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3 people found dead apparently from starvation in Saitama apartment

83 Comments

Three people were found dead in an apartment in Saitama City on Monday afternoon, after having apparently died of starvation, police said.

The three bodies, believed to be a couple in their 60s and their son in his 30s, were found in the apartment after an agent for a housing company came to collect unpaid rent, NTV reported. The family was 6 months behind in rent and gas and electricity had been cut off.

They were found lying on futons. The doors and windows were locked and there were no external injuries on the body, police were quoted as saying, according to NTV.

Neighbors told TV media they hadn't seen the family members since last November.

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after having apparently died of starvation, police said.

what did doctor say? very sad whether starvation or suicide.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Do not go gentle into that good night...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wow..so sad...victims of a very bad economy no doubt

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

That 3 people would starve themselves to death seems very strange to me. There has to be more to this story.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

World can be a very cold place when you KNOW you won't get any help from people around you, let alone from society.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

This isn't death by suicide, it's death by poverty, which does happen and this isn't the first case of it's kind. They were unable to buy food, probably unable to ask for support like welfare.

15 ( +18 / -2 )

I find it difficult to comprehend how 3 people can starve to death. Were they all confined to the apartment? Are there no social services or neighbors who could have helped them? Dying of starvation is a long process. It's hard to understand how nothing could have been done to save these people.

1 ( +5 / -5 )

It's hard to understand how nothing could have been done to save these people.

Mostly people have to ask for help and for whatever reason some people are ashamed to ask?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

A sad story that seems to be lacking in details.

The older couple might it difficult to find employment but what about pension money? The son is in his 30s and has an address so it doesn't sound unreasonable for him to find work (maybe somewhere that provides free meals?). If the parents were invalids and the son was taking care of them, aren't there facilities to do that for him?

So many questions.

3 ( +4 / -2 )

If austerity comes to Japan and if we continue to allow wealth to concentrate in the few, we will be reading a lot more of this kind of story. "Family Freezes to Death", "Family Dies of Starvation", "Family Dies of Curable Ilness" The headlines of a failed and repressive system.

I can't help but wonder what the casualty list from a failing global economy is? How many have died as a direct result of it?

2 ( +6 / -5 )

More to this story than meets the eye, could well be underlying mental problems with this familly that came to the fore.

How can 3 people simultaneously strave to death by choice in a modern time, in a supposedly modern society, in an apparently modern country?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

This just knocked the wind out of me. Those poor souls. It' s beyond sad. To be in a dire situation and feeling you can't ask others around you for help. The son was in his thirties! He had his whole life ahead of him. God forbid any of my neighbours find themselves in that situation, I'd be throwing food at them. Trying to get them back on their feet. Banging on the city office's doors until someone helped them. Seriously, I feel like crying!

And nobody thought to check on them?

A doctor once told me that starving to death is a terrible and very painful way to die. I hope they didn't suffer too much. RIP.

3 ( +4 / -2 )

Shocking. Autopsies could reveal something. "Apparently" may not be the last word.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It would takes weeks to die without any food whatsoever, perhaps a week without water.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Autopsies will most likely reveal empty bellies. They could have had little or no food for weeks and even months.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

such a sad story.. economy is getting worse and worse. government should redirect national funds asap

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Its very unusual to hear about a case like this. Couldn't they have afforded even fast food? But then, it's Saitama in the news again, folks.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It always makes me sad and angry, when in a rich country like Japan, people can starve to death, or forced into homelessness, when there's so much waster both financially and materially.

10 ( +11 / -2 )

Very sad ... Unable to comprehend that it can happen in Japan. RIP....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Andrew It's not unusual but it is unusual to hear about it in the press. The government shows NO MERCY whatsoever when collecting money.

FORCED into National Health Insurance. FORCED into the Pension System. EXTREMELY high city tax. Apartment BONUS Money / Key Money Fire Insurance Community Fees NHK Fees. Soon more Consumption TAX Gas Bills Electricity Bills Telephone Bills.

