Mushroom Picking-Linked Fatal Accidents on Rise in Japan

Society

Nagano, Oct. 19 (Jiji Press)--Japan is seeing an increase in the number of deaths related to mushroom hunting, after extreme summer heat and heavy rain produced a rich crop of the seasonal delicacy this year.

Many hunters, mainly elderly people, tend to go into remote areas deep in mountains with steep slopes to look for mushrooms, and they face a high risk of falling down as they keep their eyes on a limited area around them.

Police have called on mushroom pickers to avoid steep slopes and make sure that their relatives are informed in advance of areas where they plan to go to look for mushrooms.

According to the police department of Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, a total of 20 people got lost in mountains in the inland prefecture while hunting mushrooms between the beginning of August and Monday, with the number already topping last year's 12. Of them, 13 died after falling in mountains or for other reasons, up from three last year.

In the central prefecture of Yamanashi, four people have died this year, up from one last year. Three people died in the northeastern prefecture of Iwate. Most of the victims were in their 60s or older.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press