Why Japan’s Homeless are Different from North America’s

Thursday, November 9, 2017

One day while walking around Shinjuku, a major hub for government and business in Tokyo, Japan, I noticed a shelter built by a homeless man. It looked semi-permanent, but more importantly, had solar panels on it. I thought this was very different than the homeless I encountered in my former city of Vancouver, Canada, so I started to investigate homelessness in Japan.

I was lucky enough to interview Professor Tom Gill, who has researched homelessness and other societal issues in Japan for many years.

This is part 1 of a series of videos I’m making about the homeless in Japan. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave in the comments. Thanks for watching.

VIEW PART 2 https://youtu.be/-9RgkZebW1s

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→ Care in the Community – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/229517.stm
→ http://homelesshub.ca/about-homelessness/topics/mental-health
→ https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/26/opinion/can-there-be-good-mental-asylums.html
→ http://www.npr.org/2015/08/04/427419718/the-u-s-declared-war-on-veteran-homelessness-and-it-actually-could-win
→ http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Closure+Riverview+Hospital+marks+mental+health+treatment/6967310/story.html
→ http://japan.kantei.go.jp/constitution_and_government_of_japan/constitution_e.html
→ https://www.christiantoday.com/article/american.churches.receive.record.114.9.b.donations.in.2014.report/57240.htm
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  1. florida aguada says:

    Love Japan never seen yet, most of my fellow filipino are working there.And my employer in Hongkong they love to spend their holiday in Japan.

  2. extra draco says:

    I though this waz aboot America not dumb Canada

  3. no name says:


  4. BIBLE LIFE says:

    here in America between 50 and 80 years ago they were almost no homeless / there were HOBO's runing with the Trains Railroads / they lived this way On Purpose in a way to see America on the Rails / i am 55 and i knew several proffesional HOBO's back when i was a kid in the Midwest / back then crime was low everywhere, there was zero walfare, side jobs were plenty, drug use was low / these guys came out of the great depresion of the 1930's they had backpacks, duffle bags, stoves, tabbaco, food, tools, you name it they had it or could get it / around 1980 in America goverment welfare started to increase and state goverments took over the Child Support / Welfare System putting men in jail for not paying their child support payments (this still happens today) and putting young mothers on welfare / and today we have 60 million in America on some level of welfare or disability / today in America we have created lots of booze, drugs, welfare, tax breaks, casinos, heroin, pot shops now legal, junkfoods / i live in a small west coast town Oregon, and we have around 30 cronic homeless guys at 25 years old, they live on the streets as a game, stealing, getting high, hanging out as homeless is cool, spend 1/2 the day at the local library, they recieve food stamps, food bank box, free health care, free cell phone, they run low leval drugs across town for a few bucks, sleep wherever / but no way … they do not want a job, they are convienced the system is broke and against them / they get arrested 20 times each, all minor things so nothing happens to them / they go to the local indian casino and get free coffee, sodas and try to win a few dollars a day / and in all 50 States there are about 500,000 young homeless men at 20 to 25 years old living this same way / there not like the old HOBO's the young men of today have nothing, no stove, no tent, no clothes, no side jobs, no money, no tools, not even a metal cup / this is what has happened to America in just 40 years / in 1975 in America if you recieved goverment welfare this is what you got > one five pound block if chedder cheese and old loaves of stale bread …. once per month / its all true i lived back then and saw it first hand / 2017 some of my friends are on welfare while working full time jobs with 4 kids, no husband and all included with jobs, housing, food, health care, snap beifits, child tax breaks, food boxs = 45,000 a year / in America in 40 years the goverment has grown from a free block of cheese to 45,000 a year per person

  5. Juan Mendez says:

    I had never seen groups of elderly homeless in my life until I went to Osaka

  6. Manuel Ambriz says:

    I like how it says North America not just United States meaning including Mexico and Canada

  7. Mike Jones says:

    in all honesty asian people dont beg its not in our roots we die proud with pride

  8. Another bod says:

    i just realised, i live in Tokyo for 5 years and never saw anyone begging. huh.

  9. Chiba Ryunosuke says:


  10. Samuel Gonzalez says:

    Hey, I Work in Kamagasaki in Nishinari Ku in Osaka aka Japan's poorest region. I work at an institution called kibou no ie. i could hook you up with everyone in osakas and naras instituions for homeless people… just write me a message

  11. Callum says:

    I had a homeless Japanese man living near my apartment in Osaka. I would swing past 7eleven and pick him up a hot coffee and some food a few times a week.

    He would always be reading or doing something constructive. He couldn't speak English and I couldn't speak Japanese but he always was really great full when I helped him.

  12. bunni babie says:

    the homeless people where I live have solar panels that they plug into their iPhones and charge them with

  13. Francis Lim says:

    Japanese are brought up in a highly cultured society,Lawley and well disciplined. No shouting, spitting and jumping queue etc. Being proud many who sleeps at subway and under bridges are actually high executives who got retrenchment or company's closure who a ashamed to go home to face their families, sound weird, that's PRIDE.During WW2 surrendered military personnel commit HARA KIRI rather than going home in shame.Remember the Tsunami in Japan when it has occurred, many of them who has suffered held their heads high.Highly respect from me .

