Sunday, October 7, 2012

Homeless in Tokyo

One of the initial things I wonder when I visit a city for the first time is,how do it's citizens look after their homeless?In Tokyo, they're  everywhere, you just have to look for them.I suspect the Japanese see them but choose not'see' them, if you get my drift.By day break, their belongings are neatly bundled up by the side of the footpath, where they will  safely remain ,until sunset, when their owner's will again find the nearest underpass, park bench,subway entrance etc to doss down. I suspect that some of the inhabitants of Shinjuku Park West have been there since we last last visited two and a half years ago.Being without a home in Tokyo appears to be a shameful existence, a little like the salary man who has been relegated to a desk in the outside hallway.Sacked but not'sacked'. With winter coming on, it's going to be brutally tough for these people.I hope the Japanese government opens it's eyes soon.No society, particularly one as ostentatiously wealthy as Japan,should allow it's citizens to end up in this situation.
I was saddened to see that this children's play ground equipment had been  sneakily blocked off to prevent the homeless from sleeping there at night.So everyone loses. The children can't play on the equipment and the homeless have to find somewhere else to sleep.Or am I being churlish?