Populations across the world are getting older. There will be about 72.1 million older persons by 2030 — more than twice than in 2000 — in the United States. In Japan, the government estimates that by 2060, nearly half (40%) of its population will be of retirement age. While the United States’ rising senior population may cause issues with health care and housing, Japan’s increasing senior population is a bit more of a violent problem.
Apparently, elderly people in the Land of the Rising Sun are committing more crimes than delinquents, many of which are described as violent.
The National Police Agency questioned a total of 23,656 people aged 65 and older in connection to crimes during the first six months of 2015, according to the agency. During that time, police investigations questioned only 19,670 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 19.
Over one-quarter of Japan’s population is now at the age of retirement, and they’re getting into more trouble than ever. Violent crime committed by the elderly has increased 10% in comparison to the same time last year. Murders and robberies, specifically, rose 11.8%, said police.
The Telegraph reports that the rising crime rate amongst the geriatric community reflects a widening gap between the rich and poor.
On June 30, 71-year-old Haruo Hayashizaki set himself on fire while aboard a bullet train. Both he, and another female passenger died, while dozens of others had to be treated for minor injuries, including smoke inhalation. That day, he had failed to pay his rent, and had previously complained that his pension was simply not enough to survive on.
In another case, a 93-year-old man is on trial for euthanizing his 83-year-old wife, who suffered from dementia and reduced mobility. The man claims that she pleaded with him to do it, because she was in constant pain, and “did not want to be a burden on her family.”
In yet another case, a 71-year-old woman beat her husband to death after he had confessed to having an affair in 1979.
What’s most shocking, perhaps, is the fact this isn’t only happening in Japan. Geriatric lawbreakers are rising up in South Korea, too. The East Asian nation saw a spike in crime rates amongst its seniors of almost 40% between 2011 and 2013.