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Japan's homeless internet cafe refugees seek shelter

26 Comments
By Miwa SUZUKI

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26 Comments
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Terrible. Why not just pay the net cafes to house the homeless and not open them up for any other purposes?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I really wish these homeless could be given at least a decent roof over their heads once this pandemic is over, they're one of the most vulnerable to the virus. Nobody in such a prosperous country should be living like this. I will say that spending the night in an internet cafe saved my bacon when travelling to Japan, just be prepared to sleep sitting up

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Renting an apartment in Japan requires a very expensive deposit and presents tricky administrative hurdles, leaving net cafes a convenient option for many of the country's hidden poor.

This is the big problem. A tradition of feudalism by the landholders. I have no idea why you need to pay 60-100 man yen just to move in to a crappy apartment. On the other hand, when I lived in Osaka it seemed like public housing danchi were rather abundant so can't these people move to public housing?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How many residences in Japan are empty?

Show a little compassion. Surely there must be smarter solution. At least give these homeless "internet cafe refugees" the opportunity to pick themselves up and look towards a brighter future.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It's times like this that show the darker side of Japan to the public that few ever see or hear about.

I wish that those that still think that Japan is a paradise on earth have the scales blasted from their eyes to realize that here is no better nor no worse than anywhere else in the world!

We got a crap load of problems here, and folks need to wake up!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

It would be a sad existance to be forced to live in a net cafe or one of them awful capsule hotels. They are just flophouses. I hope these folk can get some help and dont end up on the streets, under bridges or in station tunnels.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Inaba estimates there are already 2,000 homeless in Tokyo -- double the official figure -- as public surveys conducted during the day often miss people sleeping rough at night after a day's work.

This figure is unreliable.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

In London, the homeless have been moved off the streets and into hotels.

There are the working poor who have a job but unable to pay all the money needed to move into a place and then the high rents.

Public housing in Japan are empty shells and the tenant must pay to have them fitted with kitchens, toilets and bathrooms. When the tenant dies or leaves must pay again to remove it all and return it to a shell.

I only learnt about this when a friends father died and had to pay about ¥1 million to return it to a shell.

On average, 40% of available rental properties are empty.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Some local authorities are now opening shelters to accommodate "net cafe refugees" and keep them from sleeping out in the open.

Aren´t those shelters worse than the internet cafes? Why not keep them open, ask people to wear masks and make them non-smoking??

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

They have to be tested and sheltered safely. If not tested it will result cluster among them, if one of them is infected. I can't see something clear in this "Japan's homeless internet cafe refugees seek shelter".

.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

-- as public surveys conducted during the day often miss people sleeping rough at night after a day's work.

What is the point of the ridiculous term “sleeping rough”? What is it supposed to convey? The word “homeless” implies an out of the ordinary living situation. Do these Internet Cafe patrons also “sit rough” or “stand rough” because they are homeless? It appears to be an activist’s attempt to make a bad situation seem more bad. Homelessness is bad - we get it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Simple, as crime is low in Japan (supposedly) put them up in prisons. 3 hots and a cot until the c-vi passes.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Talk about kicking some whilst they are down, jeeess,

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What is the point of the ridiculous term “sleeping rough”?

I’m pretty sure that whoever chose the phrase google translated from Japanese.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I wish that those that still think that Japan is a paradise on earth have the scales blasted from their eyes to realize that here is no better nor no worse than anywhere else in the world!

You are my favorite poster. Thanks a lot for a good laugh!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A student of mine lives right by the Yokohama Budokan and was expressing how scared and nervous he was about having these kicked out net cafeyers suddenly being in his neighborhood.

I asked him if he'd ever spent the night in a net cafe and he said he's only been in one to use a computer about twice. I've slept in them about twenty times so I told him that they're mostly quiet people who like to keep to themselves, are pretty docile, and don't really pose a threat.

He thought they were like bozozoku type yankees or something and was relieved to find out many of them are otakus, gamers, and just poor but harmless people.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Viva Shigeru Ban.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What is the point of the ridiculous term “sleeping rough”

It's a standard British English synonym for homeless.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Johnkmilonas Yes, Shigeru Ban has a humane and beautiful attitude. The little shelters of cardboard tubes and cream or white curtains in the great hall have a sense of dignity. Long term thinking for opportunities for individuals who are homeless is of course essential. But this well-known architect opened his heart to the immediate need. Yesterday, the report that internet cafes were going to have to close had moving statements from the people running the cafes, saying people who needed shelter would be on the streets if this happened.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ALexandre T.Ishii:

They have to be tested and sheltered safely. If not tested it will result cluster among them, if one of them is infected. I can't see something clear in this "Japan's homeless internet cafe refugees seek shelter".

I think there is some confusion here. The "internet cafe homless" are not the same crowd that sleeps rough on the streets. The internet cafes are not free, and they provide showers, washing machines, and internet access. Some people use them as an alternative to renting an apartment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Fighto!

It would be a sad existance to be forced to live in a net cafe or one of them awful capsule hotels. They are just flophouses.

I have spent nights in both, and they are definitely NOT "flophouses".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's times like this that show the darker side of Japan to the public that few ever see or hear about.

The dark side if Japan is that a majority of the population, yourself included, have probably never done a gosh darn thing to help homeless people? But once in a while you'll throw a hissy fit because the government isn't doing enough to help them. Spare me your fake outrage.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It would be a sad existance to be forced to live in a net cafe or one of them awful capsule hotels. They are just flophouses.

Only stayed in a capsule hotel once, and it certainly was not a flophouse. Luxurious bath facilities on the top floor, huge bar/izakaya type facility as well They had regular capsules and mini-cabins.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese homeless are a tad bit more hygienic and orderly as compared to the homeless in places like rodent and disease infested places like Skid Row, Los Angeles. Definitely more safer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In London, the homeless have been moved off the streets and into hotels.

Yup, this is happening in Australia too. It's humane, but it's also essential for proper control of the pandemic that everyone is able to isolate. There is talk here that help for the homeless will become permanent, but you hope it's not just talk that evaporates once the virus is past.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These are had times for all, when you are Down And Out you need the help of the generous who would have open their hearts and pockets, but this Virus is hitting every aspect of our lives, so those who could have helped in normal times are in need of help themselves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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