Government Survey Shows Japan’s Homelessness at an All-Time High

Data from Japan

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The number of homeless people in Japan has fallen to its lowest level to date of 3,448, according to a government survey of homelessness conducted since 2003. Although this decrease reflects the results of self-reliance support projects managed by local and regional authorities NPOs, certain categories of people with no fixed residence, such as those who live in internet cafes or manga shops, are not included, indicating that there are in fact many more people who still need help.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s survey of the current state of homelessness in January 2022, the total number of homeless people in Japan decreased by 376 (9.8%) in year-on-year to 3,448. That makes it the lowest figure on record since the survey began in 2003. Men made up the overwhelming majority at 3,187, while women accounted for 162. The sex of another 99 people could not be determined visually as they were wearing winter clothing.

By city, Osaka had 923 homeless people, which was much higher than central Tokyo with 703. Yokohama is next with 285, Fukuoka with 182 and Kawasaki with 161. The figure for central Tokyo and other major cities combined was 2,737, accounting for 80% of the total.

By prefecture, Osaka also had the highest number of homeless people with 966, followed by Tokyo with 770 and Kanagawa with 536. Twelve prefectures reported no homelessness: Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, Fukui, Nagano , Shiga, Nara, Tottori, Shimane, Yamaguchi and Nagasaki. The regions that saw the largest declines from the previous year were Kanagawa (down 151) and Tokyo (down 92).

The majority of homeless people were in public parks (849), followed by riversides (828), roadsides (735), station buildings (197) and other types of facilities (839 ).

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

Osaka homeless

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