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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 January 31 - February 6  > 75% of ‘Net café refugees’ employed in low-wage, unstable jobs
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2018 January 31 - February 6 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

75% of ‘Net café refugees’ employed in low-wage, unstable jobs

February 4, 2018
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government recently released the results of a survey indicating that 75% of “Net café refugees” work in low-wage, unstable jobs.

The metropolitan government between November 2016 and January 2017 conducted its first survey of so-called “Net café refugees” who have no fixed address and spend their nights in 24-hour internet cafes. According to the survey, there are about 4,000 “Net café refugees” in the metropolis.

Most Net café refugees were men (98%). The largest age group was in the 30-39 range with a 39 percent share, while the 50-59 age range comprised the second largest group (29%). People in the 40 to 49 age group and the 20 to 29 group made up the third largest (17%) and the fourth largest (12%), respectively.

The percentage of those who are employed stood at 87%. Of the total, 35.5% worked as non-regular part-time workers and 39.1% worked as temps and contract workers. Regarding the question about monthly earnings, 47% of the employed said they earned 100,000-150,000 yen on average and 13% said 50,000-100,000 yen.

Asked the reason for having no home, the majority of the respondents said: “I lost my job and became unable to pay the rent (32%)” and “I became unemployed and had to move out a company dormitory (21%).” As for the question of why they use Net cafes as a home substitute, the largest percentage or 63% of the respondents said that they are unable to save the amount of money needed to pay for the initial cost for renting an apartment, while 33% answered that they have no stable source of income.

Lawyer Hayashi Osamu who works on the issue of poverty and housing pointed out, “More and more people have fallen into poverty in the past 10 years and many of them lost their homes. The major factor behind this situation is the widespread use of contingent workers.” He criticized the government for neglecting to place housing support in its welfare policies, which leads to the shortage of public housing and the lack of housing aid for low-income workers. He said that the need is for the government to drastically change its housing policy and take measures to provide stable jobs to all workers.

Past related article:
> Labor Ministry conducts 1st survey on ‘Net cafe refugees’ [August 29, 2007]
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