A man called 110 and said, “There is a person floating in the sea.
A man fishing on the quay in Oiso Town, Kanagawa Prefecture, called 110. The police officer who arrived at the scene found an elderly woman being rocked by the waves. She was transported to the hospital, but was soon confirmed dead. Police divers searched the ocean near the scene and found a wheelchair that appeared to have been used by the woman.
On November 22, the Odawara branch of the Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office charged Hiroshi Fujiwara, 81, an unemployed man living in Oiso Town, with murder. He is alleged to have drowned his wife. Fujiwara told the Kanagawa Prefectural Police Oiso Station, where he was arrested, that he “took pity on his wife as she became physically disabled.
The incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. on November 2. Fujiwara invited his wife Teruko, 79, who lived with him, to go for a walk, and they drove to the Oiso fishing port near their home. Teruko was disabled and could not walk alone.
When they arrived at the fishing port, Fujiwara moved Teruko’s wheelchair closer to the shore. It was a clear day, but the surrounding area was already dark. Fujiwara and Teruko watched the sea for a while. When he made up his mind, he put pressure on the grip of the wheelchair and ……. He pushed Teruko into the sea with the wheelchair.
A couple who are good friends and often travel together ……
After returning home by car, Fujiwara called his eldest son, who lived elsewhere, and told him that he had dropped his wife in the sea. The eldest son, startled, reported to the police that his father said he had pushed his mother into the water, and the incident was discovered.
The defendant Fujiwara was born in the Kansai region and moved to Kanagawa Prefecture when he started working for a major supermarket, Nagasakiya (now a subsidiary of Don Quijote). He worked at a store in Hiratsuka City, where he met and married Teruko, who lived nearby. They were a very close couple.
It was about 40 years ago that a dark cloud began to gather over their married life. Teruko, who had always had bad legs, suffered a stroke. Since then, Teruko had difficulty walking by herself, but Fujiwara worked very hard to take care of her,” said an acquaintance of the couple.
Fujiwara and Teruko lived in a housing complex in Oiso Town. Fujiwara participated in the residents’ cleaning activities from early in the morning and did all the household chores such as laundry and cooking. When Teruko was in good health, they took trips to Odawara and Izu.
According to a resident of the apartment complex, defendant Fujiwara had a friendly disposition and usually greeted people with a smile. He really cared for Teruko, and those around him were impressed. However, he had a tendency to keep things to himself, and was said to have said, ‘I love the idea of putting her in an elderly care facility. She would say, “I feel sorry to put her in an institution for the elderly. I have to take care of her.
The incident that led directly to the case occurred in early October. In early October, Teruko Fujiwara tried to sit on the toilet, but she fell down, and her health deteriorated. Fujiwara became anxious and stressed, and tended to miss cleaning activities at the housing complex. Neighbors often heard him yelling at them.
Fujiwara was probably carrying the burden of caring for his wife all by himself. If only he had been more open about his problems with his family and acquaintances. …… In response to the police investigation, Fujiwara stated, “I was tired of caring for my wife for 40 years. I was tired of taking care of him for 40 years. My wife did not ask me to kill her. （There is no doubt in my mind that I took Teruko’s life.
There is no shame in discussing family problems with those around you. Hesitation will only make the situation worse. It is important to have the courage to ask for help.
Photo: Kyodo News： Kyodo News Afro