Adachi mummy's kin arrested in pension fraud

Kyodo News

Police on Friday arrested the 81-year-old daughter and 53-year-old granddaughter of a Tokyo man whose mummified body was found in their home last month, on suspicion of fraudulently receiving pension payments he would have been entitled to.

The discovery of the remains of Sogen Kato, who would be 111 if alive, at the house in Adachi Ward drew attention to the fact many elderly people, particularly centenarians, are unaccounted for despite being registered as alive.

Michiko Kato and her daughter, Tokimi, are suspected of illegally receiving until June some ¥9 million in pension money payable to Kato as a widower, while knowing he was dead. Kato’s wife, a retired teacher, died in September 2004.

The family told police Kato shut himself up in his room decades ago, saying he wanted “to become a living Buddha.” He apparently died around the end of 1978. Kato’s oldest daughter, her husband and their two offspring live in the house.