September 10, 2010

Following the recent discovery of missing Japanese centenarians, officials in Japan have undertaken a national inquiry and now believe there are more than 230,000 ‘missing’ Japanese elderly over the age of 100.

As a result of finding the mummified body of Tokyo’s ‘oldest living man’, Sogen Kato aged 111, when officials visited to acknowledge his birthday an investigation was launched into his pension payments. Relatives had continued to claim money for six years (approx. 9.5m yen, £70,000) following the death of his wife despite him having been dead for about 30 years.

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In what is a bizarre finding, the Justice Ministry believe some of those unaccounted for may have died over 60 years ago, possibly during the post-World War II turmoils. Others may have emigrated without updating the authorities while some relatives have failed to advise of their death.

In addition to the previously reported discoveries, in early August Tokyo’s oldest living woman was discovered to have been missing for decades. While registered as living with her daughter, Fusa Furuya aged 113, has not been seen by her daughter since the 1980’s but nobody had apparently checked to see if she is still alive!

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Last updated: September 21, 2010 at 10:21 pm