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Man arrested for keeping body of 94-year-old father at home

23 Comments

Police in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture, have arrested a 64-year-old man on suspicion of abandoning the body of his 94-year-old father at their home.

Police said Hirokatsu Kashiwagura told them his father Hiroshi died in mid-November, Kyodo News reported. Police quoted him as saying he could not afford to pay for a funeral and was not sure what to do.

The body was discovered on Friday after a relative in another city called police to check on the safety of Kashiwagura and his father, saying there had been no word from them recently.

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23 Comments
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My sources say:

The only Japanese law governing the disposition of remains is Law No. 48 of 1948 ("Law Regarding Graveyards, Burials and Others"). This law states that "a corpse or stillborn fetus shall not be buried or cremated earlier than 24 hours after its death or birth, except as otherwise provided by ordinance".

Burial is just as possible as cremation.

Japanese law provides that a body buried in the ground without having been cremated shall not be removed for reburial for three years unless the chief of the local Public Health Center grants special permission. Also Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Law No. 48 of 1948 prescribes that “any person who wants to perform a reburial shall obtain permission from the city, town, or village where the body is buried.”

It seems that burial and reburial is allowed as permission can be granted so it is within the law. The thing about Japan that I have learnt over the years is that issues are not so clean cut.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The law requires deceased people to be cremated. Other forms of burial may be obtained with special permission.

Permission may be granted if the family has a grave in a cemetery like the Foreigners Cemetery in Kobe. Those places are not taking new applications. The coffin must be lead-lined.

Cremation is now mandatory in most parts of Japan. After death, 24 hours must pass before cremation can take place unless the cause of death is a communicable infection.

Scattering ashes at sea is on the rise among the Japanese culture. 

https://scatteringonwater.co.uk/news/ashes-sea-japan/

Muslims struggle to bury their dead in Japan, a nation of cremation.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Japan-immigration/Muslims-struggle-to-bury-their-dead-in-Japan-a-nation-of-cremation

The problems of burials remain for the Muslim and Jewish families.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese laws require cremations.

If you are suggesting that other means of disposition of remains is illegal, such as burial, then you are gravely wrong. Burial is not common, but not out of the question in Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Vatican explicitly approved cremation in 1963 as a final disposition as long as the practice remains in line with the fundamental belief in the resurrection

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Catholicism do not require whole body burials, it only requires the remains to be kept in a single place. There is no problem with cremation, just with spreading the ashes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That can be a problem for foreigners who are Catholics, Jews, or Muslims whose religions require whole-body burial

it could be a problem for Japanese who are devotees

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japanese laws require cremations. That can be a problem for foreigners who are Catholics, Jews, or Muslims whose religions require whole-body burials. These days, that would require shipping the body back to the country of birth for a funeral there. That is very expensive but I think there are maybe insurance policies for that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

in urns in a tokonoma

That's a strange place to keep urns. Butsudan would be more fitting. You must have one.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butsudan

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Second, he may have been dead much longer. An autopsy would give a more accurate time of death than simply taking the son's word for it.

An autopsy can only be performed with the consent of the next of kin unless the police suspect foul play.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

We had the SIL for about two weeks before we could have the funeral. The SIL and BIL are now in urns in a tokonoma waiting to go to the family grave in Fuji.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

wallace

The father died in mid-November and today is the 26th. A very short time to be accused of keeping his corpse.

First, anything more than a day is a long time to keep a dead body lying around at home.

Second, he may have been dead much longer. An autopsy would give a more accurate time of death than simply taking the son's word for it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Police quoted him as saying he could not afford to pay for a funeral and was not sure what to do.

That's the "I was drunk and don't remember" of corpse abandonment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Any guesses why he did it?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They dare not insist on a head count. To do so would risk having to then admit that there are significantly fewer bona fide pensioners than there are pensions being paid out. Which of course would disturb the Wa no end. Better to keep up the pretense that there’s no fudging and that happiness and contentment are the lot of those in their twilight years.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Allegedly, the father died mid-November, that is based on the 64-year-old son's word, and this is a man who did not report his father's death and whose father could have died in October who knows until an autopsy is done all the police have is his word.

I love how people say his relatives should have known and or family should have paid more attention. Japanese families are not as close together as like many families in N. America and the man was 94 years old most likely many have passed away.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The father died in mid-November and today is the 26th. A very short time to be accused of keeping his corpse.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sad,and avoidable , whichever way you look at it.

Considerate neighbours, relatives,friends,in the real sense of the word, would have prevented this situation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mr Kipling-Sounds like another "lived all their life" with parents cases. Who is to blame? Let's start with the parents.

> borsch - No word in the article about whether the 64-year-old son was ‘unemployed’ or retired and had a pension, too.

Both of these posts have jumped to the wrong conclusion. He was living with his father as a carer. He was not unemployed, retired or a live at home with his parents.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hard to live off a dead relative’s pension when the relative died Earlier this month.

Income went to the 94-year-old who spent it as he wished, which could have been for food and utilities for him and his son.

No word in the article about whether the 64-year-old son was ‘unemployed’ or retired and had a pension, too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There seems to be a version of this story around once or twice a month in Japan. It’s usually someone collecting the pension of a dead relative while keeping the body in the apartment.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The senior citizen son was living off father's pension and that is sad. I am wondering if the son is working a part-time job like many senior citizens do these days.

I have friends' that over their 70's and still working part-time jobs and will have to work until in their 80's and that is even with collecting a pension. Because in this country after you turned 70, the government raises the healthcare to I believe 30 or 40 thousand yen a month per person and not a couple, and so, instead of making life easier they make it more difficult.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It’s quite probable he didn’t know what to do although, it’s more likely he could afford to live without his father’s pension. The city hall will arrange a funeral for ¥40,000 and let them pay it off so his excuse is a lie.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

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