The reality of growthing in the number of people sleeping rough

 sleepers in the global city of Osaka, Japan


Toshio Mizuuchi

Graduate School of Geography, Osaka City University, Osaka, 558-8585, Japan (Japanese) (English)


1.  Kamagasaki and Global The city of OsakaKamagasaki area in Osaka city

Two railway arteries, JR Osaka Loop Line and the Nankai Electric Railway Line, which provide direct linksing directly to Kansai International Airport, cross at the Shin-imamiya station in the southern part of Osaka city where.  the area of Kamagasaki can be closely looked down on close at hand from the windows of the JR airport express gHarukah and the Nankai airport express gRapitoh which are both running atalong the elevated lines. The main-artery subway artery of Osaka city, the Midosuji Line, of Osaka city only runs just underground here, but. It it takes only one station rideis just one stop  to the city center of Namba, the center of Osaka city, and sub-city center of to Tennoji, the main center in south Osaka city. The neighboring area around Shin-imamiya station is a highly convenient place with a municipal art museum, the Tennoji Park and Zoo, and the a major municipal hospital. However, the gigantic elevated construction of this station was built in the pre-war days of the 1930s, and now has an older, dreary and dirty atmosphere. Comparinged with the huge number of transfer passengers at this station, not so many passengers get off here. In front of this station, there appearsis the Airin District Complex Center where the largest day laborers market functions (Kamagasaki is the part of Airin District and locatesd in Nishinari ward). In the Early every early morning, labor sharks and laborers meet face to face, on the first floor of this center, and employment contracts isare made. The scene on the first floor has is that of amade gloomy open space with the a line of blackish concrete pillars (Photo 1,2). It is filled with the smell and sweat of the crowd of manual laborers and people sleeping rough sleepers. Along the side of this center, the stands and stalls of street vendors occupy the street, whichand makes are reminiscent of the past imagethe scenes of chaos and disorder immediately after Japanfs defeat ofin WWII (Photo 2).

There isare no one men [FM1] who would not feel neither indifferentce nor perplexed when facing on this scene. Frankly speaking, it appears a dirty place, a fearful place, it is a place of that smells bad, and whenever we talk about this area using these adverbsterms like these, it becomes directly connected with a sense of distinction separation and, even worse, discrimination. However, even if people do have not actually experienced Kamagasaki firsthand, the sense of discrimination, and feelings of contempt and heterogeneity prejudice thrown aboutonto Kamagasaki is are shared byamong the many people in Osaka, and it becomes a commonly held sense beliefsin the ordinary peoplesf mind. People do not want to see nor visit the area, and just label it as a different and negatively stereotyped heterogeneous place, a day laborersf and rough sleepershomeless peoplefs ghetto, and this labeling continueshas been reproducing continuously. Negative and specific imaginative geography is imprinted on the place name of Kamagasaki among by the people in Osaka.

The slum and cheap -inns quarter of pre-war days Kamagasaki was burnt down and destroyed by aerialair bombing in March 1945. However, immediately afterward, it revived as the largest cheap- inns eslumf in Japan, and the occurrence of Kamagasaki Riot in 1961 evoked focuseda sheer attention at a stroke from on theat curious place and led to that of the introduction of a policy of control. The will of the government, that this eeslumff of cheap inns and squatter barracks must be improved and controlled, produced resulted in the Airin Doctrine Policy (eAirinf literally means lovely neighborhood, and is also the name of an actual district with an area of 0.69 km2, which includes the Kamagasaki area within it.). It performed by tThe thorough clearance of squatter barracks in and adjacent to Kamagasaki along the elevated Nankai Electric Railway line, and the physical disappearance of the slums  was a successfully declaredation of the end of gSengoh (after the the post- war recovery era) after the EXPO held in Osaka in 1970. This doctrinepolicy is was valid only for the Airin Ddistrict(area is 0.69km2, and fairly larger than Kamagasaki), and was athe very special system started through the joint governance of the city government, prefecture government and police, which hashad jurisdiction in each for welfare, labor affairs and the public peace, respectively.  Thus, Kamagasaki, thus[FM2] , continued to be a problem area for more than thirty years. All the problems have been specifically dealt within the Airin Ddistrict, such as those of faced by the day laborers themselves, their employment, daily life, their health, a gang's problems, sleeping rough sleepers, dying on the streetdead outside, etc were specifically dealt with.. That is, the specific local policy, which wasis valid only for this spacearea, was performedcarried out to combat, involving the accumulation of violence, laborer movement[FM3] , and the day laborersf struggle against the evil for their survival.

