[Hpn] TOKYO - STOP HOMELESS EVICTIONS from Veno Park / Protest FAXES requested (fwd) requested (fwd)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Thu, 21 Dec 2000 13:38:04 -0800 (PST)


FWD  Wed, 20 Dec 2000 via Food Not Bombs list [FNB info near end of post]
REPLY TO: San'ya Welfare Center for Day-Laborers' Association



   My name is Nasubi, an activist for homeless people and day-laborers in
Japan.  We have produced and supported actions of homeless people mainly in
   I think the past report, "[FNB-L] JAPAN homeless fear Government Plan =
more Forced Relocation" (Fri, 15 Dec 2000), is rather fair.  Recently, we
organizations of homeless people in Japan have been faced with some
   Now, I would like to ask you to support our protest against an eviction
in Ueno Park of Tokyo.  The following is an appeal for asking a fax massage
against the evictions to the Office of Tokyo metropolitan government.
   Please assist our protests with your fax massage !

- Peace,
Nasubi <nasubi@jca.apc.org>

Dear Friends,

This is an urgent appeal from organizations of homeless people and activist
in Japan about eviction threats in Ueno Park in Tokyo.  Immediately
threatened are 23 of the 400 homeless people living in the said park.  The
eviction, however, can become a precedent because the government is using
the establishment of government "self-support centres" to justify evictions.

The Administration Office of the Tokyo Eastern Parks urged the people to
move out because of the plan of the government to widen a road in the park
last November.  The office said the people should move into so-called
self-support centres, which were opened in mid-November in order to
facilitate homeless people to get jobs.  However, most of the people living
in the park have rejected this offer because it is difficult to get jobs even
through the centre now.  The capacity of the two centres is only 150 people
but there are more than 6,000 homeless people in Tokyo; and the centres are
already full.

After a serious fire in the card-board village at Shinjuku station killed
four homeless people in February 1998, the organization of homeless people
in Tokyo demanded public support for houses, jobs and welfare, and
negotiated with the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Japanese central
government for these.  The organization has claimed that the government
should arrange various options from which each homeless person can select
what he thinks is best for him out of his own free will (the self-support
centre is just one of them), and that the government should not conduct any
evictions.  Finally, the Tokyo metropolitan government opened two
self-support centres in Tokyo in  mid-November while the Japanese central
government also began constructing similar centres in other cities.  The
organization of homeless people, however, has said that the government
should not use the centres as a pretence for forced evictions.

Because of this, nearly 200 homeless people went to the health and welfare
department of the City Office on November 8 and 9, 2000 and secured some
concessions.  Apparently, however, the administration office of the Tokyo
Eastern Parks is still bent on going ahead with the evictions.

Determined to continue with their struggle, they are asking for our support
in the form of letters to be sent to:

Mr. Yanagisawa
the Administration Office of Tokyo Eastern Parks
Fax. +81-3-5685-0144.

Please let us not let them down.

Kindly furnish copies of your letters to:

Nasubi, member
San'ya Welfare Center for Day-Laborers' Association
1-25-11 Nihon-zutumi, Taito, Tokyo 111, JAPAN
Phone/fax: +81-3-3876-7073
Email: nasubi@jca.apc.org

Below is a sample letter that may be useful to you.

Sample letter

Mr. Yanagisawa
The Administration Office of Tokyo Eastern Parks
City of Tokyo
Fax. +81-3-5685-0144

Dear Sir:

Our office/organization has learned from organizations of homeless people
and NGOs in Japan that your Office is determined to forcibly evict the
homeless people in Ueno Park.  Although you seem to argue that the
self-support centre will serve as alternative housing for the people to be
evicted, we learned that there are actually no more rooms in the centre that
can accommodate the 23 homeless people who will be evicted.  Moreover, the
people say they have not been consulted whether they prefer to go to the
centre or have some other options, and would be forced to go there against
their will.

They say this eviction will create an upsurge of more evictions in Tokyo and
other cities of Japan that the government can justify with the establishment
of so-called self-support centres.

All this obviously indicates that the evictions to be undertaken will be
forced evictions.

May we remind you that according to the United Nations and the Istanbul
Habitat II Conference "forced evictions are a gross violation of human
rights, in particular the right to adequate housing."  It would indeed be a
shame that a rich and progressive country like Japan and a city like Tokyo
would violate the human rights of the poorest of its citizens.

We therefore earnestly urge your Office to desist from committing such an
act.  As the experience in other and generally poorer countries have shown,
forced evictions do not solve problems; in fact, they only worsen them.
Moreover, where government, affected communities and their NGOs sit down
together to study, negotiate and look for solutions, something positive and
good usually comes out.

We strongly suggest that your Office will sit down with the  representatives
of the San'ya Day-Laborers' Union for Disputation, the Executive Committee
of the Anti-unemployment Movement, and the homeless in Ueno Park.

Respectfully yours,

Name of the organization/group

               nasubi  <nasubi@jca.apc.org>   (^o^)/~
  San'ya Welfare Center for Day-Laborers' Association
    1-25-11 Nihon-zutumi, Taito, Tokyo 111, JAPAN
                    Phone/Fax: +81-3-3876-7073
  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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[Hpn] JAPAN homeless fear Government Plan = more Forced Relocation (fwd)
      Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
      Fri, 15 Dec 2000 13:24:14 -0800 (PST)

FWD  Asahi Evening News - December 15, 2000

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