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Tokyo's 'oldest man' was dead for 30 years

Grim discovery made as city records were updated.

THE MAN BELIEVED to be Tokyo’s oldest living man was recently discovered to have died 30 years ago.

Officials who were updating their list of residents aged over 100 years asked police to check on Sogen Kato, who was born on 22 July, 1889. After forcing their way into Kato’s home, officers discovered his corpse lying in bed.

Welfare authorities said they had tried to meet the elderly man earlier this year, but were refused entry by his family. His family claims Kato became a recluse some 30 years ago because he wanted to be a living Buddha, and authorities believe he died soon afterwards.

Currently, the world’s oldest person is believed to be Eugénie Blanchard of France, who was born on 16 February, 1896.

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