The Mainichi Daily News, a Japanese newspaper, is reporting a rather strange story in the city of Kyoto about a 55 year old man who has kept the corpse of his dead father. The son has apparently told the police that more than five years ago, he came home to find his father in bed not moving; that would certainly presume death. He left his father lying in bed but after a week, the body began to smell so the son put it in a wardrobe. While this all sounds very strange if not morbid, it has come out that the son has continued to receive his father’s pension payments. There will now be an investigation of the son for fraud as well as crime of abandonment of the father’s body.
This macabre discovery all came about when the son was admitted to hospital. During his stay, his ex-wife visited the apartment. She did not find any sign of her father-in-law and discussions with the authorities led to an officer visiting the locale and noticing an odd smell coming from the wardrobe. A warrant was obtained and the police then found the mummified remains.
The father had been living with his son for about 10 years.
As reported in Oye! Times (see Japan’s elderly: gone but not forgotten – August 17, 2010), there have been numerous incidents which have come to light in the past year in Japan where relatives have hushed up the death of an elderly member of the family in order to continue reaping the benefits of their pension. Japan has long held a reputation for having the oldest people in the world but in some cases, those records shattering the limits of longevity were nothing more than scams to continue receiving government cheques.
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Original story in Japanese