• Tokyo


the Jan. 10 article “NPO told to stop feeding homeless”: There are times when official pronouncements reveal just how out of touch with reality the bureaucracy is. The order from the metropolitan government that the nonprofit organization Sanyukai stop handing out weekly free meals to the homeless in Tokyo’s Sanya district is a classic example.

Do these officials have no compassion at all? Have they not noticed that we are in a recession? It is said that parents of students attending local schools have complained because they fear their children will come in contact with those waiting for free meals. Media sensationalism has generated a morbid fear of everything from massacres by crazy people to infectious diseases. Now these fears are turned against the homeless. They are to be isolated like the lepers of the not-so-distant past.

For the health of society it is essential that this heartless order from the metropolitan government be resisted. A healthy society should welcome the opportunity for children to come into contact with homeless people. If children are closeted inside and given no experience of the real world, the future is bleak indeed.

philip white

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