Yeah I can see how they starved to death. There's no relief in sight. If they work harder, the government takes more.

0 ( +10 / -9 )

People who die of starvation in Japan do so by choice. I've made acquaintances with many homeless who live along the river where I run; their lives are rough, no doubt, but they do not lack for food. Even if they have no money, bentos beyond their expiration date are many. The money they obtain from collecting cans goes towards alcohol and tobacco, not food.

This pitiful family must have been suffering from some severe mental issues. This was suicide, and nothing more.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

This is very surprising and almost suspect. If you were that poor and could not afford food let alone eletricity, gas and rent. Wouldn't you look at the options you have? welfare? theft? ....

to just 'literally' lie down and die.. it is very very sad.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@zichi

It always makes me sad and angry, when in a rich country like Japan, USA, Australia, England, etc, etc, etc, people can starve to death, or forced into homelessness, when there's so much waste both financially and materially.

Fixed that for you.

I'm sad people died. I don't really care which country it happened in.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"People who die of starvation in Japan do so by choice."

Shocking lack of compassion and understanding. There's a new class of people called the "Working Poor" who although in employment are not earning enough, like those on minimum wages, to pay for all their basic needs like rent, utilities, health care, clothes, enough fresh healthy food. When these people lose their work, they can quickly find themselves homeless.

The causes of poverty are many and can't easily be missed by claiming people are lazy and don't want to work, or that they are alcoholics or drug addicts, but basically they are all responsible for their own demise. Some people can deal with poverty better than others. Some are "proud" and would never ask for help, or root around garbage bags looking for bento boxes.

The government estimates there are more than 1.5 million people living below the poverty line. Many of these are single mothers unable to afford day care so that they can have full time work. Prior to 3/11, the government estimated there were more than 30,000 homeless people, mostly men. This number increased with the 3/11 disasters.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I guess there aren't any soup kitchens or places to go for free meals in Japan. Quite sad. Sounds like a horrible way to die.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ReformedBasher,

I think it's shocking that anyone in the world dies from starvation when there's enough food to feed everyone. But when it happens in a rich country, and homelessness when there are so many empty houses and buildings is just a little more shocking.

I worked with the homeless for more than 20 years when I lived in the UK. I also helped to provide food kitchens and the like.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I invite all of you to take a tour of Kotobuki-cho Yokohama. People are starving in this country. You just don't see it.

0 ( +5 / -4 )

No one in their right mind would starve their child to death even at this age (60s), no one one in their right mind at this age (30s) would allow themselves to be starved to death, there most definitely was psychological issues at play here.

Son could have gone and got a job if he wasnt disabled or had some other affliction, lets assume he wasnt handicapped physically, and at 60 something you can still work if willing (in most cases), the will to live was not there, therefore there were psychological issues.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Not sure why my thoughts were removed, but if there was no 5% tax on food, these three poor people might be alive today. Rest in peace.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Shocking and depressing to see how far things have come to. RIP. more disturbing is the fact that neighbours saying that they did not see them since Nov month, but no one bothered to check on them if everything was ok or not.....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They probably COULD have found help, if not only via on meal from a neighbour, but chose to give up as they felt they could not change their situation. Sad, either way.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It also highlights Japan's laws regarding evicting non paying tennants. In many other countries the police would have been called after just two months of being behind in their rent to evict them. They were behind more than 6 months before anyone checked even. Sad story though of course.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

3 people died of starvation, all found lying on their futons? Sounds weird to me. Maybe a case of single or multiple suicide?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

A couple in their 60s and a son in his 30s??

How in the world would they be unable to find some work or ask for assistence?

It is not like we are talking about infants or senile people here.

There must be more to the story.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Well, I guess I'm the only one agreeing with Laguna and ExportExpert. This is a case of three people deciding to check out. An irrational decision but a decision none-the-less. All of you talking about the dire straits of the economy....come on, really?

