An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Guardian:
South Korea is to offer reclusive youths a monthly living allowance of 650,000 won ($490) in order to encourage them out of their homes, as part of a new measure passed by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. The measure also offers education, job and health support. The condition is known as “hikikomori,” a Japanese term that roughly translated means, “to pull back.” The government wants to try to make it easier for those experiencing it to leave the house to go to school, university or work.
Included in the program announced this week, which expands on measures announced in November, is a monthly allowance for living expenses for people aged between nine and 24 who are experiencing extreme social withdrawal. It also includes an allowance for cultural experiences for teenagers. About 350,000 people between the ages of 19 and 39 in South Korea are considered lonely or isolated — about 3% of that age group — according to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs. Secluded youth are often from disadvantaged backgrounds and 40% began living reclusively while adolescents, according to a government document outlining the measures.
The new measures aim to strengthen government support “to enable reclusive youth to recover their daily lives and reintegrate into society,” the government said in a statement. Among the other types of support are paying for the correction of affected people’s physical appearance, including scars “that adolescents may feel ashamed of,” as well as helping with school and gym supplies. South Korea also has a relatively high rate of youth unemployment, at 7.2%, and is trying to tackle a rapidly declining birthrate that further threatens productivity.