Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Japan’s capital, Tokyo, has a population of nearly 8 million in its inner city, divided into 23 administrative districts. Official figures put the number of homeless (street dwellers) in the city at just around 3,700 (February 1998) whereas "Shinjuku Renrakukai", a homeless support group, claims the true figure is closer to 5,000 (rapidly increasing).Most of Japan's homeless are older men who have lost their jobs. They are too ashamed to move back with their families. The only problem is, welfare requires people to have a permanent address to qualify. So they get no government assistance.
The overall attitude towards those without homes or jobs is without compassion. It is part of Japanese culture.
One would expect such a prosperous country to have so much poverty. But so do we.