Man, 81, pushes wheelchair-bound wife, 79, into the sea as he was 'too tired of taking care of her'
Hiroshi Fujiwara confessed to his crime and said that he pushed his wife Teruko into the sea as he had been caring for her for the past 40 years
OISO, JAPAN: An elderly man pushing his wheelchair-bound wife into the sea after being too “tired of taking care of her” for 40 years. Hiroshi Fujiwara, 81, from Oiso, Kanagawa, pled guilty and confessed to murdering his 79-year-old disabled wife Teruko.
The Kanagawa police department came to know about the incident on Friday, November 4 when Fujiwara’s son filed a complaint against him. After being arrested by the officials, Fujiwara told them that on the evening of Thursday, November 3, he drove his wife to a pier in Oiso and pushed her into the waters, according to UNILAD.
A grief-stricken Fujiwara then came back home and admitted told his elder son about what he had done, who called the police. “My dad says he pushed mom into the sea”, he told the police, the Independent reported. The couple lived by themselves.
Fujiwara was arrested after a local discovered Teruko’s body in the sea and informed officials about it around 7.00 pm. Emergency service immediately reached the location and took her body out. Teruko was then taken to the local hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical experts. Kanagawa Prefecture Police’s Oiso police station said in a statement on Friday that Fujiwara was arrested and taken into police custody on suspicion of murder.
Teruko's death sparked a wave of backlash against the Japanese government. The 79-year-old's death comes amid a sudden rise in the number of deaths of elderly people in Japan. Of the 126 million in the country, more than a quarter of people are 65 years and above.
A survey conducted by the health and welfare ministry revealed that there were 17,281 incidents of elderly people being physically assaulted by family members resulting in 25 deaths in 2020. More data gathered by the ministry revealed almost 70% of elder abuse victims suffered physical abuse during their ordeals.
The main underlying factor of such abuse, in 60.1% of cases, was “problems related to education, knowledge, and nursing-care techniques.” The second key factor, in 26.4% of cases, involved “problems related to caregivers’ stress and inability to control their emotions,” stated a report by Nippon.