Net Cafe Refugee

net cafe refugee

Net cafe refugees, also known as cyber-homeless, is a term for a growing class of people in Japan who do not own or rent a residence and thus have no permanent address and sleep in 24 hour Internet or manga cafés. Goods and services offered at these establishments has grown to include food, undergarments and other personal items, and showers. They are often used by commuters who miss the last train, but a growing number of people use net cafes as a temporary shelter. The fee of 1400-2400 yen (US $18-31) for a night—which may include free soft drinks, TV, comics and internet access—is less than for capsule hotels. Some cyber-homeless may also be freeters, a Japanese expression for people between the ages of 15 and 34 who lack full time employment or are unemployed, excluding housewives and students.

According to a Japanese government survey, those staying have little interest in manga or the Internet, and are instead using the place because of the low price relative to any of the competition for temporary housing, business hotels, capsule hotels, hostels, or any other option besides sleeping on the street. It was also estimated that about half of those staying have no job, while the other half work in low-paid temporary jobs, which paid around 100,000 yen ($1000) per month – lower than what is needed to rent an apartment and pay for transportation in a city like Tokyo.

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