TOKYO (Reuters) - Crimes committed by elderly people in Japan have risen sharply in the past 15 years, a trend that has officials worried as the population ages rapidly due to longer lifespans and a falling birth rate.If this can happen in polite and well behaved Japan (a place with so little crime it’s astonishing, really) imagine the consequences of this trend taking hold in the United States where oldies are more belligerent and criminal to begin with.
Police data shows that people aged 65 and older accounted for more than 10 percent of those arrested or taken into custody for crimes other than traffic violations in Japan in 2005, compared with just 2.2 percent in 1990, the Asahi newspaper said on Monday, citing National Police Agency data.
Theft topped the list of crimes committed by the elderly in 2005, while 141 elderly people were arrested for murder -- more than three times the number in 1990, the newspaper said.
Nearly one-third of the victims of crimes committed by the elderly in 2005 were spouses, it added.
Agency officials would not confirm the report, which also said the Justice Ministry was seeking funds to research the problem.
In March, an 81-year-old man arrested on suspicion of strangling his 73-year-old wife said he had killed her after a quarrel over food she had prepared, Asahi said.
I have a dark vision of the future...the economy in shambles from Social Security and medical care costs. Criminal oldies arriving on those motorized scooters and descending in packs on the outnumbered young store clerks…looting canned goods and packs of those dry, brown cookies no one under the age of 60 eats...grabbing bottles of fiber laxative of the shelves with both wrinkly hands and stuffing them into the ample pockets of their velour sweat pants...hitting with canes, and if someone hits them back lying down in the middle of the aisle and refusing to move while making that awful sound oldies do when in distress...a dark vision indeed.
1In my more amusing past I’ve proposed some innovative solutions to this impending crisis, such as putting the oldies in lava tubes, storing them at the bottoms of ravines, even luring them onto cruise ships then casting them adrift. All of my proposals have been met with indifference, if not condemnation.