- Sep 2017
These lonely deaths are called kodokushi.
Almost 25% of Japanese men and 10% Japanese women over age 60 say there is not a single person they could rely on in difficult times. The American crisis may not be so dissimilar from the Japanese one.
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare reported there were 3,700 “unaccompanied deaths” in Japan in 2013, but some researchers estimate that because of significant under-counting, the true figure is closer to 30,000. In any case, the frequency of kodokushi has been on the rise since they emerged in the 1980s.