June 8th 2019
TOKYO – The number of consultations to support groups and similar organizations from middle-aged “hikikomori” social recluses and their parents is surging, following recent stabbing incidents involving such people.
At the same time, the big impact of stabbing rampage in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, by a social recluse and a former top agriculture ministry bureaucrat’s murder of his reclusive son in Tokyo has led some people to take a further distance from society, according to experts.
Rakunokai Lila, a Tokyo-based nonprofit organization supporting social recluses, was swamped by phone calls for consultation after the incidents, mainly from reclusive people in their 40s to 50s.
“I can’t go outside for fear of public eyes,” one such individual was quoted as saying. Consultations from parents also increased, the support group said.
“The most difficult thing is to call for the first help,” said Otochika Ichikawa, a 72-year-old senior official of the support group, whose daughter was a one-time social recluse.