A former Japanese top official was arrested yesterday for the murder of his son.
76-year-old Hideaki Kumazawa is said to have stabbed his 44-year-old son to death at home in Tokyo as a precaution.
The son led a reclusive life and, according to the father, would have been a danger to his environment.
The reason was a fight about noise from a school event.
The police release little about the stabbing that killed Eiichiro (44), but his elderly father would have told the police that his son could harm others.
He refers to the attack at a bus stop in Kawasaki, a suburb of Tokyo, in which a frustrated man, who is described as a “social recluse”, killed two people.
Seventeen others, mostly young girls, were injured.
The eccentrics, mostly men between 40 and 64 years old, the majority of whom still live with their parents, are called “hikikomori” in Japan.
The government estimated in March that there are around 610,000 of these withdrawn persons throughout the country.
Retired Deputy Minister of Agriculture Hideaki Kumazawa says that his son had been living at home again for a month and was causing problems.
Eiichiro would physically and verbally abuse his parents and often argue.
Noise from primary school
Kumazawa’s son was so concerned last Saturday about the noise that students from a nearby primary school caused during a sporting event that his father was forced to intervene.
“I had to do something, otherwise he would have hurt others,” said Hideaki, who grabbed a kitchen knife to settle the matter.
The son was taken to a hospital after the stabbing, but help was no longer of any use.
The concerned father was arrested shortly after his act.
Neighbors confirm that Kumazawa Junior locked himself in the house and rarely came out.
“I believe the family came to live here ten years ago, but I never saw the son,” an 86-year-old neighbor told The Japan Times.
The incidents show a Japan-wide growing problem with the hikikomori, who once filled their days playing video games but are now getting older.
Social workers express their concern about the image that is now being created of the hermits and claim that they are not all violent.
“The problem is not in isolation,” support group Kazoku Hikikomori Japan told Reuters news agency.
“People who retreat do so to prevent them from being hurt or, on the contrary, hurting others, at school or at work”.
Even after the stabbing in Kawasaki, rights movements shouted that the attack should not simply be linked to the hikikomori.
Municipal officials say, however, that family members of the 50-year-old offender have been expressing concern about the man’s state of mind since 2017.