Friday, September 28, 2007

Surfing the nightmare

I am saddened by this story from Tokyo. It reveals the fact that a large underclass of effectively homeless people, are sheltering in 24hr Internet cafes because this is the cheapest way to live other than living on the pavement.

Tanaka has been dividing his time between internet cafes, capsule hotels and all-night saunas for the past three years since fleeing his home in Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo, after falling behind on his rent. "I know it's cramped here, but there is no way I could afford the deposit and rent on an apartment, even a one-room place," he says as he devours a Slush Puppie with a plastic spoon. "All the drinks are free, I can use the PC for as long as I like, and there's even a shower upstairs."

For all this he pays about 1,000 yen (£4.30) a night. On days when there is no room at the cafe, or when he craves a little more comfort, he pays a little more and stays at a capsule hotel - a bed and a TV in a room only slightly bigger than a coffin, with communal showers
If this is what you can look forward to after a long day slaving on a building site, how is this much different to slavery? We cannot expect to help those in Africa or living under the jackboot of western approved dictators, when we tolerate this kind of stuff under our very nose. If our country is about 'British values of justice' etc, we should not have thousands of people sleeping on our streets and totally reliant on charities for survival. How can we afford billions for missiles to kill foreigners and yet not be able to feed and house our own population?


Post a Comment

<< Home