Last month, it came to the attention of the Japanese government that many of the hundredsomething oldsters they thought they’d kept around to jazz the place up actually may have died or, at the very least, “gone missing,” in the most euphemistic way possible.
Records, apparently, had identified 77,000 citizens as at least 120 years old and 884 people as 150 or older. The Justice Ministry said, hmmm — especially after finding “Tokyo’s oldest man” (supposedly a hearty 111 years) dead in his home, where he’d been struck down 32 years previously. (So grateful we were not his next-door neighbor.)
A government survey released today now says that 234,354 centenarians were listed as alive in the report, but their whereabouts were unknown, meaning they’d “probably died, lost touch with relatives, or moved overseas.” (Overseas, like, to that big ocean in the sky.)
Local offices will now have to attach a notes to the records of such folks over 120 to say they’re unaccounted for. Because when Japan goes around tooting its own horn about how its citizens live to be, like, the oldest in the world (women can expect to grow old until 86, and men until 80; it’s all those omega-3s!), it’s not like they’re really making it to 150 or anything. Now, where are all those eightysomethings?