Coronavirus Handout Not Reaching Some Homeless in Japan

Politics Society

Tokyo, Aug. 24 (Jiji Press)--Some homeless people in Japan are still being left out of the government's 100,000-yen cash handout program in its coronavirus crisis response as many municipalities nationwide are set to close applications for the scheme by the end of this month.

Supporters say that those who need the money the most are being left behind, calling on local governments to extend their application deadlines or distribute the money to even homeless people without resident registrations.

To receive the cash benefit, citizens must make applications at relevant municipal governments, but those without resident registrations, such as homeless people, cannot do this.

"I've given up, thinking it's impossible," said a 63-year-old man who came to a park in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward to receive free food from a support group on the night of Aug. 15. He has been living on the streets for about 25 years, and his resident registration has already been canceled. What little income he gains from collecting empty cans has decreased due to the effects of the coronavirus epidemic.

"I'm also suffering," he said. "It's unfair, because the money was supposed to be handed out to everyone."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press