“The election of the president of the Liberal Democratic Party. I don’t have any expectations at all, no matter who it is.
Tsuyoshi Inaba, president of the Tsukuroi Tokyo Fund, which continues to support the needy, is adamant about this.
“After the Abe administration, in the past nine years of LDP rule, inequality and poverty have spread, and many people have lived in poverty. The Corona disaster has spread the poverty even further. Now that the election for the presidency has begun, some candidates have suddenly begun to talk about the need to address inequality and poverty, but no matter which candidate becomes president this time, we cannot expect much from them because they are the ones who have supported the Abe and Kan administrations up to now.
When the Abe cabinet was formed in 2012, the first thing it “did” was to lower the cost of welfare.
The first thing the Abe cabinet did when it took office in 2012 was to lower the cost of public assistance. “Targeting people who were living modestly on public assistance, some LDP lawmakers launched a fierce bashing campaign in 2012, and after the LDP returned to power, they forced through a revision of the law to lower the standards for public assistance and make it harder for people to use it. As a result, even now, there is an atmosphere that makes people who are living on the edge or living on the streets say, ‘I don’t want to receive public assistance.
When I recommend receiving public assistance at counseling sessions, many people say, “Absolutely not,” or “I’m not comfortable with it. The “homeless people” who lost their jobs after the Corona disaster and are now living in Internet cafes or on the streets are no exception to this rule.
“People on the street who have “moved to a less conspicuous place
This year, the Tokyo Olympics were finally held.
“The movement to remove street dwellers from the city has been going on for a long time, but after the decision was made to hold the Olympics in Tokyo in 2013, the removal of street dwellers became stronger. The park benches where street dwellers used to rest during the night hours have been modified with “exclusion art” so that they can no longer lie down. There has also been a growing movement to fence off parks, lock them up at night, and brighten the lights so that people cannot sleep. This has spread over the past few years.
Last November, a woman living on the street was brutally murdered at a bus stop in Hatagaya, Shibuya Ward. In November last year, a woman living on the street was brutally murdered at a bus stop in Hatagaya, Shibuya.
“When I was on my night rounds, the places where I used to sleep and stay were disappearing fast. In one case, the park management office asked us to move out of the way during the Olympics. During this time, some people have moved to less conspicuous places and have been able to survive.
Next to the food waste from the Olympics, “I have nothing to eat today.
The Tokyo Olympics, which “went off without a hitch,” were also plagued by massive food waste. It is said that 130,000 lunchboxes for the staff were discarded without being touched, and at the athletes’ village, a large amount of food was thrown away every day, even unopened seasonings were discarded on the last day. On the other hand, hundreds of people lined up each time for food distribution for the needy.
“Corona was hit hard by the loss of jobs, especially for women and young people in the service industry. Today, more and more people are saying they have nothing to eat or nothing to feed their children.
In the past year and a half that the new corona infection has been spreading, Ms. Inaba calls the situation a “poverty pandemic.
Inaba calls the situation a “poverty pandemic.” “As the corona epidemic drags on, poverty is only going to increase. The number of reports of poverty has decreased compared to the past, but the number of homeless support groups in Tokyo has increased. However, in late September, the number of people who came to the food drives conducted by homeless support groups around Tokyo reached the highest level in the past 10 years. Today, the number of people who have no food to eat and no place to sleep is increasing. The situation in the field of support for the needy is becoming increasingly serious.
In the face of the “poverty pandemic,” the field of support has reached its limits.
The number of cases where “ordinary people” are unable to make a living is increasing dramatically as the poverty of the Corona disaster spreads.
“When I saw the Kan administration’s year in power, I thought, ‘These people really don’t care about protecting people’s lives and livelihoods. In the face of such a crisis and the Corona disaster, they did not take any effective measures. What we need to do now is to take measures to support people’s lives, such as drastic cash transfers and housing assistance.
The functioning of public health centers is also deteriorating due to the exhaustion of the public health centers that serve as contact points for the new coronas. There has been no end to the number of illegal responses at the public assistance counter. But
“Many of the counter staff are also non-regular employees. Due to the reduction of civil servants, there are cases where people are forced to work too hard.
The ruling party is preoccupied with the presidential election and the Diet is not in session.
“We have been told to help ourselves and others, but the private sector has reached its limit. In the next election, I want to choose someone who will give top priority to protecting people’s lives and livelihoods. I want a government that does not cut off the weak.
Mr. Inaba and other private supporters are still running around today to help people in need.
Takeshi Inaba: Born in 1969, Inaba has been involved in support activities for the needy since 1994. “He is the president of the Tsukuroi Tokyo Fund and a visiting professor at Rikkyo University Graduate School. His book “Poverty Pandemic” (Akashi Shoten), a record of his support activities for the Corona disaster, includes concrete proposals for policy.