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Stalking involving Japan’s seniors on the rise

Shukan Jitsuwa July 10
Shukan Jitsuwa July 10

On June 10, Nara Prefectural Police arrested an 85-year-old man from Wakayama Precture for repeatedly stalking a woman five years his junior.

Between November 6 and 23 of last year, Takeo Shinda is alleged to have left a number of messages on the mobile phone of the woman, 80, in which he said he was waiting in front of her home in Nara Prefecture. The suspect then entered the victim’s home on May 2.

According to Shukan Jitsuwa (July 10), such crimes committed by senior citizens are rapidly increasing.

In 2013, the number of stalking cases involving perpetrators over the age of 60 reached 1,919, a figure that is four times that of 10 years ago.

Shukan Jitsuwa wonders what is behind the sudden surge.

“For Japanese people, there is nothing else other than work, even when they reach the age of 70,” says journalist Junsei Kubota. “However, once the company no longer has a use for them, satisfaction is sought elsewhere — possibly, with women.”

In November of 2010, an 82-year-old man in Kumamoto City aggressively pursued a female office worker in her mid 20s to the point where he was arrested. The year before, a man two years younger repeatedly threw adult magazines into the house of a 60-year-old woman in Kanazawa City.

“At first, there is gentle affection on the part of the woman he meets,” say Kubota, “and then he will escalate the situation to stronger emotions of love.”

Shinda, the 85-year-old suspect, met the target of his affections several years ago while she shared the same hospital room with his wife, who passed away last year.

“When a man is a member of a company or organization, he can maintain responsibility,” says Kubota. “But a decade or so after retirement he loses self control and reveals his true character. That’s when he winds up arrested.”

Shukan Jitsuwa says that many seniors the world over find pleasure in traveling overseas after leaving the work force, but that is not the case for Japan.

“Volunteer work is recommended,” says Kubota in offering advice. “Anything they can do to feel a sense of satisfaction.” (K.N.)

Source: “Fuetsuzukeru koreisha sutookaa,” Shukan Jitsuwa (June 19, page 207)