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Poll: Income Gap Expands

Friday, March 24, 2006 Posted: 05:11 PM JST

Some 87% of Japanese feel that the income gap is expanding, a recent nationwide public opinion survey by the Japan Polling Association revealed. I referred to this development in 'Japan Develops Two Economies in One Country', published yesterday.

Some 43 percent of the respondents feel that the income gap is expanding because of the increasing number of part-time workers. These nonpermanent employees are paid less than permanent employees. A third of the respondents attribute it to the expansion of corporate and industrial wage differentials, with 31% picking socioeconomic advantages to the rich. Only 8% believe that the income gap is not widening.

When asked if the nation's economy is improving, some 61 percent answered positively. This is up by 21 percentage points from a previous survey conducted at the same time last year. About a third of the respondents see no improvement. Whereas respondents were clearly split about the economy last year, this year they appear more upbeat.

A total of 1,810 males and females aged 20 and over at 250 locations throughout Japan responded. The poll was conducted by personal interview on March 4 and 5.

Keywords: national_news

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