(Mainichi: April 17, 2015 – p. 1)
Income inequality has been growing nationwide under the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a Mainichi Shimbun survey reveals.
The outlet surveyed average annual income of taxpayers in 1,741 municipalities using taxation dat, released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications every year. It obtained the Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, over the ten years through 2013 by dividing the total amount of taxable income by the number of taxpayers.
The Gini coefficient saw a significant rise between 2004 and 2006 when Junichiro Koizumi was in office, but it fell sharply in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis and leveled off when the Democratic Party of Japan was in power. But when the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party wrested power at the end of 2012, the figure marked the first increase in seven years in 2013.
The Mainichi attributes this to Abe’s economic stimulus, which has been helping lift stock prices and fatten the incomes mainly of people in urban municipalities. It says that the figures prove Abenomics is contributing to the widening income disparities between regions. (Abridged)