From the a geographical viewpointperspective, the currently controversial issue of concerning rough people sleeping roughsleepers is due can be seen in terms of a to the spatial spilling -over of the problem  of rough sleepers into city-wide, whichwhen it used to be confined within the Airin Ddistrict (Kamagasaki). This phenomenon arises has led to some tension in Osaka city, which has a slogan  stating that it is anof internationally attractive city for visitors and sightseers, and therefore there is simultaneously a light and a dark side to simultaneously holds the scene of light and shade withinthe city.  It also reminds us the urban scene of United States today, which This is similar to the urban situation in the United States today, which is one of opposites within the same spaceholds two polar opposite worlds as a dual city. It This polarity iscan be detected most keenly observed in the public parks of Osaka, which are overcrowded with the blue tents of homeless people. Although the number of tents of public parks in the city was 374 in July, 1996, it has been rapidly increasing, such as 1252 in August , 1998 and , 2593 in August, 2000 (Table 1);. dDuring the recent last four years, the this is a remarkable sevenfold increase of this number marks seven times as many. In the large, -mediummiddle,- and small public parks both in the city center and surrounding peripheral wards, it becomes has become aordinal common urban sceneexperience withto see a sea  full of blue tents. However, because civic concern is not high, we have, in my opinion, not correctly grasped correctly the background mechanism behind, the structure of, nor information of about homelessness and poverty, which has produced these urban scenes. Moreover, since the civic concern is not so high, and everyone has not caught information correctly.

What is life, what is workjob like, for the people sleeping rough sleepers in Osaka?


2.  Geographical distribution of rough people sleeping rougher

The result of the g'general survey of the distribution of rough people sleepering rough'h in the whole region of Osaka city, which was undertaken by under the initiative of Osaka City University in August 1998, is illustrated in Figs. 1 to 4 respectively. As shown in Fig. 1, 8,660 rough sleepers were accounted for in the whole area of Osaka city. Of this number, 6,775 persons, that is, more than three- fourths of the those sleeping rough, total rough sleepers are occupied bywere in five wards, Nishinari, Naniwa, Chuo, Tennoji, and Kita. The distribution rough sleepers are is widely detectedshown in Fig. 2 and, the three main spatial features arecan be pointed as follows.:

Firstly, there is a fairly dense distribution concentration of people sleeping rough in the city center and its the adjacent area inside the JR Loop Line., Ssecondly, this concentration is particularly dense especially in the southern part of this inner ring, with a heavy concentration on in Kamagasaki around the neighboring area of the JR Shin-imamiya station and Midosuji Line sSubway station of Dobutsuenmae station, and as well as in the area a little bitshort distance to the north of theward Ssubway station of Ebisu-cho., tThirdly, there is a broad and sporadic distribution in along the banks of the rivers and canals beach and in the public parks outside the JR Loop Line.


a.  In the city center 

If we imagine the actual scene in the inner area, especially around the city center, most homeless person people just go to sleep rough aton the street or stroll walk around to gathering wastestrash such as aluminum cans, card boxes, etc. This scene partly governs the night in the heart of the city center. It is clearly illustrated by Fig. 3, and demonstrated by Table. 3 that, in the city center, nearly eighty per cent of homeless people are sleep rough sleepers whoby lyingie down on the roadstreet to sleep only by covereding only by with cardboard boxes paper (52%) or with nothing cover at all (15%). In the civic center, Chuo ward, thea sequence row of a cardboard box paper houses appearsed at midnight on the main boulevard of Midosuji, which actually and occupies the entrances of office buildings, the sidewalk, the thicketbushes, and parking lot.

