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Body of elderly woman dead for 3 months found in apartment

14 Comments

Police said Saturday that the dead body of a 78-year-old woman was found in her apartment in Tokyo's Toshima Ward in February. Police said she had apparently been dead for three months, TV Asahi reported.

According to police, a ward officer found the mummified body of Harue Saito in the bathroom in the apartment. Saito lived alone, police said, adding that there were scars on her left wrist, indicating that she may have slit her own wrists, TV Asahi reported.

Welfare officials said nobody had been able to contact Saito since November last year. Police said they did not release the news earlier because it has taken them this long to find Saito's nearest relatives who do not live in Tokyo.

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14 Comments
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That's so sad....you'd think the relatives would look in on her once in while..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Welfare officials said nobody had been able to contact Saito since November

There's got to be a better way. Maybe slip a note through the door saying if you don't respond to our mailings or answer the door within three days, the cops can come in and check on you. Of course, whether she's been dead a couple hours or a couple years, it makes no difference to the dead. She still died alone and in a bad way, despite having relatives in the country. So sad.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yet another... and we had dinner last week with a 78 year old friend who lives alone, she reckons she can go 3 months without hearing from her kids & grandkids, who don't live far away. She's had strokes & seems very confused at times- luckily she has the money to pay for a home help, though she wasn't sure how often - but as far as I can tell, if she keeled over, she would only be a couple of days before being found- though that's not much use if she dies in that time. I suppose if she missed karaoke night her friends might check on her.

I tried to ask if she keeps an up-to-date address book or contact list, both so her family could be traced and in a worst case scenario, friends like us would be notified. It was pretty depressing & there must be the potential for hundreds of people to end up like Mrs Saito of this article. Poor lady. When they said no one had been able to contact Mrs Saito since November, yet they found her body in February, you have to wonder. Gaijinfo's suggestion is one worth looking into.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese officers have become very much cautious and hesitant to take actions in such cases and others since the privacy law was enforced. Gaijinfo's suggestion is a very good but I wonder the Japanese officers will do as far as that. Japanese family system - strong family ties disappeared after the western individualism spread here. Good thing and bad thing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am sorry, not officers but neighbors can do that. Yes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Welfare officials said nobody had been able to contact Saito since November last year.

Is this a typo? Perhaps it originally read: Welfare officials said nobody could be bothered to try and contact Saito since November last year. As Gaijininfo says, a note through the door and contact in three days. Not that hard for these 'welfare professionals', surely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Community relationships in a big metropolitan city like Tokyo are hard to come by. In "inaka" people look out for each other more. It's a sad situation at best without any real viable options or solutions.

Individuals have to take part in their communities and do more than just nod and say "good morning" to their neighbors!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So sad.

RIP old mummy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does anyone know why Japanese landlords aren't militant about collecting the rent? I know if someone in canada tried to not pay the rent for 3 months there would have been 300 visits with a key from the landlord..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

come on, is this really top national news in Japan? seems like it happens everyday...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Seems that everytime an old person dies and is not discovered immediatly, blame falls on the relatives. I do not think that not having contact with relatives for three months shows that no-one cares about the old person in question. All sorts of reasons can explain this, no need to jump to any conclusions about the amount of love relatives hold for their elders.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan really, really needs to start dealing with the breakdown in society here. Every week there is an article about this situation. Personally, you can't blame the neighbors, the family of the dead only. Why was the dead person alone? lack of communication. Pick up the phone yourself and make friends. I hate that "You haven't called me" crap that people here give each other. The phone works both ways. if you don't want to die along and have your body found three months later, make an effort with your family and those around to ensure you are missed if something happens. Talk to your neigbours... make an effort. Of course older people can get out as much but this is why family bonds need to be made when kids are small and you can get out and move around. No kids? Chat to the people around you. It isn't that hard - though here, it feels like it is impossible to chat to people around you. No one wants to talk, no one cares...

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Again more news like this one ??? What's going on in Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

so sad, when we get old and neglected... so.. as young adult as we are today, let's make friends, go around like what tmarie said: pick up your phone and make friends.. if you got everyday activity with fellow elders, your one day absence will already alarm them... and they will try to contact you or at best, visit you home

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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