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Homeless in Tokyo ‘invisible’

July 26 2016
Cardboard homes in Uena Park, Tokyo. © Arnold Toynbee. Cardboard homes in Uena Park, Tokyo. © Arnold Toynbee.
Japanese government understates numbers, says Tokyo charity

The Japanese government has reported positive changes in Tokyo's homelessness problems.

But some people are criticising the government's claims, according to the Japan Times.

Critics claim surveys, which supposedly show improvements, are done only during the day, when the majority of the city's homeless people are hidden among the bustle of streets, rather than at night when homeless people are visible.

The official survey also missed out people who haven't registered for government support in fear that their family or former workmates might find out about their situation.

Tokyo’s Advocacy and Research Centre for Homelessness (ARCH) estimate that there are a total of 671 homeless people in just three of Tokyo’s 23 districts.

This number is almost three time more than the Japanese government’s official figure.