Tokyo: The number of households on welfare in Japan reached a record 1,602,163 as of March, up 3,345 from the previous month, the government said today.
The number of welfare recipients also hit a new record of 2,171,139, up 4,758 from February.
Among the households on welfare, those of elderly persons aged 65 or older rose 20,234 to 744,355, accounting for 46.7 percent of the total, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
"Although employment conditions have been improving on the back of economic recovery, the elderly cannot easily find jobs, leaving a slim chance of any reduction in the number of welfare recipients," a ministry official said.
An increasing number of senior citizens rely on welfare as they do not receive enough pension money, according to the ministry.