Is income disparity leading to mortality disparity?


Inequality between rich and poor is increasing even in Japan and large number of unnatural accident is reported. People cannot depict a bright future, I suppose. Citizens are feeling insecure and living self-destructive life. This attitude spreads to families and then to children. Tragic news we hear so often these days are probably not irrelevant to this. Humans are social being and cannot live alone.

Under normal circumstances, everyone live life in their own way, but when something wrong happens weak people easily become victims as they are not flexible. During these 10 years, a notable increase is observed in suicides in Japan (Approximately 30%, the increase is mostly in men in 40s and 50s. What may be the reason? ). Collapse of medical system, unbelievably irresponsible “mismanaged” pension schemes and rise in irregular employment etc. —Japan politics and government’s failure in coping with the changes in global world is responsible for this. Victims of poverty will increase, I must say.

Medical care and education are social infrastructures that must be supported by government.  Current inadequacy of the support is resulting in inequality in the society that will be carried over for generations forming the major cause of social instability.

People from the low income group tend to refrain from taking medical treatments even if their health condition is poor. Social system of Japan structured in the period of economic growth is not working well now as there are problems such as increase in the self-payment burden, uncertainty of income, and household problems. Politics, government and society are not functioning for the reformation. Historically speaking, the people in “government, industry, bureaucracy” with vested interest formed a strong structure during the several decades in the latter half of 20th century and this is now working as hindrance to reformation. Firm collaboration mechanism is built among politics, government office, and the industrial world. At the time of economic growth, re-distribution of wealth to the society was functioning in its own way by the system of so-called "Iron triangle" in Japan. The basic systems indispensable to society such as education, pension, and healthcare were also functioning in a satisfactory manner. However, today, those people having traditional predominant rights are simply not coping with changes in the world environment which Japan is surrounded with.

“People from low income group die early” is a phenomenon that is often reported. This is basic human-rights issue and is the large core message of Commission Report of WHO, a conference held at London about which I have recently reported twice. For the OECD nations like Japan, disparity etc. are both domestic issues and political problems. This means it will depend on whom you select in the election. (Even if you disagree, this is the foundation of democratic

There is an article in Asahi Shimbun about recent performance of Professor Katsunori Kondo on economic disparity, health disparity, and “Life span disparity”. My comments were also published. Of course, I had a lot more to say but the space was limited. Similar behavior of people is observed in the research of our think-tank Health Policy Institute, Japan.