I'll even take it one step further. If you have made the decision to cash in your chips PLEASE do it like these folks did. Don't be like so many others on the news who walk into a school or post office and cut down 10 people before ultimately turning the weapon on themselves. When I go.... I hope it is on my own terms like these three. Happy trails.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Why can some of you not fathom this? Isn't this exactly what society wants? You don't want to see homeless people. They become eye sores. Apathy leads right into the idea of go somewhere and die quietly, just don't disturb us.

So long as we don't see it, our lives are undisturbed, our conscious clear. We don't feel responsible at all. Society did not cause this. We didn't know about it.

For years I used to use the Keikyu line from Yokohama to Muirakaigan. I never knew that right underneath me at Koganecho station was prostitution at it's finest. Seriously, right under the tracks.

For years, I went to Motomachi for expensive shopping and right across the river was a nightmare of epic poverty, a lost portion of society otherwise known as the dregs.

Here these people starved to death and some of you have declared them to be mental. Do you believe we are not in any way shape or form responsible for their deaths? Ever heard of the expression death by taxes? Japan successfully hides it's ghettos.

There are churches that try to give food and blankets, sometimes shelter to such people. The church can't find them all. The government which has a responsibility to the people, is content to let these people die. One thing about apathy though is that it doesn't discriminate. Now we are being radiated and you can see that the government and TEPCO are not willing to pay support for the victims of Fukushima. They will die quietly too and guess what......most of them were middle-class citizens just like us.

All I'm ASKING is this......don't automatically declare these people to be mental or suicidal. We seriously need to look at what the government is NOT doing for these people. We aren't far behind these people. Possibly your friends and possibly mine or even myself, we are going to feel the pinch. Not sure why we keep saying...it doesn't happen in Japan.

-5 ( +8 / -12 )

As I keep say Japan is a damned cold place, more evidence here, we have been seeing more of these types of deaths & I expect it will likely increase quickly over the coming decades, and most people in Japan really dont care much one way or the other, shoganai ne!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@ExportExpert I agree with you. There's got to be more to the story than what's printed here. Every animal is equipped with a sense of self-preservation, so why any able bodied and able minded person would let themselves slowly die of starvation raises some questions. You can't help anyone who doesn't want to help themselves first.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The lack of heating in the cold months would not have helped.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

zichi

Not just heating, they might also have had an electric water-heater(like most modern apartments/houses) in which no hot water unless they heated it on a gas-stove.

But agree we haven't got the full details yet, like if a Person was sick and couldn't afford needed medicines or similar.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@zichi

I worked with the homeless for more than 20 years when I lived in the UK. I also helped to provide food kitchens and the like.

Good for you. I mean that sincerely.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Instinct would tell you to eat to survive. If they really died this way, they were mentally-ill people. Plain survival of the fittest.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Truly awful, I can only hope that they did not suffer much - though I fear they did.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What a terrible story. But it's really strange that the 30 year old sOn couldn't support the family. Even if he couldn't work, the parents could have ask the welfare office for support. In my city, you can borrow 20,000 yen immediately in case of emergencies, but you just need to pay it back afterwards. My theory is they froze to death because they didn't have electricity because they don't cut water supply here immediately.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As Zichi say, it is not the first time. My volunteer work is with people living in poverty in Sanya near Asakua. Kita Kyushu is infamous in having rejected a person for social welfare benefits. A bit like Clinton in the US claiming his Workfare program would end (the conception by people who should know better ) welfare and handouts and bring pride to people. What happened was the jobs they were forced to take paid less than welfare and did not support their liives. Single mothers were hit hardest. In KK city, a man rejected for welfare and encouarged to work could not, and he starved to death. Taito-ku in Tokyo s infamous for its bureaucratic treatment of the homeless and former street people living at the edge. The causes of poverty are varied, but it is unfair to say people choose homelessness. People do drop out, or are abandoned by their families, and yes, alcohol and mental illness are both contributing factors or problems that occur with long term homelessness. Years on the street also bring distrust of people, often justified, as many homeless have been ripped off by labor contractors in the past to build YOUR homes (and yes, this includes people currently recruited by Tepco's proxy agents to decontaminate the Fukushima plant ). And yes, people do rip one another off. A difficult cycle to break free from, made worse by the neoliberalism that started under Koizumi and continues under people like Hashimoto. The society becomes crueler and crueler. now many of the homeless are former day laborers, but they are also old and unable to work for that reason to.

