13th June, 2018, Tokyo
In a case which may provoke changes in laws regarding identifying bodies, a family is in shock after their relative returns home - a year after cremating him.
On 21st June, 2017, an unconscious man with no ID was discovered by police in Edo River (Katsushika, Tokyo). Upon being transported to hospital, he shortly passed away.
The body was identified by three people - a woman and two relatives, who declared without a doubt the man was the woman's late husband who had reported missing some time before.
Once identified, the body was handed to family in which funeral proceedings began - including the religious custom of cremation.
One year later on 6th June, 2018, police received a shocking phone call from the woman who had identified the body, saying her husband had come home.
Upon further investigation, it was revealed the man discovered in the river had been a different missing person. Because the body had been promptly identified, no other procedures had taken place such as fingerprinting, dental checks, or DNA checks - tests which are not usually conducted once a body is identified in Japan.
Officials later released a statement, stating this incident has been a learning curve, and more care will be taken in future in order to prevent the incident from reoccurring.
Comments from the Japan Today article added their two cents:
"How could they prove that the cremated guy is the one they think he is now? ... will his family now have to recompense the first family for the cremation and funeral?" - username Michael Jackson
"Where the hell did he go?" - username Nelson Wong
"Wonder if the life insurance needs paying back?" - username mmwkdw
"Wow, what a bungle. What genre would this be if it was a movie?" - username Snickers
Original article from JapanToday.com
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