Juvenile crime fell by 15% during the first half of this year but offences by the elderly rose 3%.
It has been called Japan’s tsunami. A quarter of Japanese are over 65 and 15% of them suffer from dementia. On top of that the birth rate is in decline so if things continue in this way there won’t be enough younger people in work to pay taxes and support the increasing proportion of elderly people.
Japan has one of the lowest levels of crime in the world but older people are more likely to commit theft, including shoplifting, often because of poverty and out of desperation.
Murders are committed by elderly careers driven to desperation by a chronically ill spouse.
Tamano Tsujikawa, a lawyer and member of a committee on elderly people at the Japan Bar Association says “Behind this increase in crimes by elderly people lies hardship in daily living. Society’s safety net is broken.
In the old days elderly people were supported by younger generations. That family function has gone and forced old people to live alone. And the environment surrounding such people is getting worse because of economic stagnation and a society that neglects its weaker members.”
A 71-year old man who committed suicide by setting himself alight on a train after struggling to make ends meet had said to his sister shorty beforehand. “Do they just want us old ones to drop dead quickly?”
I’ve posted about this problem before and it’s not going away.