Friday, January 25, 2008

Homelessness in Japan by Yuta Mashiko - Takushoku University

Good afternoon everyone. Today I want to talk to you about the homeless in Japan. Please listen to my presentation and please think about homeless people. In my presentation, first, I want to tell you about the homeless situation in Japan. Then I want to talk about the problems that are caused by homelessness.

Ok, let me start with some information about homelessness in Japan. The population of Japan is about one hundred million, and the number of homeless people was about twenty-five thousand people at it’s highest, but it has decreased to eighteen thousand now. Ninety-five percent of the homeless are elderly and middle-aged. The youngest is 30 and the oldest is 60. The number of young homeless people has increased in recent years and they are called Net Café Refugees. Most of the homeless live in huts and in tunnels. They live in urban areas. Ok, I’ve told you about the homeless situation in Japan. Now I will talk about the problems that cause homelessness.

The biggest reason people become homeless is unemployment. They lose their houses through company bankruptcy. Homelessness has increased due to the long-term deterioration of business in Japan. Other reasons are personal. For example, various problems related to family relationships, gambling dependence and alcohol dependence.

What problems occur when homelessness increases? First of all, there is the problem of disturbances to the public peace. Actually, assaults on homeless people have occurred. Many homeless people freeze to death every year. Also, they lose the right to vote (選挙権) because they have no address, and they can’t get a driving licence. As a result, finding employment becomes difficult and it is not possible to become independent economically. So can these problems be solved?

Japan has enacted a law to help the homeless to get back into society. There is the livelihood protection law in Japan. But the solution to this problem is difficult. A lot of homeless people want to work but finding employment becomes difficult because they have neither a dwelling nor a resident’s card. It is also difficult to contract rental housing. Also, the older people cannot learn new skills and new jobs. The support of the government is difficult in present day Japan. Therefore, support from private organizations is important. For example, meals provided by volunteers, dwellings such as tents, donations of new clothes and blankets, and support finding employment. Even still, this alone doesn’t solve the problem.

Ok, I’ve talked about the Japanese homeless situation, the problems caused by it and what the Japanese government has done for the homeless. Finally, finding a solution to this problem is very difficult but we can do some things in our every day lives. Lets make a world where everybody can live easily.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mr.Stout

    you're doing homelessness in you univeristy too!
    we did too:D
    oh by the way, thank you for your e-mail about the comic;)
    I still working on with my comic:p I will write about my comic at my blog after I finished making;)