Weird! Lonely, Aging Japanese women shoplift so they will be sent to jail where they would have company


Japan has the oldest population in the world, with at least 27 per cent being over the age of 65. Yet the country is facing an unprecedented problem.
A report from Bloomberg states that at least one in five women in Japanese prisons are a senior citizen, with at least nine out of ten of them committing minor offences like shoplifting. 
The reason for this isn't down to an unusual crime wave. Instead, it's something far more socially-worrying for Japan.
Between 1980 and 2015, the number of elderly people living by themselves in Japan increased more than sixfold to nearly 6 million. 
In 2017, a Tokyo government survey found that more than 50 per cent of seniors who shoplifted lived alone and 40 per cent didn't have a family or relative to turn to.
For decades prior to this trend, it was a tradition for families and communities to care for their older citizens, but a lack of resources is making that harder to do so.
With the older population feeling more and more isolated as a result of this, women especially have turned to a life of crime in the hope that prison will provide them with a refuge and a home.
Yumi Muranaka, head warden of Iwakuni Women's Prison, near Hiroshima, told Bloomberg:
They may have a house. They may have a family. But that doesn't mean they have a place they feel at home.
They feel they are not understood. They feel they are only recognised as someone who gets the house chores done.
Elderly women, more so than men, are also considered to be more economically vulnerable, with nearly half of the female population over 65 living in poverty.
Prison has provided these women with a chance to escape their domestic lives. Bloomberg spoke to several inmates with one, simply known as Ms. T, giving a particularly harrowing account of how her life deteriorated. 
Source:INDY100

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