Tokyo snubs call to keep shelter, services for homeless

An antipoverty citizens’ group is asking the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to continue providing shelter and life-counseling services to hundreds of jobless and homeless people staying at a temporary shelter due to be shut down Monday.

The group, called one-stop no kai, is made up of activists who set up a tent village in Tokyo’s Hibiya Park for jobless and homeless people during the yearend period last year.

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said Jan. 8 the Jan. 18 deadline for shutting down the Ota Ward shelter stands.

Officials said 542 jobless and homeless people were in the shelter as of Tuesday, and the metro government will end the job counseling service the same day the shelter is closed.