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(Colloquium) Japanese public perceptions of homelessness by Hiroshi Goto

This is a past event.

Thursday, February 1 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

MANGO - MANGO Building, 222
11200 SW 8th ST, MANGO Building, Miami, Florida 33199

This study deals with public perceptions of homelessness in Japan. The purpose of this research is to clarify the characteristics of Japanese public perception, attitude, and practices toward homelessness by comparing the study results with that of similar surveys conducted in other countries. This study considered the “not in my backyard” (Nimby) syndrome as a representation of the difficulties involved in assisting the homeless to examine what kind of people are likely (or not likely) to adopt a Nimby mindset. To achieve this purpose, from March 11–14, 2022, we surveyed 4,500 monitors (male and female/aged 20–69 years/assigned to census demographics in 5-year increments) from all over Japan that were registered with an Internet research company. First, the findings of this study were compared with similar surveys to identify the characteristics of Japan. Next. Binomial logistic regression analysis was conducted by considering the presence or absence of a Nimby mindset as the dependent variable with attitude, knowledge of homelessness, and practices as independent variables.
The analysis revealed that the percentage of positive responses regarding attitudes toward the homeless was lower in Japan in comparison with other countries. In addition, there was a high percentage of "DK/R" (don’t know/refused) responses. These results suggest Japanese citizens' "indifference" toward the homeless and that they are less likely to provide support to the homeless, either individually or through organizations. Furthermore, the findings indicated that there was no correlation between the Nimby mindset and knowledge and that participants were less likely to have a Nimby mindset if they or someone close to them had experienced a housing crisis or were involved in supporting the homeless. These results suggest that imparting knowledge alone is not sufficient to increase support for homelessness assistance and that providing simulated experiences of homelessness and setting up opportunities for direct interaction with homeless people are more effective measures.


Speaker Information

Hiroshi GOTO is a professor at Rikkyo University in the college of community and human services. He started his career as a social worker for a homeless support non-profit organization(San-Yu-Kai)in Japan. He is currently interested in both local-level and global-level research on the homelessness. The former is an analysis of case records of homeless self-reliance support centers (Transitional housing) in Japan, and the latter is a comparative study of public assistance in the US and Japan.

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