• Kyodo

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The municipal government of Chiba has refused to allow homeless people to register an Internet cafe as their residence, making them ineligible for the upcoming government cash handout, sources said Monday.

While the municipal government of Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, has accepted resident registrations from “Net cafe refugees” who stay in such establishments for more than one month, an official of the city of Chiba said, “We cannot recognize cafes as a residential setting.”

A residential registration is required to receive the cash handout. In Warabi, more than 10 people have registered an Internet cafe as their residence.

Given the regional disparities, Tatsuya Ito, a lawyer tackling poverty issues, urged the central government to establish a set of guidelines for registering residencies.

However, the internal affairs ministry said it is up to each municipality.

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