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:
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.
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.
But at the public assistance counter, an official, total stranger, shouted at him.
"This is not for young people like you."
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,
"Why don't you go to Fukushima? There are lots of jobs as nuclear plant worker. You can make a living without public assistance."
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.
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.
- 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. -
He felt humiliated.
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.