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Japan will hold a national election that is likely to result in yet another new Prime Minister—the country’s seventh in the six years since Junichiro Koizumi resigned, in 2006. As Japan gropes for a way to deal with its problems—a prolonged recession, a leaderless political system, the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and a rapidly aging population that the economy struggles to support—the photographer Shiho Fukada has been looking at the symbiotic relationship between Japan’s current political turmoil and its unemployment crisis.

“For a long time Japan has been associated with prosperity and a vast middle class supported by stable lifetime employment, and that’s the country I knew and grew up in,” Fukada told me. Returning to Japan after ten years away, she saw that a sense of human disposability had begun to haunt the Japanese workforce. ”I was struck by how isolated people are, not being able to share their problems even with family and friends, depressed but proud, trying to cope in loneliness,” she said. “This social isolation broke my heart. I felt if only they could talk to each other and share their problems, they would find out they had so much in common.” Here’s a look.

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/photobooth/2012/12/photos-japan-jobs-crisis-shiho-fukada.html#ixzz2LvWPAylL

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