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Subject: Each prefecture is required to document every citizen over the age of 100...

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Date Posted: Sunday, March 10, 07:53:57pm
In reply to: What are they doing right? 's message, "Why is the oldest person almost always Japanese?" on Sunday, March 10, 12:11:35pm

Japan's Prefectures are the = of a US State or Canadian Province and have the legal responsibility for keeping the vital records (just as here). Before the resurgence of Japan as an economic power poverty was widespread and an important source of family income were the pensions and benefits offered to the elderly. As these elderly relatives all lived at home (until just the past few years) this was regarded as family income to be enjoyed by the children and grandchildren.

Reluctant to give this up elderly relatives were kept on the books by many families after they had departed this mortal coil and eventually the various governments realized that there was a tremendous surge in extreme elderly citizens. Eventually they wisened up and established a benchmark at age 100 where every person was thoroughly documented and their status reviewed each year. Thus each supercentenarian has had a decade of careful vetting by the time they reach 110 and every one has been recorded.

Even so the odd case escapes the notice of the authorities (despite the penalties for fraud) and every year a few families are charged with collecting the pensions of long deceased parents. Within the last year one family was charged for claiming a father who had died 30 years ago! The ruse was discovered when the Prefecture officials arrived (unannounced) at the family home for the fathers "110th birthday". Apparently the family had gone to great lengths to maintain the ruse and subvert the inspection process.

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