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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Death Notices Means Yen For Money

Either some people are greedy or some people are prudent. 

Relatives of 3,250 missing Japanese people thought to have been killed during the March 11, 2011 9.0 Magnitude earthquake and killer tsunami have made official claims to local Japanese authorities, says Japan's Justice Ministry.

While the National Police Agency has stated in a press release on September 6, 2011 that there are some 4,223 people listed missing in Iwate-ken (Iwate Prefecture), Miyagi-ken (Miyagi Prefecture) and Fukushima-ken (Fukushima Prefecture), death notices filed to local authorities say that the 3,250 people listed are part of the officially recognized 3,281 missing people from those prefectures.  

By filing these death notices, relatives are now able to withdraw money from bank accounts of the missing to receive insurance benefits - a welcome relief for some struggling to survive after much of the north east coast's economic infrastructure was devastated during the twin disasters and Fukushima-ken's near meltdown at the Dai-ichi (Big One) nuclear power plant.

In some cases, the death registration process has not yet been completed or applications have been withdrawn, according to the officials. The Justice Ministry instructed local governments in June to simplify the process for accepting death notices for people who went missing in the disasters.

The NPA data showed a total of 15,769 people were killed in 12 prefectures, including 9,444 in Miyagi, 4,656 in Iwate and 1,603 in Fukushima. The number of missing totaled 4,227 in six prefectures, including 2,283 in Miyagi, 1,698 in Iwate, 242 in Fukushima, two in Chiba and one each in Aomori and Ibaraki.

Files compiled by Andrew Joseph

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