Japanese Abroad Face Money Problems Amid Pandemic

Japanese abroad face money problems amid pandemic

A survey has found that many Japanese nationals living overseas are being severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

A Japanese company, Locotabi, conducted a survey earlier this month of around 44,000 Japanese who live abroad and are registered with the firm as local guides. A total of 2,155 people from 94 countries and territories responded.

The survey found that nearly half of the respondents saw their income drop. Twenty-four percent said the ratio of the decline was 50 percent or more, while 11.6 percent said their income had fallen by 20 to 50 percent.

The ratio of people who reported an income decline of 50 percent or more was the highest among workers in the tourism industry at 56 percent, followed by 39 percent in the entertainment industry and 34 percent in the service sector.

More than half of those living in North America and Oceania said they had received compensation from local authorities. However, 69 percent of those living in Asia said they see no prospect of government help.

Some of the respondents said they have no income at all and find it hard to pay for meals. Others said they will have to apply for welfare.

The firm says the survey found many Japanese are in dire straits. It says the situation could worsen and Japanese who are struggling in other countries should be given help.

The Foreign Ministry says an estimated 1.39 million Japanese are living outside Japan, but it has not investigated how they are being affected by the pandemic.