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Change in support law worries single mothers

Date Posted: 2002-06-13

A proposed change in the Japanese law regulating the support the government gives to single mothers has many women worried in Okinawa.

According to officials, there are 18,015 single mothers with one or more children in Okinawa who received a total of \8.34 billion in support from the government last year. That represents the largest percentage of the budget of any prefecture in the nation. The proportion of single mothers in Okinawa it more than double the national average due to high divorce rates.

According to prefecture welfare officials, 3,640 of the single mothers will see their child support reduced by an average \5,600 per month, although 540 will have an increase.

The Okinawa Single Mothers Welfare Association is steadfast in opposing the change. gThis change of rules means that the total support budget will be cut by 20 percent and thatfs definitely too much. This makes me wonder whether politicians and bureaucrats in Tokyo have completely lost their touch with the reality,h fumes Masae Kamiya, the chairman of the Okinawa Single Mothers Welfare Association. She is especially worried about the new lawfs impact on children. gHas anyone thought what is the impact on the future of these children going to be,h she asks.

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