A mother beheaded by her son. A baby who suffocated after being stuffed by his parents in the baggage compartment of a motorbike while they went gambling. A murderous shooting spree during a hostage standoff.
An outbreak of violent crime this week has triggered soul-searching and outrage in
The "appalling destruction" of traditional values — as one lawmaker put it — climaxed Friday, when a former gangster killed a policeman and wounded his son and daughter during a shooting rampage at his home, where he had held his ex-wife hostage for 24 hours. It was the first time an on-duty policeman was shot to death since 2001.
The standoff capped a week of mayhem and mistreatment.
On Tuesday, a teenager strolled into a police station with his mother's severed head in a bag. News reports said the 17-year-old suspect hacked off his mother's head as she slept, then went to an Internet cafe to watch music videos — with the head — before turning himself into police in the morning.
On Thursday, a couple was arrested after their 1-year-old son's body was found wrapped in a plastic bag and dumped in a gutter. The baby died after his parents allegedly left him in the baggage hold of a motorbike while they gambled at a pachinko pinball parlor. Motoki Tamiya and his wife, Mika, both 21, were arrested Thursday after DNA tests of the dead 1-year-old linked the boy to his mother. The baby's body was found last month on a remote road in the mountains of western
The same day, a 3-year-old child was abandoned by his father at an anonymous drop box meant for unwanted infants.
"We are witnessing the deterioration of Japanese society," ruling party politician Tsuneo Suzuki told parliament Thursday. "We must stem this appalling destruction of family and community morals."
A tide of corporate layoffs amid widespread restructuring, the fragmentation of extended families and a creeping sense of urban alienation all contribute to the erosion of mores, experts say.
"Anxiety is mounting in
"While families used to act as brakes, there is an increase in crimes where people feel lost in despair and no longer care what happens to their families," he said.
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