crime

Woman didn’t report father’s death so she could receive his pension

43 Comments

Police in Tomakomai, Hokkaido, have arrested a 51-year-old unemployed woman on suspicion of abandoning the corpse of her father.

Police said Hisako Takahashi told them she didn’t report her father’s death because she needed the money from his pension for living expenses, Sankei Shimbun reported.

According to police, a neighbor contacted them on Sunday and said he had neither seen nor heard from Takahashi’s father for some time and that a foul odor was coming from the house.

Police visited the house and found the man’s body, fully clothed, lying in the hallway. There were no signs of external injury on the body which had begun to decay.

Takahashi was quoted by police as saying her father died about a month ago but she didn’t report his death because his pension was her only source of income.

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43 Comments
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Different names, same story.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Yep. Something like this isn't a story. It's way too common.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Happens way too often it seems there.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

she didn’t report her father’s death because she needed the money from his pension for living expenses

Not only she doesn't have any money, funeral services can be expensive in Japan. It can cost more than 2 millions.

http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/package-funeral-services-take-the-financial-sting-out-of-dying/

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Keeping a rotting corpse in the hallway, could have made a better choice for storage. With death taxes being ridiculously high, and a social net that is a failure. I don't blame an unemployed 51yo woman for being desperate enough to do this.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

With death taxes being ridiculously high

Someone dependent on someone else’s old age pension isn’t likely to be paying any death taxes, let alone ridiculously high ones.

If her father had enough stashed away to make her liable for inheritance tax, paying the tax and pocketing the rest would still see her better off than thieving a pension and living with a rotting corpse.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Cases like this appear to becoming more frequent. Could they be the canary in a cage for capitalism? If the ruling classes want to keep communism at bay, their capitalist system needs to turn the page: universal basic income. There, fixed it!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

51 years old, unemployed, living with her father. Sad...

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Is this even news anymore?

16 ( +16 / -0 )

It’s creepy how many closets in Japan are housing dead bodies

13 ( +13 / -0 )

With death taxes being ridiculously high, 

What exactly do you know about inheritance taxes in Japan? Or are you just repeating some rumor someone said and you took to be "fact"

Here is a chance to educate yourself and about your "error" in thinking!

https://www.nta.go.jp/english/taxes/others/02/index.htm

4 ( +8 / -4 )

With death taxes being ridiculously high, 

Oh one more thing, there is no such thing as a "death tax" either!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The sad part is with the low marriage rate and both Japanese men and woman looking for their ideal man which most will never find. Stories like this will be more common in the years to come.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Women in Japan don't work, they mostly shufu or so called housewives. Now imagine this 51yo lady who probably was one of them, maybe divorced? Who knows but she was taking care of her father, didn't kill him. Now imagine, in the middle of corona virus pandemic when there are no jobs especially in seasonal Hokkaido to suddenly start paying sums of money to the government for inheritance, funeral etc. Plus probably she never worked as a full time employee so she has no skills to do any job.

I don't say what she did is good, but clearly it's a big problem in Japan as it often reoccurs due the structure of society. 

There was a Japanese movie 万引きの家族 I recommend to see.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

51 years old, unemployed, living with her father. Sad...

Probably unemployed as she had to care for her father.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Not only she doesn't have any money, funeral services can be expensive in Japan. It can cost more than 2 millions.

There is NO requirement nor law stating that a person must have a funeral! Funerals can and often do cost a hell of a lot less than what you stated here. That is about the average cost. Yet they can cost a HELL of a lot more too! Depends upon how the family wants to send the person off!

Assistance is also available from the town office as well, besides that, there would be a small stipend, depending upon the deceased insurance that could cover the costs of cremation, which are between 30,000 to 50,000

People have the wrong idea that a funeral is a MUST!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I stand corrected, inheritance tax that is means tested so I take it now the house won't be taxed as the income and savings fall below the threshold. But without an income she will, would have struggled with local taxes, power bills. Thanks for the education update guys I did need that.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Why didn't she apply for income assistance? A lot less messier than harboring a corpse in the hallway.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

hard times

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What exactly do you know about inheritance taxes in Japan? Or are you just repeating some rumor someone said and you took to be "fact"

Here is a chance to educate yourself and about your "error" in thinking!

https://www.nta.go.jp/english/taxes/others/02/index.htm

That website doesn't list how many exact rate for inheritance taxes.