However, moving to the southward at to the Suo-cho crossing in at the southern part end of Midosuji boulevard, close to  where the gAmerika-murah (eAmerican Villagef),, which is the hottest attractive spot for the younger generation, locates very near, rough sleepersthe homeless also escape to sleep rough around this noisy quarter. In the main covered shopping arcade of Shinsaibashi, at several meters intervals, rough others sleepers relieves to sleep on the paved street without fear of rain and coldness. Thus, an acute change is occursring between the streets of the prospering scene of civic center in during the day and the streets lined with people sleeping rouh sleepers' life atduring the midnight. Both a light side and shade a dark side , that is, both prosperous business center at the day time and life space for rough sleepers at night[FM4] , share the same space in the citycompetent arena of revolving global [FM5] capital[FM6] . This phenomenon is evident enough to show the divided urban scene such a dual city as US[FM7] 


b.  In the Ssouthern Ccore Aarea of Kamagasaki and the Ebisu-cho

As tThe second main feature , it can be pointed outis the dense distribution of this core area along the southern part of the JR Loop Line. This distribution seems to be a resulted fromof the traditional geographical concentration in this area of the socially vulnerable and economically deprived people in Osaka. The historico- geographical genealogy is profoundly imprinted in on the social mapping of Osaka. The eExistence of Kamagasaki is used to be indispensable as afor shelter, which where there was can easilyeasy access to ethe welfaref and labor resources like no-deposit cheap inns without deposit, temporalary jobs opportunity, NPO[FM8]  supporters and consultation, and free meals for rough sleepersthose sleeping rough,. However, what is provided it is not enough nor and not efficient thoughenough.

Kamagasaki is the largest eyYosebaf, or cheeap inns districts for day laborers in Japan. Being dDifferent from Sanya, the largest yoseba in Tokyo, where conventional low-income people's residential area whose function is now being reduceding and becoming disorganizinged, Kamagasaki is continuesing to be a tolerant place for such disadvantaged and deprived people, even if, near Kamagasaki, there is progressing athe redevelopment project is in progress inof Abeno and there is an emergence of thean amusement center of called eeFestival Gateff close by. Although 3,445 rough sleepers, about 40 per cent of the cityfs total numbers, of people sleeping rough are concentrated onin Nishinari and Naniwa wards, in which the distribution is not spread evenly throughout the both wardthem respectively. As shown in Table .2, a remarkable concentration can been seen in the blocks where the four wards including of Nishinari, Naniwa,other Tennoji and Abeno touch nearmeet, whereich we might call the Southern Core Area.

In the Airin Ddistrict including Kamagasaki, 1,191 people sleep rough at night, who share which is 14% of the city total. If this area could bewere extended even to the Shin-sekai, Ebisu-cho, and the Nipponbashi streets in Naniwa ward just northward of the Airin District, and extended eastward to Tennoji Park, and the two terminal stations of Tennoji and Abenobashi, rough sleepersthe number or people sleeping rough would be are accounted 3,527, 41% of the city as a whole. This is the place thatwhere sleeping rough at night has been historically commonplace.

In this area, there is only 17% who sleep rough at night do so in tents and huts;, on the contraryin contrast, 81% sleep rough on the street without any covering or at most with a cardboard box, which is thepaper as a  conventional style of rough sleeping rough around here. There is no subtlety of in the selection of a sleeping place does not work any longer, here such as sleeping in a backyard or in a hidden place. When midnight comes, they lie down on the street without any consideration. At the small stops used by the of tramcars, the platforms change to the bed spaces for sleepers every night.

Whenever we mightIf we trace backhistorically to the Meiji Era, or even the Edo Era, this Southern Core Area has a geographical and social lineage history of being a marginal areas for unstableitinerant laborers or, gNago-machi", and it ishas been naturally understood that this spacehas  used to be naturally welcoming to people sleeping rough.e rough sleepers, Aat the same time, there was no interest internationally in investing or conducting global capital paid no concern for investing nor making business here. This geographical structure situation appears not to have changed and continues tohas not been erased out which makes Kamagasaki a core focus for the marginalized.of such marginality, and still exit, isn't it? (Table 2)

The distribution of a evagrantsf can be seen from the series of former Censuses. For example, the transition ofchange in the ratepercentage of vagrants in this Southern Core Area of Osaka which includinges Nishinari, Naniwa, Tennoji, the former Minami, and Abeno ward, illustratesd this areafs the growing share of theis area vagrant population,such as 36% in 1947, 51% in 1950, 64% in 1955, and 63% in 1960. In the latest rate due From the Census ofto our survey of 1998, it was found that this number is now still at 63% of 8,660 people sleeping roughin Osaka. This geographical pattern of distribution has not been changed for over fifty years, so on.

