That was before the police found the body of a man thought to be one of Japan’s oldest, at 111 years, mummified in his bed, dead for more than three decades. His daughter, now 81, hid his death to continue collecting his monthly pension payments, the police said.
Alarmed, local governments began sending teams to check on other elderly residents. What they found so far has been anything but encouraging.
A woman thought to be Tokyo’s oldest, who would be 113, was last seen in the 1980s. Another woman, who would be the oldest in the world at 125, is also missing, and probably has been for a long time. When city officials tried to visit her at her registered address, they discovered that the site had been turned into a city park, in 1981.
To date, the authorities have been unable to find more than 281 Japanese who had been listed in records as 100 years old or older. Facing a growing public outcry, the country’s health minister, Akira Nagatsuma, said officials would meet with every person listed as 110 or older to verify that they are alive; Tokyo officials made the same promise for the 3,000 or so residents listed as 100 and up.
The effect might be large enough (but probably isn’t) to change life expectancy figures for the country as a whole.
However, there’s something else here as well: World Bank, WHO etc figures on life spans are created from the figures that governments themselves provide. So if governmetns are mismeasuring life spans, the international figures are also incorrect.
Which brings me to the subject of Cuba. They really might have the life spans they say they do: but given that they’re based upon figures that the Cuban Government itself provides, can we be sure about that?
And is there any way to check?