87-year-old man arrested for killing bedridden wife

SAITAMA —

Police in Sakado, Saitama Prefecture, on Saturday arrested an 87-year-old man on suspicion of killing his 85-year-old bedridden wife.

According to police, Taro Kawashima called 110 at around 12:30 a.m. Saturday and said he had killed his wife. When police arrived at the scene, they found his wife Yuki in bed, in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead due to asphyxiation.

Kawashima was quoted by police as saying he was worn out from looking after his wife who had been an invalid for the past 10 years. He said he had covered her nose and mouth until she stopped breathing.

Japan Today

  • -1

    sensei258

    Sad situation, but it's still murder, even though he will not be punished for it

  • 7

    Burning Bush

    Assisted suicide, this would be legal in some countries.

  • 1

    sensei258

    Assisted suicide, this would be legal in some countries

    Where does it say she wanted to die. He made that choice, not her, that's why it's murder

  • 7

    Dan Lewis

    So he's tired of taking care of her. While I don't know what he felt, I can understand why he might feel that way.

    If you consider his alternative - to just leave her alone, she would die "naturally" and it would not be murder, but it would be a slow, possible uncomfortable death. So if you said the way he killed her was a mercy killing, I would tend to agree.

  • 7

    Disillusioned

    It's truly saddening and disappointing to hear this scenario repeating itself over and over again. It's pretty clear there is a major problem with aged care in Japan, which is even more alarming when you consider a third of the population is over 65.

  • 2

    Gerard van Schip

    This is a problem that will only increase here in Japan. It's one of the reasons why my wife wanted to move back from London so we can eventually care for her parents.

  • 5

    mtuffizi

    a heart broker and sad story it is very hard for 87 years old to take care someone. at least if they send him to jail, someone will provide him food and care even minimum stage. better than when he reach the stage that can not care himself. he must be heart broker by letting is wife go this way.

  • 5

    LifeOutSideTheBox

    The article in Japanese gave some more insight to the situation.

    Taro, the suspect, has been nursing Yuki from about 10 years ago. Yuki was badly forgetfulness (most likely bad dementia). He legs we very weakened and had fractures. The past couple years she was house ridden without the able walk well enough to leave the home.

    Yuki was in a Tsurugashima city long-term care facilities from April to early June, but for reasons they were no longer able to keep her due to strict admission rules based on a person's condition. So a person can improve a bit and then be released with disregard to the overall situation. So the nursing home released her back into the care of an 87 year old man who said he was no longer able to care for her due to his weakening condition due to age..

    The son 55 lives on the property in a separate building. But he was probably not helping the father most likely due to the nature of long working hours her in Japan.

    The thing we'll never know is if Yuki was part of the decision or not. But even if the law is clear that it's considered murder irregardless until this country decides to change these rules. But what led up to it with the nursing home not continuing care is just a sad state of affairs with the lack of availability and strict rules for nursing homes.

  • 0

    Peter Qinghai

    @Gerard van Schip, I've mentioned that fact several times. People need to take a lesson from Sir Edward Downes.

  • 0

    Jonathan Prin

    He would have done 119 and everything would be easier for everyone and us not to be spammed with "personal case of death where there is no solution". Japan is surely dealing from now on for years with thousands of such cases per year !

  • 1

    Garthgoyle

    Breaking point. Sad from all angles you look at it.

  • 1

    zones2surf

    This is a reflection on Japan and Japanese society. And it is not unique to Japan.

    Governments not having the funds to ensure that the elderly have access to basic care in their twilight years.

    But, of course, having the funds for governors to jet off first class to foreign locations. And to fund $2 billion stadiums.

    Utterly reprehensible.

  • 1

    Erin Loydi Brummette

    Well, I can't be "Judge, Judy and executioner". No one knows what its like to take care of a sick person unless they have taken care of a sick person. He shouldn't be "shamed" on the news. How does an 87 year old take care of someone else? The answer is "he can't".

    If I am 80 something and have been invalid for ten years... PLEASE, just kill what's left of me!

  • 1

    Dre Hund

    Most of these comments drift away from the problem. 87 year old men shouldn't have to be the sole providers for indigent spouses. The country and the children are supposed to help. The fact that he didn't seek help is the real story here.

  • 0

    choiwaruoyaji

    I can understand his feelings.

  • 1

    Tony W.

    A clear need here for both more readily available palliative care and a look at laws on voluntary euthanasia. Does anyone really suppose that the invalid partner in these circumstances feels happy with his or her spouse having to wear him or herself out caring for them? One of these alternatives would surely be acceptable to both parties in cases like this, rather than one partner having to resort to such desperate measures.

  • -1

    Lisa Daxer

    It makes me angry that she is considered not to be worth living because she has an illness. He killed her. She deserved good care, not murder. He should have taken her to a hospital and said that he cannot care for her anymore. It must have been horrible for her to realize that her own husband that she loved was killing her.

  • 0

    ThePBot

    Is it me or is it becoming more common for seniors killing or getting killed?

  • 0

    Baer DaGuy

    Living longer doesn't necessarily mean living well. Truly tragic.

  • 0

    James Burke

    what a crappy situation for all parties.

    how can you expect an 87 year old man to care for a bedridden wife with dementia, the man probably needs care himself just to make it through an average day.

    the police come knocking on the door every year to keep tabs on people, why would they not take notice of this situation and keep an eye on the household? every year the police knock knock knock and do their little survey - what's the use of those constant patrols and questionnaires, there is no crime to fight, aren't they supposed to be watching out for vulnerable people and stopping these kinds of issues from developing?

    frustrating.

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