Tokyo's 'oldest woman' is missing
Local authorities in Japan have admitted that they lost track of Tokyo’s supposed oldest woman years ago, only days after it emerged that the city’s oldest man had been long dead.
Fusa Furuya, born in July 1897 and now aged 113 years old, does not live at the address where she is registered and her whereabouts are unknown, a municipal official said.
He said that they had not personally contacted the two old people for decades, despite their listing as the longest-living in the city.
They made the discoveries when they began updating their records for a holiday in honour of the elderly to be held next month.
The revelations last week that police had found the mummified remains of a man thought to have been Tokyo's oldest resident at 111 but actually dead for 30 years shocked a country facing the challenge of a rapidly ageing population.
"It is important for authorities to grasp the reality of where and how old people are living," health minister Akira Nagatsuma told reporters.
As of October 1st last, there were 41,000 centenarians in Japan, whose women have held the record for the world's longest life expectancy for 25 years.
More reports of missing centenarians this week showed that their whereabouts were unknown or their family members were unaware of what had happened to them.
But in the case of the mummified man, police are investigating his family members for possible fraud after money was withdrawn from the bank account of the deceased, who had been receiving a pension, according to media reports.