By the way, your help is needed in places like Sanya, Tokyo; Kotobuki cho in Yokohama; Kamagasaki in Osaka, etc. It is not true that homeless people are enjoying being on the street.And yes, there is food, at different locations, supplied by volunteers. And still people die. Just the other day in Sanya. happens every winter. A friend of mine also disappeared when someone saw him lying lifeless. now it is said he has been hospitalized, but no-one knows how soon the hospital discharged him.

IF they are lucky, a social worker will refer them to an agency where they can get help. If not, it is back on the street. And thank god for the free clinics operated by the likes of groups such as Sanyukai.

I pray no-one here who has not known poverty will ever have to encounter it.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Paul Arenson,

thank you for your great humanity, and hope it will encourage others to follow in your example.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

*your=you're

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thumbs up to Paul Arenson, zichi and NetNinja. There are help wanted signs everywhere but not every employer is hiring every applicant. Most employer want young men or young men and women only. Some employers are willing to give older applicants a try but only on their terms - full time hours with no benefits to the younger workers while the older workers get maybe (!!!) ten hours a week. I wonder if we will ever find out the story on the couple and their son. At least they were able to take their last breath at home instead of out by the river or in a park. They were in their futons. I can imagine the anxiety they faced as money ran out for paying rent, utilities, food... What happens to the bodies? Does the city take care of cremating or putting the bodies in graves?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As I wrote, many poor people have been underemployed and discarded. In 2008 Hakken Mura was established by the group Moyai precisely because neoliberal Japan had decided to discard its social safety net. Free will is one modern day capitalists would like to push: no big government means people blamed for their own downfall. Also, One correction I would like to make to something Net Ninja said--being "forced" to pay for things like health and pension is not a violation of some sort of free choice. Though imperfect, health and pension ARE part of the crumbling social safety net, albeit poorly administered and costly to the underemployed. Japan stands somewhere between the US here, with the Scandinavian countries still on top, with free care.

A problem is priorities--Japan chooses to spend more on promoting big business (Keidanren) and the military Japan pays the US huge sums for the privilege of having its troops occupy Okinawa and other bases in order to prop up support for the notion that without US troops, Japan would come under attack. (Most likely the opposite-the presence makes Japan more vulnerable. Plus, it allows the munitions makers to profit from supplying the military). Japan pays an enormous Omoyari "sympathy" budget for the privilege of stationing US troops, and then also pays additional for relocation of some to Guam, etc. And lots of this goes to support what many say are unconstitutional activities such as war in Weat Wsia and the Middle East.

If some of these funds were re-directed, no doubt they could benefit the poor.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This was on the news again tonight and there was no mention of starving, other than the bodies were starting to mummify. The news reported as well as the family had not been registered at the local city office and if they had registered they would have been eligible for welfare assistance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

FORCED into National Health Insurance. FORCED into the Pension System. EXTREMELY high city tax. Apartment BONUS Money / Key Money Fire Insurance Community Fees NHK Fees. Soon more Consumption TAX Gas Bills Electricity Bills Telephone Bills.

How is this any different than any other developed nation?

Pride can kill.

Not enough details but having a 30 year old living at home and sponging off you isn't good. Having a 30 year old at home with serve issues isn't good and the parents should've sought help. Regardless of the comments, there IS help here. Yes, it is limited but not limited to cause a situation like this.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@ Paul Arenson. Thank you for that moving post.Reading some of the comments, it is apparent that some folk have never had to endure hardship. I always thank my lucky stars for what I have as I appreciate that life could always be harder.....to unimaginable limits. There by the grace of God go I.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you don't have food ...it is like in some parts of Africa...we can understand..

