Loneliness becoming 'norm' in Japan
Studies show that the average number of people in a Tokyo home has dropped below two for the first time.
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2012 12:04

Japanese society has long had a reputation for close-knit families and companies and for group culture. This year, however, the average number of people in a Tokyo home dropped below two for the first time.

NLI Research Institute says that, by 2020, living alone will be the norm in Japan. The think-tank's Akio Doteuchi says: "People are becoming more isolated. They used to live in friendly communities where neighbours would help them.

"Now people want to protect their privacy, so people in these communities have never even met their neighbours. They don't know if they live alone or it's a couple or a family.

"So sometimes people die alone without anyone noticing."

Mike Firn reports from Tokyo.

Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.