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Homeless population totals 15,759


Officially, Japan had 15,759 homeless people as of January, almost unchanged from a year earlier, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Monday.

The figure has declined since 25,296 were recorded in the first study in 2003, falling to 18,564 in 2007 and to 16,018 last year, but the downward trend seems to have ended due to the worsening economy, according to the ministry.

Of the 15,759, 14,554 were male and 495 were female, while the gender of the remaining 710 was unknown.

While homeless were found in all 47 prefectures, Osaka had the most at 4,302, followed by Tokyo with 3,428, Kanagawa with 1,804, Fukuoka with 1,237 and Aichi with 929.

Homeless people in the 23 wards of Tokyo and in government-designated major cities accounted for about 70 percent of the overall figure at 11,245.

The ministry expressed concern that the figure could rise because an upward trend has been seen in many urban areas. Source: Japan Times

Here is a previous report on the homeless in Japan.


  1. Enrique Enrique

    This is pretty bad, but not as bad as other countries. Does anybody know if foregniers are part of this number.

  2. On the topic of homeless in Japan, Kotobukicho, which is located near the Ishikawacho Station and close to Yokohama Chinatown, is a popular area for homeless people. There are a few visitor hostels that double as temporary housing for the homeless. I stay at these hostels (Yokohama Hostel Village and A Silk Tree Hostel) every time I go to Japan, and I can tell you firsthand that the area is safe, even late at night/early in the morning. Unlike the homeless in the United States, the homeless in Japan tend to keep to themselves. I’ve even seen them band together on a Saturday morning and make mochi in the middle of the street.

  3. Mike Mike

    When you think of Japan homelessness is never a topic. This is a disturbing trend, although here in the US it’s everywhere. I wonder if Western influence has brought the bad things with it as well.

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