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Where could 230,000 Japanese pensioners have gone? Flickr via Malias

230,000 Japanese centenarians missing

Is there something strange happening in Japan?

THE JAPANESE MAY BE known for their healthy lifestyle, but nobody thought the country was home to 884 people over the 150. A new review of government records found that the country has 230,000 citizens over the age of 100.

The Justice Ministry’s review also revealed there are 77,000 people who would be at least 120, and 884 people who would be 150 or older.

But the story reveals a much sadder state of affairs for Japan. In July, police discovered that Sogen Kato, who at 111 was believed to be Tokyo’s oldest man had actually been dead for the past 30 years, but his decayed body was still lying in his home. Police arrested Kato’s daughter and granddaughter on charges of suspected fraud.

The case is not believed to be an isolated one, and suspicions of fraud is one of the main reasons the review is being undertaken.

Japan has one of the world’s oldest populations, Japanese women can expect to live 86 years, the longest in the world, while many men live beyond 80.

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