Chapter

Homelessness in contemporary Japan

Masami Iwata

in Comparing social policies

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9781861343666
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301967 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861343666.003.0011
Homelessness in contemporary Japan

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Rough sleepers first began to appear on the streets of Japan's major cities towards the end of 1992. Since then, the term ‘homelessness’has been widely used to describe sleeping rough. This chapter explores the characteristics and production processes of homelessness found in the Tokyo Survey of March 2000. It then discusses the meaning of this ‘new homelessness’ and the response of social policies in the context of recent changes in the socioeconomic structure of Japan. Rough sleepers have never been recognised as poor people in Japanese society. This chapter discusses the issue in relation to Japanese society as a whole and how those affected by homelessness have been excluded from its membership.

Keywords: rough sleeping; Japanese welfare; Tokyo; social policy; homelessness

Chapter.  8021 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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