24.February.2001

★FORCED EVICTION OF THE HOMELESS
  FOR THE OLYMPIC GAME!!!

To the press

               Association of Poor people in Nagai park, Osaka,japan
                    (Nakama-no-kai)
                           TEL: 090-1130-8602
We are the group formed by the homeless living in Nagai Park in Osaka. In
the vicinity of the park there are sports installations that may be used
for the Olympic in the year 2008 (if Osaka is selected). Osaka City Authority
began removing the homeless in the park by force. Whether having a job or
not, we have the right to live. We also petitioned the UN and IOC
committees
to take immediate measures so that Osaka City and the Japanese Government
will duly respect Human Rights and stop their immoral act.
There were 480 tents in Nagai Park when the removal began. Last November,
Osaka City Authority opened a temporary shelter in the park and began
removing the homeless by force. An IOC inspection team is expected to visit
the park this February. The act of removal has been intensified. As a
result, there are only 50 homeless people left in the park. Osaka City
Authority claims that they are not forcing but persuading the homeless to
move to the shelter. The Authority denies the connection between this act
and the Olympic plan. But it is obvious to us that we have been evicted by
force.
The 20 prefabricated shelters have been planned with no consultation with
the homeless people involved, although the authority had been aiming at the
forced eviction of the homeless in the park from the beginning. In fact,
the
shelter was built in the form that makes the homeless difficult to survive.
For example, if we stay in the center, we cannot continue collecting empty
aluminum cans for survival. Initially, 90 % of the homeless people refused
to move to the center.
Although 135 people have been forced to enter the center, there are at
least
150 people trying to resettle in other parks in Osaka at the moment.
Moreover, those who have decided to leave the center because of its poor
conditions are now faced with serious problems. When they entered the
center, they were forced to sign the agreement saying that they withdraw
their tents in the park. So they have no means and places to resettle.
There are now at least 30 thousands homeless people in Japan. There is an
increasing number of the forced removal of the homeless by authorities. The
Japanese Government should be condemned for the serious violation of human
rights, especially in the light of the Habitat Agenda signed by many
countries in 1996 in Istanbul. The government of Japan will be asked to
present their performance reports on the implementation of their
commitments
to Habitat II in the Istanbul + 5 Conference, which will be held in New
York
City in June 2001. We are afraid, that the Japanese government could get
embarrassed in this forum on the issue of the right to adequate housing and
forced evictions, including the issue of the Nagai Park homeless people
vis-a-vis Japan's bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games.

Appendix: Report of the Shelter in Nagai Park
We report you the interviews revealing the situation of the shelter, which
have been open for the Homeless People in Nagai Park, Osaka, JAPAN, since
the end of 2000.
*All they supply us as daily supper is just a bowl of rice and pickles. We
are required to eat the meal till 8 P.M. Otherwise we cannot have supper,
usually.
*We hear also of the possibility that they stop suppling even that supper.
*There are people who occupy the facilities like TV, cooking stoves,
washing
machine etc.
*Each prefabulicated shelter find a sort of “boss”, who intends to rule
the residents.
*Every day we find troubles caused by drinking in the shelter and that
exhaustes many of us, and we get anxious always.
*There is only a tiny space to dry laundries. And it is not available any
more , if it rains.
*The administrator watch us always, who participates in the soup-kitchen
held in front of the shelter.(The soup-kitchen mentioned here is held by
the
homeless people who recognize problems of the shelter policy and survive in
the park). Other thatn participants in the soup kitchen, those who make
proposals to improve situation in shelter, are considered as men of
blacklist.
*So far 16 residents have get out of the shelter on their own will. But
almost half of us are not satisfied especially with the way of the shelter
administration.
*10 residents per day can get job as the guards in the shelter, but the job
opportunities and wages for it are too low (20$ for whole day work).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   Association of Poor people in Nagai park (Nakamanokai)   _/
/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

▲Vi venkos !! Ni venkos !!▼
   ▲We're NOT DUST. We shall NOT REMOVE !▼

Nagai-kouen, Higasi Sumiyosi-ku, oosaka-si
 <GO INDEX>