Unclaimed burial urns pile up in ageing Japan amid fraying social ties, economic pressures

Unclaimed urns containing ashes of the dead are piling up by the thousands across Japan, creating storage headaches and reflecting fraying family ties and economic pressures in a rapidly ageing nation.
The identities of the dead, cremated at public expense, are usually known. But in most cases, relatives either refuse or do not respond to requests to collect their remains. Burials can be costly and time-consuming, a burden on family members who may hardly know the deceased relative.
“When…