Are There Any Homeless People in Japan? 2 Types of Homelessness in Japan: Dependent and Independent




There are homeless individuals in Japan but they are different from the homeless in North America. Find out how they are different and 2 types of homelessness in Japan.



What are Homeless People Like in Japan?



When you go to city like Tokyo and Osaka, you might encounter homeless people. The difference between Japan and Canada in terms homelessness is that they never panhandle or ask for something.


Homeless individuals in Japan are harmless, quiet and don’t interfere with others as much as possible.


That’s why I got shocked when I found out homeless individuals in Canada panhandled all the time and some got pretty aggressive (not necessarily violent). I assume it applies to the US also.


So when I see homeless people in Japan, I don’t feel nervous or scared. In fact, they are only in certain cities and you see none if you don’t pass by such areas. When I see homeless people in Canada, however, I feel more tense and nervous.




What are 2 Types of Homelessness?




Depending on how you want to categorize, there could be different type of homelessness.

In this post I categorize homelessness into 2 groups: one is dependent, and the other one is independent.


What I mean by dependent here is that those individuals who have NEVER lived on their own. For example, some are disabled. Some have depression and lived with their parents. But after death of parents, they lose the house.

Some have argument with their parents and lose a place to stay. Some of them have NEVER worked and always stayed inside the parent’s house.

Thus dependent homeless people are NEVER independent and become homeless.


Independent homeless people, on the other hand, have lived on their own and they used to earn living by themselves. Some of them, unfortunately, quit job due to mental health issue or injury. They try to find a new job but cannot find. As a result, they cannot pay rent and start to live on the street.


To sum up, independent homeless people have a place to live and job but they lose everything as a result of unexpected incidents such as mental health issue or injury.



How Many Homeless People are There in Japan? 



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There are female homeless individuals but the majority of homeless individuals are male.


According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, there were about 6,000 male homeless, while female homeless only reached to 200 in 2016. Other 200 homeless people were sexually unknown because this research was based on observation by staff.



In 2012, the number of male homeless was about 9000, whereas the number of female homeless was 300. As you can see, the number of homeless people has been decreasing in Japan.




For more information, please check part 2. This post includes where homeless individuals live and how they make money.





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