Japanese authorities have arrested a father for allegedly keeping his son locked up in a cramped wooden box for more than 20 years.
Upon questioning, 73-year-old Yoshitane Yamasaki claimed that he decided to keep his then 16-year-old son confined in a cage due to his mental problems, according to Japan Times.
Just a meter (3.3 feet) in height and less than 2 meters (6.6 feet) in width, the cage was kept in an air-conditioned hut next to Yamasaki’s house in the city of Sanda in Hyōgo Prefecture.
According to local police, the father explained that his now-42-year-old son’s illness made him act violently.
He said that he fed him every day and allowed him to wash every other day since his confinement.
The son, whose name was withheld in the reports, developed a bent back due to the tiny space he was forced into.
The victim’s condition was only uncovered in January after a city official visited their home. He was immediately released and has since been placed under the care of a social welfare facility in western Japan.
While the elderly father was arrested in January and kept in custody for 36 hours, it was not reported if officials will pursue further action against him.
A similar incident was recently reported in China where a mother kept her mentally-ill son chained and locked up in a small room near her house for over a decade.