54-year-old man arrested for abandoning father’s dead body at home


Police in Nishi-Tokyo city have arrested a 54-year-old man on suspicion of abandoning his father’s dead body at the family’s home for nearly three months.

According to police, Yoshimasa Tsuzuki’s father Shigeo, 84, passed away from an illness at his apartment in Nishi-Tokyo at the end of May this year. Yoshimasa, who was residing with him, however, did not report his father's death to local authorities, police said.

Shigeo’s body was discovered by his daughter on August 7, after she visited the house worried over not being able to contact her father. Shigeo’s body was partially skeletonized, police reported.

The son had gone missing, but was arrested on Aug 20 when he briefly returned to the apartment to change his clothes. He had reportedly been sleeping at a park near the family’s home, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Yoshimasa was quoted by police as saying that he did not report his father’s death, because he could not afford to pay for a funeral.

Police believe that Yoshimasa may have attempted to use his father’s pension.

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Police believe that Yoshimasa may have attempted to use his father’s pension.

Ya think? He's probably been sponging off it for years, why stop now

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A Russian girl I worked with was married to a Japanese man who didn't know what to do after his father died. In his case, it was really not knowing what to do as in not even having an inkling to have a funeral service. He asked her what he should do so she told him go to the city office and discuss what to do. The man was an only child of parents who were also the only children of their parents and his mother had passed well before he married my co-worker. At least, Yoshimasa Tsuzuki knew he had to have some sort of memorial service; he also was aware he didn't have the money nor was he expecting money from his father's estate...

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Another story of 'abandoning a relative's body at home', and another who's reason is 'not being able to afford funeral costs'. It happens again and again, and no doubt there will be another story just like it in the next few weeks.

What gets done about it? Has the police or the government ever made a concerted effort to address the issue? Has the government / local authorities looked into possible alternatives for those who might not be able to afford funeral costs? Why hasn't the media realized that this is a frequent occurrence and therefore worthy of more investigation? etc. etc.

It's the same with the issue of mental illness. People just ignore it, and shock horror the same things keep happening.

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Has the government / local authorities looked into possible alternatives for those who might not be able to afford funeral costs?

The alternatives are in place. Local authorities do cover the cost of disposing of the remains of those who cannot afford a funeral. The families of people who have been living on social welfare, etc., can claim the cost of a simple funeral from the authorities.


'I can't afford a funeral' is no excuse for leaving your Dad to rot at home.

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@Cleo - So the issue seems to be education in terms of the procedures, and/or support in dealing with death.

I know there's the criminal element in that many of these people don't report the death because they want to continue drawing the pension, but again that seems to be a problem easily addressed in a simple change of procedure. Just make a rule that people have to appear in person once a month, or every other month. If unable due to illness or old age, then a doctor can supply the relevant office with documentation every so often.

Care for the elderly, a better social structure whereby people aren't forgotten about until 6 months later when they are discovered rolled up and skeletonized in a futon in a cupboard, and a simple change of procedure that would minimize the chance to commit fraud - but I don't see any desire for these things to happen, despite the fact that these stories are fairly regular occurrences.

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