The accident wasn’t an earthquake, typhoon, or explosion. It was the adoption of a pension entitlement system that lent itself to decades of massive fraud.

As if Japan’s aging population and low birth rate aren’t enough of a demographics-turned-economic problem, the AP is reporting that 230,000 centenarians are missing.

A few weeks ago I read the story of the missing 111 year-old Japanese man. Authorities investigated and found his decomposing body in his home. He had been dead for 32 years. His relatives had been cashing his pension checks for 32 years apparently.

It’s hard not to believe that most of the 230,000 missing old people have been dead for years or decades, and their relatives have been committing pension fraud.

Economically it is hard enough for a society to take care of its aging population. Throw in massive entitlement fraud and is it any wonder Japan’s economy has languished for decades.