It is worthy to noteing that from the 1920s onward, the great mayor Hajime Seki had already taken the initiative to introduceing several pioneering projects of urban social welfare policiesprojects, and according to his progressive ideas, many services such as an employment agency, a public cheap inns, public housing for those who had cleared lost their homes throughby slum clearance, had putwere introduced into this core area.and the accumulation of such Yet, these labor welfare policypolicieshad strengthened to and maintained the character ofpoverty  the area, as one of poverty and of being a slum or cheap inns district. Moreover, after the post-war period, this place has beenwas consistently reserved as a space for vagrants. In this geographical context, the imaginative geography of this area has continued to remain negative or marginal in the minds of among people living in Osaka city has continued to remain as negative or marginal.

However, athe new factor has emerged and made changed the conventional pattern apparently different, that is, outside the Southern Core Area, there has been a remarkable increase of in the number of people sleeping roughsleepers who sleep in the public parks or along the river bedsb ineach making tents or huts can been seen.


c.  AThe spread of tent living

About the growing tent living as a new residential style of rough sleepers, Table. 2 and Fig. 3 clearly show that there is athe big large concentration of tent living in the six bigmajor public parks of Osaka city, where among of the 1,219 residents, the share of tent or hut living reach to 68% live in tents or huts. This concentration is also seen in the public parks near the Southern Core Area, and especially in Naniwa ward where, six small or medium-sized public parks are filled with the tents of 10 to 30 people. When we look to the northward, along the Ookawa River running in touchwhich runs alongside with the civic center, along the Yodo River which cutsting through the northern part of Osaka city, and along the city boundary line of the Kanzaki River, many rough sleeperspeople who sleep rough have made make tents and huts on the river beachbanks, as shown in Fig. 3., Tthus the former pattern of concentration pattern is now added by the has now become an extended and scattered pattern.

Table 3 shows the cross-table by type of place and that type of sleeping arrangement. In the case of living in the all public parks, and temples and shrines, 48% of 3,193 rough sleeperssleeping rough reside in tents or huts. InAlong river beachbeds, 54% of 279 sleepers do the same living style. They People sleeping rough can are also remarkably be found in the shaded place underneath the elevated Hanshin Express Way and here. 34% of 939 residents live in tents or huts. Example of tThe humblestructured cardboard box houses are is accounteded for 15% in the whole Osaka city.

Considering the The proportion of people living inshare of tents and huts living, its share is growing by over one fourth, and, without doubt, this style of living evokes is becoming the new central concern among ordinal ordinary residents in Osaka city. In other words, the rapid growing growth of people sleeping rough sleepers in recent years are visualizedhas become visible and is seen as a problematized by them residentsin the city wide rather than as being, which used to be confined into the Southern Core Area.

While it is a new problem of geographical distribution, it is also a new style of living or life of roughfor those sleeping rough sleepers., isn't it? Next, what must be asked ascertained is the relationship between with Kamagasaki amongand people sleeping rough sleepers.


3.  Relationship between to Kamagasaki among and tent and huts residents

Until recent years, the egeographical source of supplyf of rough sleeperspeople sleeping rough has used to be the Southern Core Area, and above all Kamagasaki. Among the most cases ofThe predominant group of people sleeping rough  sleepers, the career ofwere construction worksers who wereas day laborers has been overwhelmingly dominant, and they have accustomed themselves withto the life of Kamagasaki as day laborers for construction works. Just a couple of years beforeago and even now, when these peopley lapsedfell into thise life of sleeping rough sleep, Kamagasaki has beenwas the only space where thea safety network has givengave them thea minimum chance for their survival with, at least, thea supply of ewelfaref resources.

