TOKYO (August 4, 2023) - The Ones Left Behind: The Plight of Single Mothers in Japan, is a 78 minute feature-length documentary film that depicts the extreme hardships that single mothers in Japan face, as well as Japan’s unknown hidden poverty. For Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, child poverty has been an issue for decades with one of the highest child poverty rates in the developed world. This is a longstanding social problem that the Japanese government often overlooks. This documentary is an unflinching look at an ignored social problem and the poverty trap that mothers and children slide into when a family breaks up.

Long term Tokyo resident and Australian filmmaker Rionne McAvoy uncovers and unravels the causes of the unequal social background that Japan finds itself in. McAvoy uses a blend of real-life stories of single mothers and poverty issues in Japan, together with the chilling murder cases of two children of Japanese single mothers, as well as experts on the single mother and poverty issues in Japan, to expose a side of Japan that many Japanese refuse to admit exists. Stunning archival footage is used to explain the historical reasons for the current predicament that Japan finds itself in.

The Ones Left Behind: The Plight of Single Mothers in Japan delves deep into Japanese society, culture, and history, to give the viewer a very different view of the Japan that we think we know.

Screener available on request: publicity [at]

About Japan Media Services (JMS)

JMS, with its company slogan “From Japan to the World and the World to Japan”, is a film production company with international media clients such as BBC, RTL and NHK World. JMS creates films that explore Japanese nature, culture and history.