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Skeleton found in closet of house being demolished

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© 2012 AFP

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I was going to clean out my closets this weekend, I think I'll take a pass...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No real story here. yawn...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In many parts of Tokyo, neighbors no longer know one or interact much with one another, so it's probably not as hard as it once was to just move into an abandoned apartment and live there quietly for a while. Absentee owners are not as uncommon as they once were, so there's no real reason for any of the neighbors to think that a new "tenant" is unusual, perhaps just assuming that it's a relative come in from the country to work in Tokyo, or just a tenant who made an arrangement with the owner.

Realtors these days, even individuals rather than chain outfits, are often not as close to the community in which they operate as they once were, and the increased prevalence of cross-listings makes it less unlikely that a local realtor wouldn't know of a "new tenant". Once it might have been a topic of neighborhood gossip, but not so much now.

There are a lot of dilapidated structures left on land to keep the tax burden down, and until fairly recently there wasn't much motivation for anyone to pull down unused buildings unless something else would be built there. Some laws are beginning to change that a bit. partly because in some areas access for emergency services is getting more attention, partly out of concern for fire hazards, partly for other reasons. This works two ways, though, since pulling down a building on a piece of land where rebuilding won't be allowed is not in the owner's interests.

That assumes that the owner is still alive, however, which may well not be the case. Nobody would notice these days, probably, unless the property tax went unpaid for a long time; utilities are likely to have been shut off when the place as abandoned, if it was abandoned purposely.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that a lot of abandoned or quasi-abandoned buildings have squatters living in them discreetly; it beats a tent on a riverbank in a typhoon. What they do for heat and water is a mystery, though.

More stories like this one wouldn't surprise me, either.

It's sad that whoever this person was, they apparently died alone and unmissed. RIP

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No skeletons in closets in the US. Talk shows, reality shows and tell all books brought them all out.

But it makes you wonder how easy it is to live in an abandoned apartment.

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And the USA doesn't ?................................ Puhleeeeeeeeeeeeze !

nope...in the US we have 'em in the backyard

0 ( +1 / -1 )

paulinusa :Figuratively and literally, Japan has skeletons in the closet.

And the USA doesn't ?................................ Puhleeeeeeeeeeeeze !

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Those reading this article, pls consider your parents or relative and spare a minute to give them a call.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe a game of hide and seek that seriously went on too long...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Police believe someone had gone into the empty apartment long after it had been vacated, and died."

Seriously? And after he died he covered himself with a sheet??

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

old mother hubbard went to the cupboard......... and didnt come out again

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Excellent headline. Maybe he was just afraid to come out of the closet and so lost his head.

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Who goes into a closet to die ? We'll probably find out later, that the last tennant was a med student and the skeleton was lab model......Hopefully.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

many more still to be found sadly

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's about time!!! Wait, I just read the headline and thought this was a political story about the downfall of Japan's lower house... Never mind...

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I'd like to think when they tear down my old apartment building they'll probably find a few.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Was it warmer in the cupboard, and was this person sick, or starving maybe?

Would anyone bother to ask these questons, I wonder?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So, it sounds like it was a squatter that died and was undiscovered til now. Squatters tend to live in isolation, and even if they have family somewhere, are out of contact. Sad.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Family units are not breaking down, there are just too many old people, not enough care workers and not enough money for people to afford anything.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Finally he is coming out of the closet

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Probably the skeleton belongs to someone playing hide and seek.. and he won!!!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

paulinusa .. you beat me to the punch! haha HAPPY FRIDAY!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Figuratively and literally, Japan has skeletons in the closet.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

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