However, there exists a belief or a rumor amongrough sleepers, whomwhich we heard from our interview survey of people sleeping rough, that there is athe strong sense of the need to escape from Kamagasaki or Nishinari[FM9] has , which beenis widely shared.  with the evaluation,There is also the feeling, for example, that if he a person happens to go to live in Kamagasaki, his that personfs life might be nearly over, or he that a person should never think to about going to Nishinari. On the other hand, residents in the city, who have felt they have suffereding from the occupancy of nearby public space by rough sleeperspeople sleeping rough, tend to say that rough sleepersthose people should have to return to Nishinari, or that the owners of cheaep inns for day laborers should have to be welcome rough sleepersthem into their vacant rooms wherethat day laborers cannot pay for stayingafford to stay in just due to the economic depressionrecession. There seems to exist a deep-rooted force of to pushing rough sleeperspeople who sleep rough back into Kamagasaki.

Instead, areWho are the people who sleep rough? SleepersAre they the new urban underclass or ordinary salaried workers or small business entrepreneurs who have become unemployed or bankruptentrepreneur running small business, and, who have not experienced Kamagasaki nor or day labor construction work? The spatial [FM10] housing stock of Kamagasaki might be crucial when we consider the how to ameliorateion of the conditions of rough sleepersthose who sleep rough. However, these feeling of the need to escape from Kamagasaki and, in contrast, the arguments forof pushing people back into Kamagasaki should be carefully considered.

According to result of our interview survey in summer 1999, though this survey did not include the Southern Core Area, among of 532 respondaents who lived in tents or huts, 59% of them answered that their living/working experience was in Kamagasaki. Two interpretations of this resultmight  are be possible. Namely, whether we shcould stress on the spread of the former Kamagasaki laborers throughout in the city, or emphasize the 41% as the emergence of a new style group of people sleepingof rough, sleepers who have had no experience ofrelation with Kamagasaki or of being a day laborer.

It might be possible to regard this rate of nearly 60% as the diffusion or spilling over of eKamagasakif. However, even among those who had experienced working/living in Kamagasaki, 32% of them have already cut off their relation with neither visiting nor working in connection with Kamagasaki completely. This rate has exceedsed the share of 28%, who have still been stil visiting Kamagasaki for job-hunting etc.. Thus, this survey demonstrates that only one fourth of tent and huts sleepers dwellers have contact with Kamagasaki. On the contrary, 17% of them do not have experience of working in Kamagasaki nor or of having ever been engageding in construction works ever before. We might identify this type of roughthese people as a new group sleepers as a new type. It is also clearly shown in Fig. 5 that the rate of these sleepers with who have no experience ofnon- Kamagasaki experience increases in proportion to the distance from Kamagasaki.

More than 80% rough sleepersof people sleeping rough has their job of collecting waste articles, especially aluminum cans, for money. Although among Of those who have an had experience of Kamagasaki, 90% of them are doing a certain kinds of work., but amongOf those who have not, it becomesthe percentage finding any kind of work is a third lower, that is accounted a little bit over 60%. Regarding As for the jobs which was engaged just people had before becomingthey started sleeping rough sleeper, those who have not experienced Kamagasaki, had worked in a relatively variousvaried number of  in terms of industriesy and occupations, and also had had got a little bit of stability ande status. Concerning As for the former housing type just before becoming rough sleeperhomeless, those who have experienced Kamagasaki, had lived mostly in cheap inns or in laborersf dormitoriesy., on the contrary In contrast, more than 50 per cent of those who have not experienced Kamagasaki, had lived, more than a half, in rental apartments or houses, their parentfs home or owned their own house.

   On the one side, tThe feeling of the need to escape from Kamagasaki , orand on the other side, the negative imaginative geography toward Kamagasaki is complicated by the appearance of this new group of people who are sleeping rough.  with sharing by new type of rough sleepers, complicates this problem. There are two alternative ways of thinking:; to draw adivided line on the map to preventing the diffusioned rough sleepersof people sleeping rough across into the whole of Osaka city and to thus confine once again these issues only in to Kamagasaki;, or to accept this map of diffusion and consider new progress of this policies to address the issuey. It is necessary for ordinary residents, city administrators and the people sleeping rough themselves to catch and think of seriously this issue as a city-wide phenomenon. for ordinary residents, city staffs and rough sleepers themselves.


