Sanya is the vernacular name for a district full of cheap hostels, in an area of less than two square kilometers located in the northern part of Tokyo. As many people were drawn into Sanya from the lower strata of society, sometimes this included those with mental disorders, and this contributed to Sanya`s image as a slum district.
In more recent times automation has reduced the need for manual workers, and local residents have aged, with the result that the majority of the former labourers still living in Sanya are now dependent on social welfare.
The World Cup hosted by Japan in 2002 also changed Sanya. Many overseas tourists used the cheap hostels in Sanya, and some hostels specialized in such visitors, accepting foreigners and Japanese alike. Nowadays little remains of the working town of Sanya.
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