Regarding the May 13 article “Team Japan faces huge hurdles on road to Homeless World Cup“: I applaud The Japan Times for covering the topic of homelessness. It is a serious issue affecting many people in Japan as well as the United States. It is tragic that there exists such biased attitudes toward the poor, the sick and those less fortunate. I have always been enamored of Japan, its culture and its people, and have regarded Japan and its citizens as better than America somehow.

I am currently homeless in the U.S., and have experienced for myself the prejudice and stereotypes that exist here. Despite the financial struggles, Hirotaka Hattori (advertising director for Big Issue Japan) apparently feels that what the team really needs at the moment is moral support and understanding from the public.

I agree, but not merely for those without homes. All people need this. For it is not now, nor has it ever been wealth, status or possessions that make a person great. Every human being has intrinsic worth because we all have three things more valuable than any treasure: life, a heart and a soul.

I pray that the peoples of both countries will come to understand that all life is precious and to care for those in need.

matthew parkhurst