Ordinary residentsf opinions

ThenSo, how do ordinary residents recognizeview to this marked increase of in people sleeping rough sleepers? Our questionnaire survey of residentfsf opinions poll, which was held a poll conducted at the end of 1998, asked 8,000 residents in Osaka city, about their degree of recognition of the problem, their ideas of about how to solve the problem,solution and their strain feelings of about facing the presence of people sleeping rough sleepers in public spaces.

There was a cConsiderable difference between in the degree of concern and attitude to this issue which was dependent upon the location of places of the respondents is detected in terms of degree of concern and attitude to this issue. The degree of concern to about the problem of people sleeping rough sleeper problem is higher among the white-collar peoplefsworkers with residential quarters in the adjacent city center and the southern districts. On the other hand, this rate of degreeconcern is relatively low among the residents living in the Southern Core Area, which a finding alreadyit is already pointed out in the former previous chapter. In the latter area, the continual existence of people sleeping rough sleepers has not, in some part ways, evoked the expectation of this kind of research. Accordingly, these Southern Core Area residents recognize their problem as the being part and parcel of their daily troubles such as scattereding garbage, wastes, and the selfish use of private properties, which are all a hindrance to business. But this type of response is at most 20%; conversely, from 60 to 70% of responses find it a severe problem, which are concerned with when the issue is related toof civic beauty, and annoyance ofat the abuse of public spaces. This latter type of response is most typically seen in the middle-class residential area of the southern district in Osaka city.

In the Southern Core Area, since the physical distance between those sleeping rough sleepers and ordinary residents are is close, and both groups sustains, in a sense, a epeaceful co-existencef. On the other hand, especially for the residents in the residential districts particularly in the south, it is a newly emerged problem, and when faced with the eillegalf use of public space by people sleeping rough they express their opinion on this problem asin the form ofmanifestation of trouble, insecurity, fear, etc about the manifestation of trouble.  facing the eillegalf use of public space by rough sleepers.


4.  Intention of escaping from rough sleepthe life of sleeping rough

ThenSo, how does people who sleep rough sleepers themselves view their future? The survey of people sleeping rough conducted in theof  summer 1999 also askeds to rough sleepers what their intentions  of their future viewwere:, whether they would (1) to work in a stable job after quitting sleeping rough;sleep, or (2) to owego on social welfare,; or (3) to continue sleeping rough at night and work as it were. The balance of this rateanswer results for this question hasve had a big influence on the formation of active participation by each member of municipal office staffs, orand on the national consensus., at the moment theThe Hhomeless aAct (Special -Measures Act for the Support of theSelf- Independencet of Homeless People) has was enforced last summer of 2002. Since the peoplefs views to about those sleeping rough  sleepers seems to still be still severe and indifferent due because ofto their imaginative image or belief that these people are of idleness and dirtyiness of rough sleeper. The sSituation might be even worse, if the rate of (3) would becomes higher. In such a situation, Governmentit [FM11]  should prepared to motivate take the opportunity to execute smoothly the support actions and programs instituted by this Aact. Therefore, it is important at this moment in time to protect the human rights of people sleeping rough sleepers through the enlightenment of the public  enlightenment and to obtain the a national consensus of this arenaon this issue.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare, for the first time, announced in May 1999, for the first time, thea new policy entitled eethe Urgent counter-measures to address the homeless problemff. This announcement classifieds those sleeping rough sleepers asinto three types of:, (a) those who have an intentsion to work but fail to get a job and become homeless;, (b) those who need medical treatment and welfare support etc; and., (c) those who refuse to be socialized into an ordinary lifepart of society. Each type has set awas assigned (a) the specific service of an independence support center;, (b) a hospital and or care facility;, and (c) nothing identified, respectively. This classification was criticized by supporters organizations thatbecause it does not guarantee the right of self-determination of people sleeping rough sleepersto choose and deprives them of the opportunity to intentionally act according to his / hertheir own decisions. Support organizations argued that , rather theythe homeless required more a flexible /  and more finely tunedr services and assistance.ids should be required.

