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"Let's Think about Youth Poverty--Employment, Residence and Safety Net: A series of seminars organized by union members and graduate students start from October 17 in Nakagyo Ward"

The Kyoto Shimbun October 14, 2009 Morning Edition:21

Japanese Page

A series of seminars on youth poverty start at Kyoto Nakagyo Youth Action Center (Nakagyo ward) from October 17. The seminars are organized by a member of the labor union, "Union Bochi-Bochi" (Minami ward) that any individual can join and graduate students who support the homeless. The organizers in their 20s to 30s enthusiastically say "As the same generation, we would like to convey our messages in order to change the current situation where many people have difficulties in living."

The series is entitled "Nonsense of Self-Responsibility!" in order to cast a gimlet eye on the current trend in which self-responsibility has been inordinately emphasized. In the first seminar HASHIGUCHI Shoji, who is 31 years old, a chairperson of "Union Bochi Bochi" and a graduate student of Ritsumeikan University, talks about job hunting. "We have been forced to make our own stories excessively due to corporate recruitment policies that focus on applicants' self-analysis, reason for applying and personality. However, obtaining a job, in fact, depends on the fact of whether you are lucky or not," he says.

The theme for the second seminar on November 7 is residential problems that are closely related to poverty. DOI Toru, who is 25 years old, a representative of the Kyoto branch of "The Big Issue Japan" which supports the homeless by selling magazines and a graduate student of Ritsumeikan University, questions the value of a "place" for individuals.

In the third seminar on December 5, OKA Akiko, who is 32 years old and a member of "Union Bochi-Bochi", focuses on the aspect that marriage is an "escape route" for women while safety nets for life security have not properly functioned.

Current university students have also participated in planning meetings. These seminars reflect the voice of "I do job hunting with a fear of being homeless" or the question of "Knowing the current poverty will not help in obtaining a job".

"By focusing on the reality of poverty which makes today's youth worried, we would like to convey the presence of "human ties" that becomes a great help," HASHIGUCHI says. The seminars are open to people who are less than 30 years old, free of charge and starts from 6:00 pm. For registration, call Kyoto Nakagyo Youth Action Center (TEL: 075-231-0640).

UP:October 29, 2009 REV:November 2, 2009
Preparer & Translation by TAMURA Noriko
Proofread by KATAOKA Minoru
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