I’m not watching a lot of Japanese TV but once in a while I watch news and the program “Close up 現代” = “close up on the present”, which describes mostly Japanese society issues or latest trends. Recently they had a program about the “lost 40ties”: people who are now in their forties and who have “failed” to find the famed “regular employment”, meaning life time employment contracts. A sub-category of those people are those who never had a regular job, and who stayed with their parents for whatever reason. The parents of these people in their 40ties are now in their 70ties – hence the number 7040. The parents are now in their pension age and it’s also the age where more and more cases of nursing those elderly happen.

They had a lady from Hokkaido in the program who is now 44. She never married, only did some odd jobs in her 20ties and 30ties, and lived with her parents. Now, being 44, she doesn’t find odd jobs so easily anymore and her 73 year old father is sick. The 67 year old mother and the 44 year old daughter care for him and live off his pension. The daughter held her personal bank account book into the camera – there were 9138 yen on it, which is the equivalent of around 80 Euro… wow…
Medical care is good in Japan, her parents might yet live another ten years, even the nursing case of her father, but eventually the lady will stand there with nothing. Parents dead, pension gone, never had a decent job, too old for odd jobs. Not enough time at the moment to learn something decent or to get into a more permanent job because she has to care for her ailing parents. What a sad life and what bleak prospects.

I’m annoyed about the parents. They should have thrown her out in her 20ties and urged her to get a decent job so that she can fend for herself, husband or not. It’s the responsibility of the parents to throw their kids out of the nest. With their selfishness or lack of consequence, they have ruined their daughter’s life in the long run.
I hope she all those other cases of the “lost 40ties” will manage to get a – late – handle on their lives…

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