Poverty drives Japanese pensioners to crime

This 2011 video says about itself:

In episode five of our Tokyo City Series we take a look at the growing problem of homelessness in Japan.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Japanese prisons start to look like old people’s homes

Japanese elderly people are increasingly consciously choosing imprisonment. They commit minor crimes, such as shoplifting, in the hope of being imprisoned. The pensioners see imprisonment as the only way to escape from loneliness and poverty.

Currently, about 20 percent of Japanese detainees are 65 years of age or older. That is three times as many as twenty years ago.

Although Japanese generally comply strictly with the law, that is increasingly no longer the case for all elderly people. They can barely survive with the basic pension, which is about 800 euros per month and prefer the clean cells and regular life within the prison walls.

Some people also consciously choose prison in South Korea. There the reason is stress due to overtime and busy work weeks. Incidentally, the South Koreans do not have to commit a crime: they only have to pay for it.

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