For a developed nation, and compared to other similar economically developed nations, Japan has a pretty low rate of homelessness. The government estimated that in 2017, there were 5,534 homeless men and women across the country. Some sources estimate that the true number is up to 2.5 times higher than that, but that would mean there is 1 homeless person for every 23,000 ~ 10,000 non-homeless people. In comparison, the American government counted 552,830 homeless people across the nation. That’s 1 homeless person for every 590 non-homeless people. It really is a staggering difference.
Although homelessness is almost non-existent in Japan, it does not mean that it is not a problem. Technically, there should not even be any homelessness because Japanese law mandates that every citizen have adequate shelter and food provisions that ensure a decent quality of living. but it does exist, and you will find that almost all homeless people are middle-aged men.
Women are usually given preferential treatment when they seek shelter, and there are only about 100 homeless women on the streets in the entire country. Men, however, if they are still under the age of 60 and don’t have any serious health problems, are expected to work and are not really given help. The assumption is that they can work to support themselves, so their homeless state is completely their fault.
There are a lot of government and private aid organizations to help homeless people, but some homeless refuse to seek help due to pride, embarrassment or some other reason, or are unaware that such help even exists.
As for the general population, they usually ignore the homeless and pretend that they don’t even exist. Homeless people are very reclusive and blend into the background. They set up cardboard shacks away from the public eye, and they don’t panhandle. They try to live their lives out of everyone’s way as best as they can, and don’t really accept handouts.
although the public doesn’t care for the homeless, organizations that exist specifically to help them are doing their best to hold out their hands and offer assistance to those who reach out.