Net cafe refugees, also known as cyber-homeless are a class of homeless people in Japan who do not own or rent a residence (thus having no permanent address) and sleep in 24-hour Internet cafes or manga cafes.
Although such cafes originally provided only Internet services, some have expanded their services to include food, drink, and showers. They are often used by commuters who miss the last train; however, the net cafe refugee trend has seen large numbers of people use them as their homes.
The conditions do not look as dire, but you know what living in a private viewing booth in a Japanese internet cafe reminds me of? H0ng K0ng “coffin homes”.
I don’t know about permanent, but if you can live small or pack light, using an internet cafe is cheaper than rent or the cheapest traditional lodgings.
Available services like laundromats or “discounted monthly packages” offered by some, suggests that operators understand that at least some people are using their facilities as housing.
This is what Japanese cyber-cafes offer every day.
Most customers just spend an hour or two here. But there are thousands who spend their lives in them.
An estimated 5,400 people in Tokyo alone (2009 figures) who spend at least half the week in a cybercafe may not sound like much, but keep in mind that in 2014, the estimated number of homeless in Tokyo was “only” 1,497, or in 2018, the welfare ministry estimated there were under 5,000 homeless people in the entire nation.