net addict by Osmani Simanca

Net cafe refugees (also known as cyber-homeless) is a term for a growing class of homeless people in Japan who do not own or rent a residence and thus have no permanent address and sleep in 24 hour Internet cafés or manga cafés. Some internet cafes offer free showers and sell underwear and other personal items, enabling net cafe refugees to use the internet cafes like a hotel or hostel.

A Japanese government study estimated that over 5,400 people are spending at least half of their week staying in net cafes. It has been alleged that this phenomenon is part of an increasing wealth gap in Japan, which has historically been a very economically equal society. Another word for Net cafe refugees is Cyber-homeless, a Japanese word based on English. Typically, the cyber-homeless are unemployed or underemployed and cannot afford to rent even the cheapest apartment, which is more than the cost per month to rent an internet booth daily. The cyber-homeless may use the address of the internet cafe on resumes.

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