Japanese Man Pushes Wheelchair-Bound Wife into Sea to Her Death, Admits to Doing it Because He was 'Tired of Taking Care of Her'

An 81-year-old man in Japan allegedly pushed his disabled wife into the sea, claiming that he was "tired of taking care of her" for 40 years.

Police in Oiso, Kanagawa prefecture in Japan, said that Hiroshi Fujiwara, 81, pled guilty to the crime and admitted to the charges.

He told the police that on 3 November, around 5.30pm local time, he drove his wheelchair-bound wife, 79-year-old Teruko, to a pier in Oiso and pushed her into the waters.

'My Dad Says He Pushed Mom into the Sea'

wheelchair by the sea

Local media reported that Mr Fujiwara admitted to his crime to his elder son soon after. The son, Japan Times reported, called the local police to inform them. "My dad says he pushed mom into the sea", he told the police.

The couple lived by themselves and the husband told the police that he had been taking care of his disabled wife for over 40 years.

On Friday, Kanagawa Prefecture Police's Oiso police station said that Mr Fujiwara was arrested a day after the incident and taken into police custody on suspicion of murder.

On 3 November a fisherman called the police around 7pm after he saw a body floating in the waters, the Mainichi reported. The 79-year-old woman was taken to the hospital after emergency services took her out of the sea, but she was declared dead.

Elder Abuse in Japan

Online commentators accused the government of ignoring the issue of elder abuse in the rapidly ageing country and recommended euthanasia to relieve the suffering of terminally ill adults.

Some said they sympathised with the man whose role as an elderly carer probably did not receive adequate help from the state while others argued that the husband was in the wrong and "love" was not a factor, calling for a punishment that fits the crime.

In Japan, which has a population of 126 million, more than one-quarter of people are aged 65 and above. That proportion is projected to reach one-third of the population by 2050.

Last year, a survey by the health and welfare ministry found 17,281 incidents of elderly people being physically assaulted by family members in 2020, with 25 deaths occurring as a result.