Mainichi reports that a starving homeless woman who was taken to city hall to get food, died in the street before she was able to eat what was given to her - a packet of dried rice that needed hot water added to it. This is the kind of story that really disgusts me in relation to attitudes to the homeless here. Firstly, didn't the ambulance men have the decency to buy her a sandwich? Secondly, you don't give a starving person a meal they have to prepare, especially if they are too weak to prepare it. Thirdly someone should have invited her inside to eat it, not left her lying outside with not even a blanket for cover.
Homeless people get little or no support from the government or charities and are expected to fend for themselves collecting old comic books to sell or cardboard to recycle. However even these paltry sources of income are under threat. Stations have taken to putting locks on recycle bins and local councils have now started fining people who take away cardboard boxes, see Daily Yomiuri
The tragedy is that councils manage to make a loss on their paper recycling enterprises but the private companies who pay the homeless for their efforts make a profit. Soon this kind of sight may be a thing of the past: