11/30/2018, 18.33
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Woman abandons sick father, but he remembers her name and she is arrested

Daughter tells police she couldn’t care for her father and that it would have been better for him to be sent to a nursing home after police found him. He couldn’t remember his name or address. The incident highlights the old practice of abandoning sick elderly people to their death in a remote and desolate place.

Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Police in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, arrested a 46-year-old unemployed woman for abandoning her father, a 79-year-old Alzheimer's patient, at a stop on the Chugoku Expressway near Kita, a suburb of Kobe.

According to police, around 6:45 pm on 22 November, Ritsuko Tanaka took her father to the Akamatsu parking lot, some 70 kilometres from their home, and left him there.

The police were called after staff noticed the man walking around and looking confused. The elderly man could not remember his name or home address, but managed to give his daughter's name to the officers.

After she was arrested last Monday, in the evening, the daughter told police that she was unable to cope with her father and that it would have been better for him, once found by the police, to be placed in a nursing home.

The case has been front-page news. For many, it is the latest example of ubasute, an old Japanese practice of abandoning the elderly to their death in a remote and desolate place.

In recent years, several episodes have been reported.

In March 2011, a 63-year-old man, Katsuo Kurokawa, from northeast Japan, left his disabled older sister in the mountains of Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, with some food.

She is thought to have drowned in the Obitsu River soon afterwards. He eventually confessed after he was arrested three years later for breaking into a donations box at a shrine in Chiba.

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