It can be up to 55% this website give more information about that.

https://taxsummaries.pwc.com/japan/individual/other-taxes

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Assistance is also available from the town office as well, besides that, there would be a small stipend, depending upon the deceased insurance that could cover the costs of cremation, which are between 30,000 to 50,000

Some people just can't be prepared for this especially when they encounter sudden death of their loved ones, especially those who struggle with their daily lives.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

While I sympathize with her, people don't understand the logic behind why people do this. Firstly, please understand that I don't condone what she did and she should be put in jail for taking the money, but she, like many cases I dealt with, most possibly had quit her job at a younger age to take care of her father, which she did for many years. At age 51, she can't go out there and find a job. She had no income, so that was the only thing she could come up with.

But, she should've explored other government handouts to help with her living expenses instead of leaving her father to rot there in the hall. LITERALLY!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It’s sad that people in the worlds 3rd biggest economy have to have the decaying body of their loved ones in their home, just to have food on the table.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I'm not making excuses for her, but with the growing number of shut-ins(hikikomori) in this country, and there being very little mental health support, this story doesn't surprise me at all. I know many people are saying she is a leach and a thief, but if the parents were her only source of welfare, and now the Dad has passed away, what else would she do. Also, I think you must not be in your right state of mind to live with a dead body, especially in this heat.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Ah, Japan...the land where the phrase "skeletons in the closet" is taken literally on a regular basis

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Women in Japan don't work, they mostly shufu or so called housewives.

Times have changed, and you are well behind the times.

Government figures show that over 70% of women of working age (20 to 60) are employed, with just a slight dip in the 30s when presumably child-raising takes precedence.

https://www.mlit.go.jp/hakusyo/mlit/h24/hakusho/h25/html/n1213000.html

That website doesn't list how many exact rate for inheritance taxes. 

It can be up to 55%

Yes, it can be, and the page you link to shows clearly that there needs to be taxable properties, after exceptions and exclusions, of at least 600 million yen, per heir.

Do you really think this unemployed caregiver would stand to inherit anywhere near that kind of money? And if she did, the 45% she would be left with would be more than enough to pay for her father's funeral and her own living expenses, certainly more than she would have living on his pension.

I'd bet my life the problem of inheritance taxes never crossed her mind.

Invalid CSRFx2

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Depending upon the age of the home, the actual value of it, quite possibly would be lower than expected for tax purposes. My house is appraised at a hell of a lot less than it is actually worth, because of the "age" of the house alone.

The land is a totally different story though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 Someone dependent on someone else’s old age pension isn’t likely to be paying any death taxes

All inheritances are subject to graduated taxation, as per the National Tax Agency. The woman, unemployed and living in public housing, would likely have inherited assets valued at less than 10 million yen, which are assessed a 10% tax with no deductions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The woman, unemployed and living in public housing, would likely have inherited assets valued at less than 10 million yen, which are assessed a 10% tax with no deductions.

No. Look at Yubaru's link.

The total taxable estate is the net estate (gross amount minus tax-exempt properties [graves, family altars etc.], donations, funeral costs, debts, life insurance death benefit etc) minus the basic exemption (30 million yen + 6 million yen x number of statutory heirs), which means there is no inheritance tax due on an inheritance of less than 36 million yen going to a single statutory heir. (The sums are different if the heir is a spouse, and different again if the property being inherited is the spouse's customary domicile).

So to be liable to pay 10% inheritance tax on 10 million yen, she would have to inherit 46 million, on which she would pay tax of 1 million, leaving her 45 million to play with.

Roughly 20 years' worth of a typical pension?

Invalid CSRF

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think there are some well informed, intelligent people posting. She this woman I highly doubt was either. She saw no other option, and that's sad. There might be help but if you are unaware of it then there is no help. I'm not the most intelligent well informed person as today has taught me. But I would never consider living with a rotting corpse of a loved one.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Another one. Why is this appalling behaviour so common here?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@cleo

Idiocracy at best.  

Well congratulations!  

Yes 70% women works but most of them are shufu doing some baito and tries to keep their income below one or two million so they won't pay taxes. Husband is the main source of income.  

That's why our great leader Shinzo Abe was trying to bring them to the workforce. Obviously in your opinion baito for 861 yen per hour in Hokkaido is enough to pay for living.  

Secondly we are not talking about some teen or new generation who wants to work as a full employee. It's 51 yo lady who was born in 1969 so definitely old style.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Another one. Why is this appalling behaviour so common here?

I'm just wondering how it is in other countries managing pension programmes. Aren't there similar cases?

