230K Japanese Centenarians Missing

Hundreds would be 150 years old if still alive
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2010 10:09 AM CDT
230K Japanese Centenarians Missing
A Kobe city official, left, visits 100 year-old Mitsue Watase, center, at Watase's home in Kobe, western Japan as the officials started a door-to-door survey on the whereabouts of centenarians.    (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Either there's a massive, secret senior center somewhere, or there's a whole lot of fraud going on in Japan. After discovering that Tokyo's oldest man had actually been dead for 30 years, the country starting calling on its centenarians—and in addition to one gruesome find, it's discovered that some 230,000 of them are missing. Hundreds, if alive, would actually be at least 150 years old, found officials.

In some cases, dishonest relatives may be collecting great granny's pension; other explanations are less sinister: Some of the unaccounted for may have died more than half-a-century ago in post-World War II turmoil; others may have emigrated without alerting local authorities. In other cases, families simply may not have reported their relatives' deaths, reports the BBC.
(More Japan stories.)

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