Hibiya Park tent village for laid-off workers draws 300

The population of a temporary tent village set up for people who have lost their jobs and housing had exceeded 300 by Friday compared with about 130 on New Year’s Eve when volunteers first established it in Tokyo’s Hibiya Park, organizers said.

“People here have been worn out due to the cold . . . an emergency shelter such as a gymnasium is necessary as soon as possible,” said a leader of the organizers, who said the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry was asked to act fast.

The “year-crossing temp worker village” was set up in the park Wednesday in front of the Imperial Hotel, one of the country’s most luxurious inns, to provide free food and shelter for homeless people, including laid-off temporary workers who have been forced to leave the accommodations of their employers.