 The classification system used by the Min.istry of Health and Welfare is indirectly demonstrated in Table. 5 by our survey which shows that nearly a half of people sleeping rough sleepers hope to work, 10% of them hope to be dependent on welfare services, and over 20% of them want to continue sleeping rough. In comparison, the rate of those who hope to work in the case of the 1999 survey by Tokyo Metropolitan government is over 70%, and is over 60 % in the case of the 2001 survey by Osaka prefecturee government. At the same time, one third of them answered that they wanted to be left to let themselves alone, to desired nothing, or does did not answer. The system for responding these to these types of answersways of decision, where there is no request for authorized service for rough people sleeping roughsleepers, are not yet prepared at this moment.

Through the accumulation of frequent outreach interviews and consultations, and, at the same time, the development of the support for housing and employment, we should try to motivate them the homeless to push move toward an alternative lifves other than rough sleep patiently and continually support them. Conversely, Iit is, no doubtundoubtedly, an urgent task to perform thetake  suitable action for those who require care due to illness and aged by using the existing usable operation of welfare and pension system.


5.  The A new stage in the policy for theof  homeless policy in Kamagasaki

A homeless policy to address homelessness inof Japan has started, for the first time, after the above-mentioned announcement of the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 1999. Thereafter, Osaka city government, actually, was destined to moved run fast to provide introduce a policy in for tackling withthe  rough sleepers issue of people sleeping rough. Here, let me show outline the brief history of the trials and accomplishments in Osaka city as a forerunner in addressing this arenaissue in Japan.

From around 1995, labor unions, Christianity associations, and the NPO set upabout voluntarily outreach activityies, and began offering life consultations to rough sleeperspeople sleeping rough. These actions were important in thatimportantly led the route they paved the way to the to apply life protection toof people sleeping roughsleepers for and in assisting them to escape their homeless situation and live an ordinary lifeving. From the viewpoint of security, of the minimum condition for this is aof dwelling, and the first step was taken by the opening of the ground floor space of the Airin District Complex Center in 1997 after the tough negotiation with the prefecture government., The next achievement wasthen gained the opening of a short-stay care center for short term stay in 1998, and this was followed at the end of 1998 by the installation of the a large tent which could be used as an urgentemergency shelter at the end of 1998. Moreover, the public employment for old people over 55 years old in the public sector was also startedoffered.

In 1999, there occurred the foundation of NPO Kamagasaki Supporting Organization was founded, which is offersserving various support activities for day laborers and people sleepingrough sleepers. Concurrently, the municipal government itself started an outreach service, on the other hand,and managers in of cheap inns for day laborers also began to consider supporting people sleeping roughsleeperfs support in 1999.

In 2000, a large-scaled shelter containing 600 beds for an overnight stays was constructed in the Airin dDistrict, which is accommodated with 600 beds. Moreover, several supportive houses for the ex-rough homeless sleepers withwhich provideing welfare care and support services also started to run business, and were which were remodeled from the former cheap inns for day laborers.

Three independence support centers for rough sleeperspeople sleeping rough were also established in autumn atof the same year, and the a short-term accommodation shelter was constructed for the hundreds of rough sleeperspeople sleeping rough in Nagai Park was constructed within this the park area itself, whereone of the venues where World cCup soccer games were held in 2002. During its construction process, different objections were raised by the neighboring residents and by supportersf organizations were raised with the different opinion respectively, and, finally, they both sides were forced out to compromise to with the city government. Now, its the type of shelter constructed at Nagai has multiplied tobecomes three. About former 3,000 people who formerly slept rough sleepers are estimated to have escaped from rough sleep condition,that life and about 2,000 more rough sleepers are successfully becoming starting to live in a private rental apartment houses by through the efforts of outreach social workers and NPO activists.

   The A nationwide survey of homeless peoples was, for the first time, executed in February 2003. In Osaka city, 6,603 rough sleepers arewere identified, whose which is anumber decrease of 2,000 comparing compared with the 1998 survey.@Since aAbout 4,000 former rough sleepershomeless people are thought to have beenbe able to catch take the opportunity to use various support services and escape from their hard living lives under the open sky at night, in spite of a 2,000 increase of in people who had newly become homelessbecoming rough sleepers.

