Monday, August 30, 2010
We promise, it'll never happen again!
You might remember my previous post about the 111 year old man who was found dead in a mummified stage, dead since around 30 years earlier, but the family had continued to keep lifting his pension and pretended like he was alive but just generally a recluse (post here).
This whole discovery created a dominoe effect with several other local authorities looking into whether their 100+ year old population actually still was alive and finding that in many cases they actually weren't. I've lost count, but I think that the number of people actually passed away is up to around 200 people or so, but in most cases it has not been connected to economic fraud (as in keep lifting benefits) but more to beuracracy, lack or relatives or the such.
In a new and amusing turn of events, the family of the mummified "111 year old", the Katoh's apparently posted a note with their apologies outside their house, something which became a bit of news the other day (see a report in Japanese here). In the note they express their regret, apologies and intent to return all the money that was lifted, nothing particularly exciting in there. But my favorite part of the letter is the small segment, which none of the news station picked up on, which states that: "We will do our best from now on to make sure that this does not happen again" (if you can read Japanese, pause the video at 1:02 and enjoy in the original phrasing).
I'm not sure if they're refering to keeping a dead relative in his room for 30+ years or the lifting of the retirement money? In any case, if I was in any form related to them and of respectable age, I would do my very best to stay as far away as possible from the good 'ol Katoh's.