Tokyo metropolitan government tells NPO to stop feeding homeless

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    The Tokyo metropolitan government has ordered the nonprofit Catholic charity organization Sanyukai to stop giving free meals to homeless people along the Sumida river. Government officials claim they had received many complaints about the program:

    Metro officials said most of the complaints were filed since last spring by parents of students attending local schools who fear the kids will come in contact with those waiting for free meals.

    In addition, the activity infringes on Article 24 of the river law, which forbids occupancy of public riverbeds without proper authorization, according to the metro officials.

    “We’ve been conducting handouts at the riverbed for over a decade. I don’t understand why we are receiving these complaints now,” Sanyukai Director Jean Le Beau said.

    The group has been told to end the weekly meals, which attract 300 to 500 homeless people near Komagata Bridge, by March.

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