A man living as a hikikomori hermit for the past 30 years has been arrested after it transpired he had hid his mother’s corpse for 3 years so he could use her pension to steal $80,000 to fund his plamo hobby.
The corpse of the man’s 80-year-old mother was discovered in the kitchen of their Nagoya home, sealed in a vacuum bag for storing futons. Her death is not thought to be suspicious in nature.
She had died 3 years ago, but her 60-year-old son, who had been living as a jobless hikikomori for the past 30 years, hid her death from the authorities so he could fraudulently claim her pension.
In this fashion he succeeded in pilfering from $80,000 to $110,000 – aided by the fact the funds were transferred straight to his account.
Her corpse, still in its bag, was eventually discovered hidden on a kitchen shelf.
Explaining the crime, he made reference to the fact he was a jobless parasite dependent on his mother:
“My mother’s pension was my only source of income. I needed the money so I kept claiming her pension after she died.
I used the money to cover my living costs, and to spend on my hobbies and buy plamo.”
He has been charged with fraud.
The case calls to mind similar incidents of pension fraud, where many of Japan’s oldest inhabitants were discovered to be nothing more than mummies which had been concealed from authorities in order for their relatives to claim their pensions.
It also highlights a major concern about Japan’s population of hikikomori – what exactly happens to them when their parents die and they are left alone with nobody to scrounge from?