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Japanese ministry tweets welfare is 'right of citizens' after YouTuber backlash

The central government building housing the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is seen in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Mainichi/Kimi Takeuchi)

TOKYO -- Japan's welfare ministry posted a message on Twitter on Aug. 13 emphasizing residents' right to access benefits, after a famous YouTuber sparked a firestorm with discriminatory comments against homeless people and individuals on welfare.

    "To those who want to apply for public assistance," the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare tweeted at 12:48 p.m. that day. The ministry called for people in need to contact local governments' welfare offices, saying: "Applying for public assistance is the rights of citizens. Anyone could need public assistance, so please don't hesitate to reach out."

    TV life coach-turned YouTuber DaiGo made the harshly discriminatory comments about the homeless and people on welfare during a YouTube livestream on Aug. 7.

    (Japanese original by Masahiro Sakai, Lifestyle and Medical News Department)

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