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Sapporo’s streets are no place for the homeless in harsh midwinter

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Tourists flock to Sapporo in midwinter, while the city's homeless shiver in the brutal cold. During the latest long weekend, I spent one night with a group of volunteers who patrol the city every night to check in on vagrants on the streets in sub-zero temperatures.

"I could've died in that fire," said a man sitting on a bench in an underground mall at Sapporo Station, referring to a recent fire that killed 11 residents of a dormitory for people on welfare.

An avid newspaper reader, the man was familiar with the tragedy in great detail, from the cause of the fire to how the residents lived. The victims included seniors who used to live on the........

© The Asahi Shimbun