But This is in Japan.. If you go to a back side of a Mac you have plenty of food free of charge

Your pride brought your Death.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

This kind of news is just way too short to really understand what happened. 2 60 year old parents, but where they very sick? Could they not walk? 30 year old son was sick? Why did this guy not work? Make a living? On the Japanese news all they said was this guy had lower back pain, so...what?? I have lower back pain, the whole world has pain, but we GO TO WORK! Anyway, not enough info here to even begin to make sense of this news. RIP??

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The 30 year old may have had a handicap ,

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No one single person in Japan have excuses enough to NOT HAVE FOOD. Here is one of the rare places in the world that POVERTY is an OPTION. Probably suicide, or they where to dumb to ask their neighbours/family for food?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I literally refuse to believe this report. Three people did not just starve to death on their own in an apartment in Saitama. It didn't happen.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Starving to death, no can't happen, no never in Japan, well there's story from 2007 about a man and three others who starved to death in Kitakyushu. < http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/12/world/asia/12japan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin>

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yeah I can see how they starved to death. There's no relief in sight. If they work harder, the government takes more.

Nice tea party rant, NetNinja, but if you're living below the poverty line in Japan, your taxes are negligible and you're not paying into the social welfare systems, including healthcare. These people did not have to die, and it's absurd to act like the gub'mint killed them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is very Japanese. Rather than asking for help and seeking welfare one rather starves to death. Now, Social services need to get a hold of them self and seek out those people in need. Especially when electricity is being cut off, rent not paid and so on, someone should ring the alarm bells and try to find out what is going on and hopefully give some help or involve social services. This indifference has to stop since most wont go and seek help them self for fear of being shamed. In a country where food and wealth are abundant, this should never ever have happened.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Lazzaris Alberto

No one single person in Japan have excuses enough to NOT HAVE FOOD. Here is one of the rare places in the world that POVERTY is an OPTION. Probably suicide, or they where to dumb to ask their neighbours/family for food?

Tell that to the growing poor in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

death by poverty?? the 30 yr old could have gotten a JOB! I'm sure any local convinience store was hiring.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Uwe,

I totally agree.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Zichi,

Shocking lack of compassion and understanding. There's a new class of people called the "Working Poor" who although in employment are not earning enough, like those on minimum wages, to pay for all their basic needs like rent, utilities, health care, clothes, enough fresh healthy food. When these people lose their work, they can quickly find themselves homeless.

True enough, but I think the point he was making is that of all those things that are lost, enough food to sustain life is the LAST thing you choose to lose and even THEN food can be found (like expired bentos) if you just go out and look for it. Someone who starves to death in a third-world country usually has NO other options while someone who starves to death in a first-world country CHOSE not to explore the other options: either through pride, ignorance, or both.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't know about Saitama City but when I was living in Nabari in Mie, there was one position vacant for the shokudo at the hospital. Hundreds applied. A few convenience stores and a handful of restaurants had help wanted signs out. It's an employer's paradise, they can pick anyone, Any ONE, they want for low wages, nada benefits, less than 40 hours and they tell you they'll either mail your resume back or not call you in a week. In a bubble era Japan, dying from starvation would have been unthinkable, unfathomable, incredulous. Employers were willing to give greenhorns or old horses a try. We don't know what made the couple and their son give up on the world. Perhaps they did ask for help from family and friends and no one could spare anything. They probably thought about braving the elements in the park or by a river. Maybe they knew the rent collector wouldn't be banging on the door till months later. (I am surprised that the landlord or the management company didn't check after a month. I know back in the states, in a republican state, the landlord would have cleared the apartment five days after the rent was due if not the first or second day!) I don't mean to be intrusive but I wish we could get some background on the family.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree with Fadamor and I could believe single isolated people starving to death in Japan. But three in the same apartment? Nah. Something will be proven faulty with this story. Wait and see.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm from Indonesia, a country a lot more poorer than Japan. I wouldn't be able to study in Japan if I don't get scholarship from my government. In my country, dead from starvation do exist, but not so many (compared with our 240 mil population). Finding job is tough in my country, that's why collecting can or plastic bottle and sleep under the bridge are considered "good enough" for thousands of unfortunate people in our capital city. Died because lack of medication, yes. It's more common, but not died from starvation. It's rare.

