6 Millions of Japanese Seniors, Prison Beats Living Alone.
Japan is home to the world’s oldest population, with over 29% of the population age 65 and above. Traditionally these elders have lived with and been cared for by family, but increasing numbers of aging Japanese citizens of more than 6 millions find themselves living alone. More than half of all elderly Japanese women who live alone live in poverty, compared to 29% of elderly men. With more elderly living alone and having less family assistance and fewer government resources to depend on, petty crime among the elderly has gone up. Almost 1 out of 5 women in prison are elderly. Nine out of 10 of senior women who’ve been convicted of a crime were found guilty of shoplifting so they can spend the rest of their lives in prison with stability and a community.Prison is more of a refuge for many, providing not just the care they can’t get elsewhere but a community of sorts providing social interaction. In Japan, there’s also rising discussion of the problem of “kodokushi” — a solitary death at home which may go unnoticed for days or even weeks. “Social isolation causes not only adverse health condition but also a sad death". Credit: IN THE NOW
Poverty deprives people of adequate education, health care and of life's most basic necessities- safe living conditions (including clean air and clean drinking water) and an adequate food supply. The developed (industrialized) countries today account for roughly 20 percent of the world's population but control about 80 percent of the world's wealth.
Poverty and pollution seem to operate in a vicious cycle that, so far, has been hard to break. Even in the developed nations, the gap between the rich and the poor is evident in their respective social and environmental conditions.