If you are between the ages of nine and 24 and live in South Korea, you could receive a subsidy of up to 650,000 won ($490). What do you have to do to receive it? Well, as described by the Ministry of Family and Gender Equality of the Asian country, You must be one of the thousands of people who suffer from hikikomori.
But what is the hikikomori? This word of Japanese origin is used to describe a condition in which people -usually young- voluntarily isolate themselves from the rest of society. in South Korea this phenomenon affects about 350,000 peoplein ages between 19 and 39 years.
To combat the hikikomori, South Korea has taken as a measure to offer economic incentives to its inhabitants. Thus, they plan to give up to 450 euros to people who are in the aforementioned age group. In this way, they hope that they can “recover their daily life and reintegrate into society.”
In addition to this allowance, an additional one is offered so that people can take advantage of educational, labor, cultural and health-oriented sectors. In this way, this group would gradually recover their daily lives. This includes aesthetic treatments to correct “problems” that can embarrass people to appear in public, as well as gym equipment.
As Shin Yul, professor of Political Science at Myongji University in Seoul, mentions, this move by the government could have another reason. South Korea is facing a demographic crisis, with a birth rate below 1%. “It could be a good measure to increase the working-age population, but it cannot be seen as a long-term solution to solve the population problem here,” Shin Yul told the outlet. Bloomberg.
The reasons for hikikomoria problem that affects South Korea and the rest of the world
After the increase in cases of hikikomori In South Korea and other regions of the world, attempts have been made to attribute this phenomenon to new emerging technologies. However, to this day it has not been proven that this is the reason. In fact, it is common for it to be used as an escape tool from other problems that may be around a person.
This is why, along with the announcement of the new measures, the South Korean government published a document explaining the reasons that have led certain people to go into seclusion. Among them, the story of a person who suffered domestic violence and who has suffered from this condition since he was 15 years old is told. Others claim to have internalized this practice after the financial bankruptcy of his family. The latter is the case of a young woman who told her story to the medium Guardian.
Furthermore, although the hikikomori has had overwhelming growth in Asia, it is not limited to this region. This phenomenon also is seeing a significant increase in countries like the United States, Italy, France and Spainas well as in other parts of the world.