August 7, 2010

JAPAN: At least 10 of the missing centenarians are foreigners!

TOKYO, August 7, 2010 - A report from Kyodo News in The Japan Times today says that at least 10 of the 56 "missing" centenarians in Japan are foreign nationals. This indicated flaws in the country's resident registry system, according to a tally based on inquiries to local governments.

Even if these foreign nationals are confirmed to be no longer living at their given addresses, municipal governments are not authorized to delete their registrations because the Justice Ministry is in charge of their whereabouts, municipal officials told The Japan Times.

Some municipalities are asking the ministry to change its foreign resident registration data on people who no longer live in their jurisdictions, but their registered addresses often remain intact as the ministry tends to withhold judgment due to lack of information, they said.

The 10 foreign centenarians are registered in eight municipalities — two each in Tokyo's Arakawa Ward and the city of Chiba, and one each in Tokyo's Minato and Sumida wards, its suburban of Kiyose, Matsudo in Chiba Prefecture, Himeji in Hyogo Prefecture and Fukuoka.

A woman who was registered in Minato Ward has been missing since enrolling about 30 years ago as a transient visitor, and if still alive, would be 105, a ward official said