I feel like a fugitive

Japan has a census every five years and now it’s the time. Back in my hometown, the chair or a leader of the area used to be entrusted with distribution and collection of the forms for the whole block as voluntary work. Then, the forms would be handed to the area’s public office by him or her. When my father took charge of it, he looked through all the forms after collecting them for possible errors in filling them out, that was also one of the responsibilities. But, as he was checking errors in the forms, he inevitably acquired neighbors’ personal information, such as the income, the family members, the work place, and the academic background. I felt extremely unpleasant about it. After I left my hometown and was on my own, I had never submitted a census, as I knew what a person who came to collect the form did with my form. Probably because of the similar complaints, the government has changed rules for this year’s census. They hired people to distribute and collect the forms and the form should be sealed by a person who filled it out. With this way, the personal information should be protected from some neighbor. Instead, the form collection person is persistent ever, now that it’s a job. They keep coming up to my apartment and even call after me on the streets in the neighborhood. I go out sneakily, looking around for a collection person. I feel like a fugitive every day…

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