Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, but petty crime by their elderly citizens is on the rise, They deliberately shoplift, steal a dirt bike and commit all sorts of small crimes, then hope to get caught. And even if they are not caught, sometimes they turn themselves in for arrest and prosecution.
NHK Japan estimated that 82.5% of Japanese women over 70 years of age go to jail for shoplifting. Many of them are repeat offenders, as soon as they get out of jail, they commit another offence and hope someone calls the cops.
But why do they love jail this much
Free cost of living
In jail old people don’t pay rent, they have a routine, and get to enjoy a free hot meal. They also get access to routine therapy and medical care as they develop Alzheimer’s and order age related illness.
Loneliness is also another motivation
Many of Japan’s senior citizens are living alone, they have lost touch with their families or don’t speak to them. – many of their relatives are dead.
In prison the find a community of other aged in-mates hence they take care of each other.
Japanese population is aging rapidly
Japan has a rapidly aging population, while less young people are motivated to give birth according to a report by Japanese times
Roughly a quarter of the population is 65 or over; roughly one-sixth is 75 or over. Out of a population of 127 million, the number of people suffering from dementia is 4.6 million.
There are multiple reasons why Japanese elderly ended up alone in the first place
Some of them are just loners, very typical of the Japanese culture and has never had a family.
Japanese is very competitive, high premium is placed on work and achievements- people end up over working themselves with little time for family- some people even die from exhaustion- death by work refereed to as “karoshi” in Japanese language
There are also cases of elderly person abandonment – Ritsuko Tanaka, an unemployed 46 year old was arrested for abandoning her aged dad in 2018 according to reports
Thousands of aged people in Japan over 65yrs of age are dying alone.