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Japan Succeeds at Decreasing Homelessness

Japan's homeless population dropped to 16,000 down 2,500 from the previous year. Japan continues its downward trend, and the Welfare Ministry thanks better employment prospects in the cities and local governmental policies.

The homeless are overwhelmingly male, with 14,707 men, 531 women, and 780 gender unknown. Osaka claims the largest population, with 4,333, and Tokyo comes in second with 3,796.

The success Japan has had in addressing homelessness is more apparent when you compare its numbers to other places. For example, San Francisco's homeless population is estimated at 6,248 out of a population of 750,000. Tokyo has half the amount of homeless, even though the city has 12.7 million residents! New York City fares a bit better. A recent count found 3,306 people living on the street, out of a population of 8 million. Tokyo has 4 million more people, and the same amount of homeless.

Are you surprised by these comparisons? Is your quality of life impacted by a homeless crisis? Should curbing homelessness, by creating affordable housing and a social safety net, be a government priority?

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