Homeless in Ueno Park

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ueno Park in Tokyo has a sizeable homeless population. The problem of homelessness has not gone away since it first came to public attention amidst the economic slow-down of the "Lost Decade" of the 1990s.

Homeless in Ueno Park, Tokyo

However other problems, such as the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Japan's territorial spats with its neighbors have pushed the problem of homelessness in Japan to the back burner.

Various NGOs struggle to help the victims, mostly older men in their 50s and 60s, regain employment and get them off the streets.

Homeless in Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan

The reality is, however, that there is a lack of political will and a public apathy to the homeless and their blue tarpaulin tents in Tokyo's major and minor parks, though doubtless they would all be rounded up and shipped out of the capital, should Tokyo ever get the Olympics.

Homeless, Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan

Figures vary for the number of homeless people in Japan, though Tokyo has the most of any city in the country with a conservative estimate of around 5,000.

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