• Kyodo

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The number of people with dementia who were reported missing across Japan last year stood at 10,322, up 715 from the year before.

The National Police Agency said that of the 19,929 people with dementia who vanished between 2012 and 2013, the whereabouts of 258 remained unknown as of the end of April.

In a report released Thursday, the NPA said 10,180 were found last year, including 92 reported missing in 2012 or before, and that 388 were confirmed dead.

Of the 10,180 people located, 6,443, or 63.3 percent, were found on the day local police were asked to search for them, and 3,506, or 34.4 percent, were found in two to seven days. For 32 people, it took more than two years to be found.

The police located 6,045 people, while 3,464 were found at their homes by family members or others, including 283 mistakenly reported as missing.

The NPA on Thursday instructed prefectural police across the country to use the database on missing people that is currently used for criminal investigations.

The agency has been studying measures to speed up searches for missing people after an elderly woman from Tokyo who lived in a nursing home in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture, since 2007 was identified last month after she appeared on a television program.

It was found later that the Tatebayashi Municipal government was aware of her family name, but didn’t act because the information had not been shared by the Gunma Prefectural Police.