That's why I don't comprehend whole family died from starvation in a country desperately needs more workforce. Many of my classmates can easily find jobs as cleaning service, shop worker or in restaurant. People who works cleaning our dormitories are older people, above 60's I guess, since the university can't find younger workforce. It's true these kind of jobs are paid cheap, maybe 800-900 yen per hour. But at least, working 6 hour per day will avoid you from starvation. My monthly expenses on food roughly amounted 18.000 yen. That's why starvation due to no possession of job never crossed my mind for this country.

Life is getting tougher in Japan, yes. House renting, medication cost are expensive. But starvation should be avoided one way another, starting from us to increase our sensitivity to our surrounding. We should ashamed if we can sleep well at night after having our dinner while we know one of our neighbor (even homeless people sleep near our house) are starved. Don't wait for government, family of three died from starvation is just statistic for them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm having trouble believing all of this too. It seems odd that they would have all died at the same time if starvation was the cause. I would guess suicide by poison. I can't imagine why anybody in Japan would die from starvation. The circumstances are too strange.

Good post yan-aryanto....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is not an isolated case. With the aging population, there will be increase in mental illness and suicides. Japan goverment need to work out is a sense of shared responsibility as a community for the elderly members of the community. If they're not being cared for by the extended family structure, the goverment need to work out a new system of care and responsibility that the community agrees to as part of its understanding of the common good. There need to be a public discussion, and the solution to create communal living facilities that are supported to provide care for the elderly. The communities have to form effective organizations to watch over residents who are 65 and older, with assistance coming from local governments. Many government-owned apartments with elderly living in them have installed motion-detecting sensors that help keep track of activity in the apartment building.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Neighbors told TV media they hadn’t seen the family members since last November. These people must have been dead for at least 2 months.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Both of the men had jobs it was reported so there goes all the "maybe they were sick, maybe they didn't have jobs..." And the news stated last night that they were odd - and the neighbours offered help when it seemed they needed it so... Can we stop jumping to conclusions and bashing a system that works in many cases.

The poor here indeed have a hard time - but they pay minimal taxes and the like. Blaming the tax system and the like in this case is wrong. It seems they just decided life wasn't worth it and instead of asking for help, were stubborn and did the "Japanese" way of killing themselves.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

tmarieFeb. 22, 2012 - 08:47AM JST. Can we stop jumping to conclusions and bashing a system that works in many cases. It seems they just decided life wasn't worth it and instead of asking for help, were stubborn and did the "Japanese" way of killing themselves.

Why not bash the system. Many have mental illness problem. The J-govermnent system works have not worked in many cases when you have over 30,000 suicides for the last 12 years with no improvement in sight. What has goverment done to improve the situation?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

its not suicide... this is not the first time such thing happened here in Japan. Just last January 2 sisters frozen to death because their gas and electricity were cut and cannot use heater. Likewise they asked help from the city office for food. Same as this family, they went to ask for assistance from theer city office and what I cant accept is, why they were not being help. Very poor and homeless people in Japan are so few and Japan is a very rich country. Tehy can pave their roads until inside mountains where few cars runhow come they can put a strong support to poor and homeless?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Nessie A Tea Party Rant?? Really? I'm a pure Democrat and I always vote Democrat. Very interesting Nessie. I'll be puzzling over that comment for oh......lets say......Nevermind it's gone.

@miyazawa3

If you don't have food ...it is like in some parts of Africa...we can understand..

But This is in Japan.. If you go to a back side of a Mac you have plenty of food free of charge

Your pride brought your Death

That's cold!! Very cold!! I'll tell you something. I care nothing about JT's thumb up / thumb down system. I pretty much ignore most of the time. Today you definitely earned a thumb down from me. That feeling just swelled up inside me. I hope you were just trolling and didn't really mean that while you blog from Starbucks over an 600 yen frappucino.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I wonder if the neighbors feel any guilt like "if only I'd checked on them...". No, I doubt it. Very cold this country can be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Folks,

Cant believe some of you arent getting this, this easily happens in Japan, many here are a fatalistic bunch, & this is part of the same traits that were so praised after 3/11, such as no looting, rioting etc, except in this case it looks like these 3 decided to suck it up & not ""BOTHER"" anyone to there demise.

