Tokyo's efforts to lift people out of homelessness have borne fruit, according to the government, as a survey showed their numbers hit a record low this past winter. But critics question the methods used and argue such people are only becoming increasingly less visible.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Monday that the number of homeless people in parks, on roadsides and around train stations in the capital's 23 wards as of January fell to a record low of 744 during this past winter season. This was 34 fewer than the previous winter.

The metropolitan government has collected statistics in summer and winter each year since 1995.