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Title:How To Be Homeless in Japan

Hard work, dignity, and an unexpected reward when the day is done. In 2018, for the first time since The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare began keeping statistics, Japan’s homeless population dropped under 5,000 (N.B. Japanese NGOs claim that the real number is over 12,000). Twenty years ago it was over 25,000. Since then, the Japanese government has passed legislation guaranteeing the homeless assistance in housing, health care, and seeking employment. Unfortunately, the homeless are not eligible for welfare unless they can prove that their families are unable to support them, and most of the homeless don’t want their loved ones to find out their situation. Why are there still homeless on Japan’s streets? In a country that values self -reliance, many homeless are too ashamed to seek assistance, preferring to hide from the public. Others do their best to blend in, riding the train endlessly or spending the night in furos (public baths) or internet cafes. Those who do choose to live on the street rarely beg. They collect recyclables or sweep the streets and do other cleanup jobs. A few may find work as day laborers. The average age of japan’s homeless population is just over 61 years old and virtually all of them are men. SUBSCRIBE: Tune in for a new video every Thursday at 11:45AM P.T. from the far corners of Our Human Planet! Want to see all of our Japan stories? Download the complete 4-hour PBS documentary series on Japan at (There’s also a book, reviewed by the New York Time and translated into 8 languages.) LET’S CONNECT! • Say hi on FB: • Give us a shout on Twitter: • Follow us behind the scenes on Instagram: #Travel #Adventure #Japan Category: Travel


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