While the fraud is at issue, it's also pointed out that the funeral service is costly in Japan. According to the article below, the average expense for a regular ceremony arrangement is about 2.31 million yen, the highest amount in the world. The article also notes that more and more Japanese people quit holding a service.

「平均費用231万円で世界一高い」だから日本人の"葬式離れ"が止まらない

https://president.jp/articles/-/38439

People can't die peacefully. More significantly, as a potential surviving family member having the aging parents, I really hesitate to bring out openly such "money talks".... quite hard to ask, "what type of coffin would you like to put yourself in"? But I think it is important, anyway. The woman under arrest and his dead father could have done something better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think this woman will have a hard time now with a criminal record and no job or profession at 51 y.o. That is pretty scary. If she did not pay into the pension system, then she may have to live on welfare until she is 65 then get the minimum of like 60,000 yen per month. Perhaps prison is her best option sadly.

My impression of working with Japanese is that many of them are conscientious and meticulous about work, but long hours do not equal hard work in my opinion. Also, unfortunately I find a tendency of many men in Japan to sacrifice family time without hesitation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's a facade, 3rd biggest economy....might be for some, many others to get an income will let a family member rot knowing the alternative is worse. They could of course make a different choice but education, life, cause and effect not a strong point, the Candle of hope at 51 not a bright lite.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Woman didn’t report father’s death so she could receive his pension

What did she report it for, then?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Had this woman been married and divorced she would not receive alimony even if the husband has a good job and I know this personally. My ex, Japanese and had a great job did not have to give me a penny after our divorce I was on my own even with all the physical, mental and other abuse.

In addition, had this woman's father had dementia there is very little financial help for these people and it is almost left entirely on the shoulders of the family and leaving her no room to get a job had this been the case.

There are so many variables why this woman was now reliant on her father's pension.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Had this woman been married and divorced she would not receive alimony even if the husband has a good job and I know this personally. My ex, Japanese and had a great job did not have to give me a penny after our divorce I was on my own even with all the physical, mental and other abuse.

Let me guess, you didnt get a lawyer and didnt know about the laws in Japan regarding distribution of assets?

There is no such thing as "alimony" in Japan BUT the family court can order a larger part of the assets be given to the spouse that has more need.

You sound like you got screwed because YOU didnt know the law here.

Sorry but that's on you!

https://www.international-divorce.com/Japan_contested_divorce_laws

n addition, had this woman's father had dementia there is very little financial help for these people and it is almost left entirely on the shoulders of the family and leaving her no room to get a job had this been the case.

Making an assumption about the father, but again, YOU have the responsibility to seek help, and assistance, which IS available through your local municipal office if you know the right questions to ask

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In addition, had this woman's father had dementia there is very little financial help for these people and it is almost left entirely on the shoulders of the family and leaving her no room to get a job had this been the case.

Doesn’t Japan have one of the best free national health care systems in the world? That’s what we hear all the time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"a foul odor was coming from the house" "Police visited the house" that will bring them around.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Agreed with the above posters - it's a common story, and who can now say that the Japanese are more better than the rest of us, they like us, suffer the same issues, Poverty being one, and that situation brings onto itself such ...illegal... "Creativity".... though sadly there's little Creativity here in Japan in this respect.

Some thoughts:

If you're suspected - it would probably be through a casual expiatory visit - so time to enact your plan immediately thereafter... what will it be ????

** If a body is found, then Forensics will clearly try to establish time of death, so you need to do something that makes that impossible.

** what can you do to make this so, and appear legitimate ?

This could make for a really interesting discussion.... here.

Defrost body, douse with Petrol and blow the building up as if it was a gas leak ?

Hmm... that may be too similar to a recent an attempt.

He's mining for Gold, and blew himself underground, underneath a Gas Pipeline.... ?

-- well that one hasnt been tried yet.

Took off in his aeroplane, and crashed and burned ?

-- One for the Wealthy.

The Dog ate him

-- Work at Home... Home Work... well, Eat at Home - nothing to see here...

I guess there's got to be some more imaginative ideas of committing a perfect crime to do this type of scam.... your thoughts (just for fun though) ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@JerseyDevil - if what you say is true, then I think the Local Police in this area lack a sense of smell:

https://goo.gl/maps/8oTh6TxYFbu48S1i9

There is a distinct smell of rotting flesh towards a certain residential side of the parking lot.... though I suspect a dead Cat. If anyone is eager to investigate more thoroughly, then you could potentially, find a News Worthy story there!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From her photo it doesn’t appear that she’s spent any money on personal hygiene.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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