   Tracing back this series of events, which appeared in Airin Ddistrict, very many actions and organizations have been started during the previous these five years are born and are growing. And theThe changes in the style of movement of these actions and organizations have also accomplishes bigresulted in a massive conversion from in the nature of the conventional labor movement and a religious bodyfs charitable work. The former fighters of the labor unions and activists of the new left-wing are now in fully engaged ment ofin the running of NPO Kamagasaki with thewhich coordinatesion with the management of shelters, contracts of a public employment programs and welfare support for welfare, making establishing a close relationship with Osaka city government, whose a relationship which relation had formerly been in conflict with antagonismantagonistic.

   Besides NPO Kamagasaki, Kamagasaki Community Regeneration Forum, which had established in 1999, is also very influential and unique in Japan. They This forum zealously pursues activities with the following slogans: from rough sleeper countermeasures to community development;, self-reliance rooted in the community;, community development enabling Kamagasaki to be livable for anybody. Various people come to join as members of the executive committee of this forum and participate as free individuals. By holding forums and workshops in the Kamagasaki area, they seek to fulfill a vision for of community development to revive residentsf living standards and we facilitate the realization of that vision. This forum is thus running a head of other organizations from the viewpoint of the urban regeneration movement as an organization, which released opened up the three-cornered closed structure of an Airin area:; traditional undue inclination to a labor movement, the commercialism of the cheap inns business, and the bureaucratism of a governmental agency.

   Although some NPOs and volunteer organizations greet welcomed the stage where it they could could finally take part in the planning of urban regeneration, at last, the urban regeneration itself has still only just started. The following fourSome scenarios might be assumedcould be envisaged, regarding with regard to the issue of people sleeping rough sleepers' issue, especially in this Airin Ddistrict, within the a span from of five to ten years  afterwardtime.


(1) There might occur the advancement of aThe ageing of day laborers and the reduction of in newthe inflowinflux ofa single male single  construction works day laborers might occur,of construction works  which have long underpinned the supportednature of the Airin Ddistrict, and this may lead to . Therefore, the community itself, which centersing on a the day laborers, of construction works may not be reproduced any moreceasing to exist.

(2) Transformation Changes may occur in terms of change of employment formtypes, the influx ofa  foreign worker'sinflow, and the increase of in an current unstable employment class of the younger generation.

(3) Gradual change from deprived areas to attractive placesmay progress like the which include such areas as spaces for global travelers and consumption spaces like a street markets.

(4) A wWelfare-oriented community may be born as a space where the poor and needy are gently accepted, where they can have agiving definite aim in life and, haveing fun with vital aged lifeand a healthy old age. 


   When considering the future of the Airin District, iIt will be comea basic underlying principle to establish the middlemedium-term prospect of urban regeneration when considering the future of Airin district. Urban regeneration of the inner city area has just started such as in areas such as Kamagasaki and Sanya in Tokyo where the rough sleepersf issue of people sleeping rough is a central problem. Thereis is a truly new style of urban regeneration in Japan, which involves an extensive NPO and volunteer groupsf activities. The keys of to success of for this urban regeneration are surely owinglie in to the ability of the NPO and volunteers, in enterprise accumulation, in the initiative of the administration, and in adequate funding.


 [FM1] Not just men. It is important not to just refer to men as representative of men and women..

 [FM2] I presume you mean continued from 1970 to 2000? In which case, gThush is incorrect.

 [FM3] Meaning of using gmovementh is not clear.  Do you mean illegal immigrant laborers?

 [FM4] Deleted.  It is not necessary to repeat the same thing in the next sentence.  The point is clear.

 [FM5] This is part of the sentence is not clear and is in my opinion overstating the case.

 [FM6] Osaka is not a capital city.

 [FM7] This is not a comparative paper about the situation in the US and Japan as you provide no detailed discussion on the US experience.

 [FM8] What is NPO? You need to write in full for readersf benefit.

 [FM9] Perhaps it would be a good idea to make this clear earlier on in the paper.

 [FM10] Spatial stock?  Size of the area or do you mean housing?

 [FM11] Who or what is it?  The government? Everyone?