33 possible centenarians ‘missing’

Nationwide probe in works to learn status of pension recipients who would be over 100 if alive

Kyodo News

Local governments in 11 prefectures have no notion of the whereabouts of 33 people who would be 100 years old or older, officials said Wednesday.

The revelation follows Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Akira Nagatsuma’s announcement Tuesday that investigations will be soon launched into the status of pension recipients who would be 110 or older across Japan.

One of the missing is an elderly woman registered as 113 — Tokyo’s oldest person. Last week, the mummified body of a man who would have been 111 if still alive was also found. It appeared he had been dead for some three decades.

That discovery prompted the central government to begin checking up on elderly people through municipalities.

In Iwamizawa, Hokkaido, the whereabouts of a man and a woman, both of whom would be 100 if they are alive, is unknown, the city said.

City officials have found that the man does not reside at his registered address. Meanwhile, the woman’s 50-year-old granddaughter, who was registered as living with her, told the city last year that she has never resided with her grandmother, the officials said.

In Hadano, Kanagawa Prefecture, the whereabouts of an man who would be 104, the city’s oldest person, is unknown. The man’s family reported him missing to a family court, the city said.

In Soka, Saitama Prefecture, a man who would be 100 is missing and his son said the man disappeared after leaving home about 20 years ago. The city of Okayama said it lost track of three centenarians.

Centenarians are also unaccounted for in the cities of Fukuoka, Kiyose in Tokyo, Tsushima in Aichi Prefecture and Usuki, Oita Prefecture.