Like I said above I predict we will see a LOT more of this as Japan's elderly population rises.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder if they could've died of radiation poisoning? Perhaps they were too sick at some point to go out and get food.

@exportexpert Japan is not at all a very modern place. Percentage-wise only the very few large cities are modern, the vast majority of Japan's towns are old and decaying. Most homes are not even efficient enough to keep out the elements.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NHK News last night mentioned about 750 deaths from starvation this decade in Japan - 75 per year!

That said, in the UK we get pensioners dying of the cold each winter. I wonder what the stats for that are in Japan?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why not bash the system. Many have mental illness problem. The J-govermnent system works have not worked in many cases when you have over 30,000 suicides for the last 12 years with no improvement in sight. What has goverment done to improve the situation?

Why not bash the people who are too stubborn to ask for help? Those who need help here and ask for it get assistance. Lower taxes, lower or no cost health care. Is the system perfect? Nope. None are. But it won't get better unless people USE it and then make suggestions on how to improve it. The suicide rate? Blame the culture off hundred of years romanticizing it. Don't blame the current government for this. Heck, why not head over to the Olympus thread and look at some of the replies from a few Japanese posters who defend it and call it honorable. That isn't the government saying it - nor teaching it. I have NEVER seen it written in government info that suicide is the way out. I have seen the opposite though.

Their neighbors DID offer help! How well do you know your neighbours? I have seen mine ONCE since living in my place since April. Why blame them? 30 and two 60 years olds are old enough to ask for help - and again, the two men recently has jobs.

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you will see more starving deaths in Japan,

homeless are getting more and more

Japan lost the pride...

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Japan lost the pride...

No, Japan's pride is alive and well which is why the economy is tanking. Those in power think they know better than what every other country is telling them when it comes to reforms and budgets. Japan's pride is exactly what is killing the country and the locals who live in it.

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tmarie Feb. 22, 2012 - 05:20PM JST. Why not bash the people who are too stubborn to ask for help? Those who need help here and ask for it get assistance. Lower taxes, lower or no cost health care. Is the system perfect? Nope. None are. But it won't get better unless people USE it and then make suggestions on how to improve it. The suicide rate? Blame the culture off hundred of years romanticizing it. Don't blame the current government for this.

Many people in Japan have never even heard of anyone specializing in depression. The bigger problem in Japan is that a stigma attaches to anyone seen as treating crazy people, and the status of psychiatrists remains very low. Japan's goverment failure to treat depression has deep roots in the country's culture. But no one wants to think they have a mental problem and most doctors say they just don't know anything about that area. When Japanese experience depression, doctors say, they prefer to imagine something is wrong with their character rather than their heads. In a culture of shame, the only thing to do about illnesses of the mind is to hide them. Many still carry a stigma that can haunt families.

In Japan, if you tell a friend, a very straightforward person, that you have depression, most likely friend will warned you not to tell anyone else. They feel they can't let their neighbors know about their condition, and I am certain that if their company knew, they would get the tap on the shoulder. Many have fears that they would be fired if company knew you were depressed. Therapy isn't magic. It can only work if you're willing to try to make changes to the way you think and act and approach things. The crappy thing about depression is that your symptoms get in the way of everyday life which eventually leads to suicides.

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There is stigmas back home for this as well but it is getting better - because people are more aware of it because they've been encouraged to seek help. Depression here is now getting much more attention than it did five years ago.

Indeed, therapy isn't magic, it doesn't "work" for some but it doesn't work at all if you don't bother to try it. Same with the system here for helping those who are down on their luck. This family didn't approach the government for help. Pride and ignorance. Deadly combination.

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