When people retire, they often find new hobbies to fill the time—golf, maybe, or contract bridge. Perhaps Xbox. Rising numbers of elderly Japanese, however, are picking up a more sinister pastime: stalking. In 2012, the number of stalking incidents perpetrated by people aged 60 and over hit 1,834, a surge of 3.8 times compared with 2003, according to the National Police Agency (via RocketNews24, which translates the Japanese press). Stalkers aged 70 and older jumped to 505, a 460 percent increase from 2003.
Japan has a big problem with stalking. A fatal stabbing of an 18-year-old hours after she reported her stalker to the police is the latest in a slew of high-profile stalking-related murders that have left the Japanese public miffed by what many see as police inaction. Only in October did Japan change the law to recognize e-mails as a medium of stalking harassment, along with phone calls and faxes, after a woman was slain by her ex-boyfriend from whom she received more than 1,000 threatening emails.
Read more. [Image: Issei Kato/Reuters]