• Jiji


The number of homeless people in Japan stood at 3,824 as of January, down 4.2% from a year before, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Wednesday.

It was the lowest number since the ministry started compiling such statistics in 2003, apparently reflecting local government support for financially strapped people to prevent them from becoming homeless.

Of the total, 3,510 were men and 197 women. The gender of the remaining 117 people was not identified.

By prefecture, the number of homeless people was the highest in Osaka, at 990, followed by Tokyo, at 862, and Kanagawa, at 687.

A little less than 80% of the total were in Tokyo’s densely populated 23 wards and ordinance-designated major cities.

The survey was conducted in every municipality by local government officials, who counted the number of people living in places such as parks and streets.

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