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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?


rpenner rpenner 9 years
Good on ya Japan! That's amazing.
OMGoshDramaQueen OMGoshDramaQueen 9 years
Thats wonderful for Japan! Maybe they can give us some tips!
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Thanks Liberty! :)
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Hey, UnDave35. The article was more to report on the latest estimates. Perhaps I'll do a post comparing social services across countries soon. Stay tuned . . . :)
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
After reading the article again, I don't see what Japan has done to help reduce the number of homeless. I'd like to know what programs they have begun which has been so successful in getting their citizens off the streets?
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Stephley, you raise a very good argument for why the government shouldn't be in charge of the homeless, or healthcare. The first thing the big G does is throw money at it and hire a bunch of bureaucrats, who find little pet projects to spend the money on. The closer you get to the problem, the easier it is for the people involved to solve it.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I don't know, I've gotten used to the oppressive stench of urine and being asked for change every 10 feet. It makes me feel alive.
stephley stephley 9 years
I actually sort of get it - just seems like if it was that simple, since there already is a Veterans Administration, that part of the problem shouldn't exist. Where is the money going? My Army brother raised me to be a Yankee fan, it's the one thing we agree on... but Army dad didn't believe girls should indulge in such things, so I was never invited to Yankee Stadium with them. Maybe that's why I turned out the way I did.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
The damn Yankees! LOL
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
As I said above. If the government actually took care of the Veterans, that would leave the state funds and private funds more so for the general homeless whom are not vets. Not sure what you are not getting. Can you be more specific. Although I have to warn you I might not be able to get back to you tonight, as I have a Yankee game to go to very soon, so I will apologize in advance for any delayed response.
stephley stephley 9 years
How would you separate the two?
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I disagree. I think yes our vets are linked to the homeless population, but if we took care of our Veterans as they should be taken care of, then that would take of as your statistic says, 25% of the homeless population. So if you deal with them as separate issues, then more will get done to fix the problem.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
OMG! That's another thing that pisses me off and you've reminded me of it stephley. The way we have left a lot of Veterans fall through the cracks to end up on the streets while we're marching around waving the flag is beyond outrageous.
stephley stephley 9 years
I doubt homeless vets count is as a separate issue.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Stephly, I think veteran care is a HUGE issue, but I regard that as a separate issue. And yes, federal money should be helping veterans.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Oh Hypno I have stories for days about the homeless in San Francisco. I have never encountered anything like them and I am from New York! It is funny when you mention the "four quarters for a dollar" lady and other people in the city know exactly whom you are talking about! Ah San Francisco...
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well there are always those individuals cine_lover. I just tell them to back the !#%@$ off and have some respect. Don't give them an inch and they won't think about taking a mile.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Haha! I was being sarcastic and no he did not cheat on his wife. He was the other man. He slept with his campaign aid and best friend (at the time) wife although the friend & the wife were seporated at the time.
stephley stephley 9 years
The federal government has to bear some responsibility, this isn't just a housing issue. Recent numbers show that about 25% of the homeless in the U.S. are veterans but veterans' facilities are only equipped to handle about one-fifth of them. The money that federal, state and local use belongs to the American people - it's ours! Why should we have to give more money to charities to try and right a situation that the government helped create?
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Hypno, or maybe citizen and liberty know the answer to this, did they do away with giving the homeless money every month in San Francisco? Or do they still do that? Also, although that article makes it seem like this loving community of people, I can tell you from experience, that walking through the tenderloin at night, or even during the day, many of the homeless there feel they are entitled to free clothes, money, and food. And if you do not give them what they want, they are far from being peace loving individuals.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Hypno, didn't he cheat on his wife? Devout Catholic my butt. ;)
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
In my opinion there really isn't an excuse to have able bodied persons living on the streets. I know that there are reasons, but there is no excuse. I think it's great that Japan has found a way to bring down their homeless rate. One thing that has always pissed me off with this issue is when President Reagan shut down many psychiatric facilities around the country in the 80's. For those who did not have an alternative support system they ended up on the street. This is a blemish on his Presidency that I never hear anyone speak to. Living in the Bay Area I can speak to why San Francisco attracts so many homeless from around the country and that is because of it's social programs for the homeless. Homeless literally migrate here to get benefits that are not offered in other areas to the extent that San Francisco offers them. Now, I will admit S.F. found themselves in a bit of a problem when they had too many guests and not enough party favors and Mayor Newsom with all of his extreme leftist flaws has seen to it that S.F. is not just a welfare city for the homeless but a rehabilitation city for the homeless as well. Heck the mayor even washes the homeless feet a couple times a month. Talk about a devout Catholic. The following is an article from the S.F. Chronicle addressing homeless programs in S.f.
tiabia tiabia 9 years
Congratulations to the Japanese. While it would be wonderful for America to see a decrease in the number of homeless people, it's obvious that it won't be a priority. Such social issues rarely are. *Also I would love to know why there is such a HUGE discrepancy between the number of homeless males and homeless females.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
good for japan, maybe they can come get some of ours.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I do not think it should be the federal government at all. It should fall mostly on private charity, and then secondly State run programs.
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