2 killed, 13 injured in fire at lodging house in Yokohama


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Another lodging house with inadequate fire safety. This kind of thing happens a couple of times a years in Japan. They've spent a lot of the last year changing the share housing laws for short-stay foreigners in their houses, but they have ignored all these death trap ryokans operated by and rented by Japanese.

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The emergency stairs were packed with guests and it worried me when I was evacuating," he said.

There was an article in JT recently about the hard lives of the day labourers in San'ya in Tokyo. This place is probably in or near Kotobukicho, which is the equivalent area in Yokohama.

Out of sight, out of mind for far too many people. I hope the authorities get their act together on this.

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Stringent regulation of houses of multiple occupation including fire safety, enforced with hefty and ongoing fines for failure to comply (if there is money to be made out of it the government is far more likely to actually enforce it). If the owner is going to lose all profit from runnning it there is a strong incentive to comply.

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They do what they can, big exhibition at Big Sight this Sunday even, am sure it was a smoker, so maybe more smoke alarms, and rules about not smoking indoors would help.

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That building is actually quite new. Kotobukicho has been transformed for the better over the years. You should have seen that place 30 years ago. An area where day laborers resided. People who didn’t get a job would spent the day drinking, lying on the road passed out in their own filth, or worse, dropping dead or be found floating in the river. When the weather was nice, people would gather old furniture and “live” in the middle of an intersection. In winter, they would burn the furniture, to stay warm I guess. Never seen anything like it.

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