Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeWorld newsJapan conducts first search for unclaimed bodies

Japan conducts first search for unclaimed bodies

The Ministry of Social Affairs plans to begin Japan’s first investigation into municipalities’ responses to unclaimed bodies and remains possibly as early as this summer.

The number of single elderly people is increasing across the country. Against this background, municipalities often have difficulty finding relatives of people who have died alone. There are also cases when family members refuse to receive the bodies of such people.

The ministry will hold hearings with municipalities and experts, with the aim of identifying key issues and drawing up a list of model cases.

In Japan, the proportion of single elderly people among the total number of elderly people aged 65 or over was 22.1% for women and 15.0% for men, according to the Cabinet Office’s 2023 White Paper on Aging Society.

This share is expected to rise to 24.5% for women and 20.8% for men by 2040, around which the country’s older population will peak. The number of such people for this year is estimated at 8.96 million.

Related laws state that if a recipient cannot be found for a body or if the body is unclaimed, the municipality where the death occurred is responsible for the cremation of the body.

Municipal authorities are conducting investigations to locate relatives and are urging them to retrieve such bodies. In cases where relatives cannot be located or refuse to claim the bodies, municipalities will cremate the bodies and store the ashes.

Municipal authorities have the discretion to determine the details of the procedures, such as the time of cremation and the places where the ashes are kept.

According to a Ministry of the Interior study published in 2023, the number of unclaimed remains stored by municipalities was approximately 60,000 in October 2021.

While some municipalities are calling for the central government to set uniform standards for dealing with unclaimed bodies, the Ministry of Social Affairs remains cautious due to varying regional and religious factors.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Translate ┬╗