  14. Iglesia Ni satanas says:

    in the united states lots oflots niggers why plenty homeless

  15. Maher Gritli says:

    Thanks for the information

  16. Juan David Redondo says:

    Advanced ratio accuse present assist vacation somehow trip union.

  17. Paul lucifer says:

    Yea in America we ask our soldiers to risk there lives in conflicts and or war and the crazy thing is when they come back with a mental illness ptsd and other debilitating mental illnesses. America we are supposed to be rich however, when the brave soldiers come back American then shows there thanks by treating the soldiers like second rate citizens. They don't give our vets much help some healthcare maybe housing maybe. America is great but in some aspects horrible the rich get richer as 18 year old kids fight over seas to help the rich back home. Sad

  18. sulekha yadav says:

    In India, people love to provide for beggers on all religious occasions. They distribute food, blankets whenever they want to do something good. That's why most beggers r reluctant to do any job,

  19. dsouza ronald says:

    All hard work brings a profit,
    but mere talk leads only to poverty. When in good times prepare for bad times not to come.

  20. 黒人 says:

    She should be able to qualify for section 8 housing.
    A lot of black people live in the projects.

  21. TheHarsh Truth says:

    She's homeless and living off food stamps.. she is 2/3 there. Now she just needs to be shot by a police officer.

  22. Larry Lucas says:

    The only stamp she needs is to stamp a mud hole in her want to be black ass!!!!!

  23. B G says:

    I wonder if this was the 1950s, would she want to be a black woman? I think she took advantage of the fact of the power that black people gained after the civil rights movement to the present. She should be ashamed to ever say that she suffered for being a black woman would she knew full well she never was one in the first place. Now she probably experienced what other people thought her to be black and was treated unfairly in that way. But she only experienced what a black woman goes through, but can't really say she as a black woman experienced it because she was never black. Now she is headed down this road jobless and homeless and is still believing she did nothing wrong. You lied about your true race!. That's illegal. The sad part about all this is, if her parents would have never came forward and exposed her, she probably never would have admitted that she was born white

  24. bauhaus says:

    The reason she can't get a job isn't because she's "black", it's because she's a liar. African-Americans should be incensed by this woman. In her book she compared her 'struggle' as a white child with 'oppressive' parents to the struggles of African slaves here in the US. Wow. How is she still getting air time?

  25. Nx2overide says:

    Reality show comming up…..

  26. belle mcellis says:


  27. Flip465 says:

    Stupid, ugly whore !!!! Rot in the gutter you SLUT !

  28. Gary Winehouse says:

    Now she's black.

  29. 3nineline says:

    "But she still BELIEVES she did nothing wrong"

    Um, you can't "believe" yourself above lying.

    Lying is wrong, therefore you did do something wrong.

    Up is up and down is down. Male is male. Etc, etc,etc.

    Truth just is. It does not conform to desire. It's commitment to itself is what keeps us alive.

  30. Nelson Robert Willis says:

    i don't wish homelessness on her, but it is hard to sympathize with someone who is so dishonest & manipulative and adds insult to injury by claiming that she did nothing wrong. she reminds me a bit of Tanya — the lady who claimed to have survived the 9-11-2001 attack on WTC, claimed that she was the grieving fiancee of a man who really did die there, and lied about both of these things.

  31. james ferrante says:

    She's thinking of doing PORN in black face makeup?

  32. Mike Donagger says:

    wait a minute. I thought these lunatic liberals said you are whatever you identify as. What's the problem? I guess she's about to see some white privilege.

  33. C O says:


  34. Frzenflme says:

    hahahahaha hahahaha hahahaha

  35. Maybaby B says:

    This so deep yes she pretended to be black but did she bring down black ppl no, she was helpin working towards and building the name of our black community. Yes as a black woman I can see the irony but what harm exactly did she do, we have black ppl bleaching to be white, wearing European white hair not embracing their own nature but the minute a white person do it, it's a problem. The world is corrupt, we talk about slavery but think about it we are also enslaving ourselves by not trying to be better by using every opportunity to blame someone for our action. Just ignore the unnecessary and do not waste the opportunities our ancestors fought so hard to make for us. Just chill and be happy black or white

  36. Mark Dweyer says:

    This is a perfect example of how sick America is. Black rap music is to blame here. It pisoned this poor white girl's mind. Now being homeless and down, like a good blackie, will be a just punishment.

  37. idontcare says:

    maybe if she would drop the fucking act and appologize, she could actually get a job somewhere. there's a thought

  38. juncho1977 says:

    Hahaha! I'm glad this crazy whack ass bitch can't find a job.

  39. SecretaryOfState says:

    So she wants to be black. Who gives a shit. Why should it matter if she makes copies in the legal department for a living? This is why Trump is president. People have way too much to say about complete bullshit. Bullshit minds get a bullshit leader, and they're still losing their shit about what a woman, who's done more for minorities than any of them have, identifies as. What a bunt of cunchs. And how racist must her parents be to oust their daughter and doom her to homelessness, because they'd rather see her starve to death than cross over. Gyaaaaaad Daaaaaaamn!

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