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Man allegedly locked mentally disabled son in cage for decades

By New York Post

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(NEW YORK POST) – Now he’ll be the one locked up.

A 73-year-old Japanese man who admitted to locking his mentally ill son in a cage for more than two decades was arrested on Saturday, officials said.

Yoshitane Yamasaki was taken into custody on suspicion of imprisoning his son in the western city of Sanda, in Hyogo prefecture, local police said.

His son, now 42, was reportedly forced to live inside a wooden cage that stands a little over 3 feet tall and about 6 feet wide. The cage was set up in a prefabricated shed next to his house. A female relative who was not identified reportedly also lived in the house.

Yamasaki admitted he used the cage to control his son.

“I made my son live in a cage for more than 20 years because he has mental problems and acted up,” he earlier told city officials, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK. Local news reports said the son was first confined to the shed when he was 16 years old, and was acting violently. His family built the cage so he wouldn’t bang on the walls or cause other damage.

He ate meals with the rest of the family and was allowed to bathe, but was put in the cage when no one else was home, according to one Japanese newspaper. A plastic sheet was placed on the floor beneath the cage, and the shed had a heater and an air conditioner, local news outlets reported.

The son’s name was not released. He is in a stable condition but is suffering from some back damage, NHK said, adding that he was sent to a welfare facility.

The family did not use any welfare services for his care, so the city government was unaware that he had a disability until someone reported the situation in January.

No other details were released. The case is still under investigation.

In December, a woman diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder and confined was confined to a windowless room for at least 15 years by her parents froze to death in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture.

The 33-year-old weighed just 42 lbs. Her parents were arrested and indicted on charges of unlawful confinement and abandonment by persons responsible for protection, resulting in death.


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