The murder of an elderly homeless woman in Tokyo in November was another reminder of the vulnerability of people living on the streets, even in one of the world’s safest cities. Misako Obayashi, 64, was hit on the head, apparently with a bag of rocks, while sitting at a bus stop near Sasazuka Station in the early hours of Nov 16. Her alleged killer, Kazuhito Yoshida, 46, reportedly offered her money to move elsewhere and became enraged when she refused.
Chie Matsumoto is a journalist and an adjunct media instructor in the Faculty of Law at Hosei University. She was previously one of the editors at Rodo Joho (Labor Notes) and a correspondent at German Press Agency, dpa, as well as a reporter for the International Herald Tribune/The Asahi Shimbun. Matsumoto is also a research assistant in the Media and Journalism Studies at Tokyo University. Her works appear in books, Masukomi・Sekuhara Hakusho (State of Sexual Harassment in Media) (Bungei Shunju Publishing, 2020) and Burakku Kigyo (Black Corporations) (co-author, Godoshuppan Publishing, 2013) among others, and in translations of The Purpose of Power (co-translator, Akashi Publishing, 2020) and China on Strike (Sutosuru Chugoku) (co-translator, Sairyusha Publishing 2018).