Japan's first official calculation of its relative poverty rate, the ministry said 15.7 per cent of Japanese people lived on less than half the median disposable income in 2006.
The figure, based on national statistics of income in 2006, was up from a figure of 14.6 per cent for 1997 according to the newly released ministry data.
The ratio could be worse by now as Japanese workers' salaries have fallen amid the economic slump following the 2008 global financial crisis.