Do You Want to Know How It Feels to Live In an Internet Café? Japan’s Homeless Workers Will Show You

By Anne Cacherell

Net Café Refugees is a 10-minute documentary film created by award-winning photojournalist Shiho Fukada. This fascinating short video has raised awareness to the challenges of Japan’s homeless temporary workers.

According to a survey conducted by their Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2007, almost 10% of the people who are spending the night at internet cafes live there. Due to low-income and rising rental costs, these people cannot afford to rent their own apartment so they take advantage of the benefits of living in an internet café.

In Japan, 24-hour internet cafes have private rooms spacious enough to sleep on. They also have facilities like kitchens and bathrooms. On the other hand, showers can be taken at a local bathhouse.

It is disturbing how other people are forced to work to death yet can’t afford to have a decent home. How did you feel after watching this documentary? What do you think “people with power” can do about this situation? Tell us what’s on your mind.