11.16.2008

A window into our future: Japan's elderly turn to crime

Since we've been following Japan's example of zero interest rates and propping up insolvent banks to reward debtors and punish savers, this story from Japan is a preview of what's likely to happen here.
More senior citizens are picking pockets and shoplifting in Japan to cope with cuts in government welfare spending and rising health-care costs in a fast-ageing society.

Criminal offences by people 65 or older doubled to 48,605 in the five years to 2008, the most since police began compiling national statistics in 1978, a Ministry of Justice report said.

Theft is the most common crime of senior citizens, many of whom face declining health, low incomes and a sense of isolation, the report said. Elderly crime may increase in parallel with poverty rates as Japan enters another recession and the budget deficit makes it harder for the government to provide a safety net for people on the fringes of society.

HT: Naked Capitalism

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