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    I feel…happy!

    These are the sorts of things that take on importance when you live in a society that (1) is aging rapidly and (2) is obsessed with bean counting:

    A 110-year-old woman who is ranked 19th on the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s list of oldest people in the country, which was released Tuesday, may not be alive, although she is still registered with the Arakawa Ward Office in Tokyo.

    The ward office has not confirmed she is alive since at least 2002. A ward official admitted, “We automatically put her on the list submitted to the ministry.”

    The latest finding shocked the ministry because “the incident could shake the credibility of the list of the nation’s oldest people.” [Stop it! You’re killing me!–SRK]

    The ministry said it would consider asking the ward authorities to conduct a survey on the elderly in the ward in person.

    Soon, you won’t count as an elderly citizen without your official “Certified: Not Dead Yet!” badge from the MHLW.

    Now, there is a substantive issue lurking here: the possibility that someone is still drawing pension money for a family member who died and thus, obviously, no longer qualifies for it. What’s revealing–in addition to hilarious–is that the ministry seems more worried about whether its list of rankings is accurate than about the possibility of fraud, at least as quotations were selected by the Yomiuri. (I wonder, will there be a party in Number 20’s honor if she finds out she gets to move up?)

    2 Responses to “I feel…happy!”

    1. wheels says:

      Are “Kin to Gin” still on the list, or have they died since the last I heard of them?

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      I’m not familiar with them–were they siblings, or spouses or something? There’s a husband and wife who claim to be the oldest couple.

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