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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 August 29 - September 4  > Labor Ministry conducts 1st survey on ‘Net cafe refugees’
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2007 August 29 - September 4 [LABOR]

Labor Ministry conducts 1st survey on ‘Net cafe refugees’

August 29, 2007
The Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry on August 28 released the result of its first survey on so-called Net cafe refugees estimating that there are about 5,400 homeless people sleeping at 24-hour Internet cafes across Japan.

Among them, about 2,700 are working as non-regular workers, including day laborers, and 2,200 are unemployed. Young people in their 20s account for 26.5 percent, the largest share.

The ministry carried out the survey in June and July after Japanese Communist Party House of Councilors member Koike Akira in a Diet committee meeting urged the government to conduct research and take necessary measures to address the “Net cafe refugees” issue.

The survey found that loss of jobs is the major reason for “Net cafe refugees” losing their homes. 32.6 percent of respondents in Tokyo and 17.1 percent in Osaka lost their homes after losing jobs. 20.1 percent in Tokyo and 43.9 percent in Osaka said they left company dormitories because of the loss of jobs.

According to another survey on day laborers that the ministry conducted through 10 staffing agencies, about 53,000 are working on less-than-a-month contract, 51,000 of whom are working on a day-hire basis. On average, they work 14 days and receive 133,000 yen a month. 68.8 percent are younger than 35 years old.

JCP Koike, who has brought up the issues in the Diet, said that by conducting such a survey for the first time the ministry took a needed step forward.

Pointing out that the survey revealed that loss of jobs is the major reason for workers to lose their homes, Koike stressed the need to provide young citizens with the rent subsidies that the JCP called for in the House of Councilors election.
- Akahata, August 29, 2007
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