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(Nov 19, 2008) On October 3, 2008, the Supreme Court of Japan affirmed the Osaka High Court decision that a homeless person cannot register a public park as his address with a municipal government. The plaintiff was illegally living in a tent in a public park. The Supreme Court stated that the tent in a park was not regarded by society as his home base. Advocates for the plaintiff argued that the locations of tents of the homeless should be recognized as their addresses, so that they can receive welfare benefits. Most of the homeless are not covered by the social welfare system, because a registered address is required to receive welfare benefits. Critics of the lawsuit said that the plaintiffs should have argued their case on the basis of the way the welfare benefits are granted rather than on the legal definition of an address. (Heisei 19 (gyo hi) 137 (S. Ct. second petit bench, Oct. 3, 2008), Supreme Court website, available at
; Osaka Ohgi-chō kōen no hōmulesu jūsho mondai: kōsai ga gyakuten de jūsho mitomenu hanketsu [Homeless's address in Ohgi-cho park in Osaka: the High Court reversed the lower court and denied the address], JANJAN, Jan. 24, 2007, available at

Author: Sayuri Umeda More by this author
Topic: Social Welfare More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Japan More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 11/19/2008