26 Nov. 2021
Graduate School of Human Life and Ecology
I investigate the nature of social policies for the homeless, poor, and other people facing economic hardships, many of which gather in a town in Osaka called Kamagasaki. It has the most day laborers in the country even compared to Tokyo, Yokohama, and Nagoya.
I think there is an advantage in my work by looking outside Japan. For example, I learned from my visits to Pennsylvania and New York last year that not only do people sleep in very public places such as cafes and train stations, but I also saw a police officer who was cracking down on people who were falling asleep on public benches.
Like the U.S., Japan has one of highest economic levels in the world, but a robust GDP doesn’t mean there are no poor people living there. I’ve met a lot of people across the country living in apartments who still struggle to feed themselves and their children day to day. So, I think the first major characteristic of poverty is it is hard to see – we need to go and see and feel the problem.
This university is one of the nation’s leading institutions with many specialized researchers on poverty and social policy. We do not limit itself to the specific field of social welfare but use a wide range of researchers related to that field, because social policies are meaningful only when they reach the people who need them.
In the field of poverty and social policy, I think it is extremely important to keep this specialized knowledge in mind while going back and forth between the field and the university to analyze and examine the results.