A story this summer that started off as a tragedy when a family were found to have had their ‘111 year old’ father’s bones lying around the house and turned into farce later when a 200 year old man turned up was lost old folk in Japan, the subject of a not-so-recent survey from goo Research, conducted on behalf of the Mainichi Shimbun.
Between the 27th and 29th of August 2010 1,071 members of the goo Research online monitor group aged twenty or older completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was given.
I’m sure the Mainichi Shimbun must have published a fuller version of this survey.
The story had two components – first, people dying but their families not notifying anyone so that they could collect the pensions or just their general incompetence with the system for registering deaths; that is a serious social problem that needs to be addressed. Second, local governments for whatever reason not tidying up their internal paperwork, so that when people went missing such as at wartime or when they died or moved but the proper procedures were not followed, orphaned resident register entries were created but these records were never looked at until the first story broke, thus producing the flood of ancient phantoms.