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Correspondent Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Japan: The Missing Million
Teenager at a screen
Teenage boys in Japan's cities are turning into modern hermits, never leaving their rooms.

Pressure from cram schools and an inability to talk to their families are suggested causes.

Shame and fear of gossip stop families seeking help.

It's called "hikikomori" and the first western psychologist to study it is baffled about why the parents don't just make the boys come out.

"Mind Boggling" is his verdict

Japan: The Missing Million: Sunday 20 October 2002 on BBC Two at 1915 BST

Reporter: Phil Rees
Editor: Karen O'Connor
Deputy Editor: David Belton
Online Producer: Andrew Jeffrey

Links to more Correspondent stories are at the foot of the page.


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