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10 months on, disaster toll stands at 15,844 dead, 3,450 missing


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By Japanese law, when does a missing person turn presumed dead? I'm sure there are countless number of families out there that would like closure and settle matters like insurance, inheritence, ect?

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With such a destructive tsunami and a very vast ocean, most bodies would never be found.

RIP to victims, and I wish that the families of the missing victims find closure.

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By Japanese law, when does a missing person turn presumed dead?

According to Japanese Civil Code Article 30(Adjudication of Disappearance), there are two kinds: 普通失踪(Futsu-shisso) & 特別失踪(Tokubetsu-shisso)


If it is not clear whether the absentee is dead or alive for 7 years, the family court may make the adjudication of disappearance at the request of any interested person.


The procedure of the preceding paragraph shall likewise apply with respect to any person who was engaged in any war zone, was aboard any vessel which later sank, or was otherwise exposed to any danger which could be the cause of death, if it is not clear whether such person is dead or alive for one year after the end of the war, after the sinking of the vessel, or after the termination of such other danger, as the case may be. (Including: fire, earthquake, storm, landslide, snow slide, flood, fall from cliff, wild animal attack)


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Blair Herron

Thanks for the info.

Does it mean that there will be a mass "funeral" ceremony on March 11 for all the missing victims? Also, would it mean that surviving family members can finally get insurance and compensation claims for the missing victims?

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I'm not specializing in law, so there could be some mistakes, but as far as I read the Articles, the death certificate should be issued under Civil Code Article 30 or (Article 89 of the Registration Law). With the death certificate, family members can get insurance and compensation claims for the missing victims. Whether or not to have mass funeral ceremonies should be depending on victim's families' preference. Several mass funeral ceremonies were held in Tohoku after 3.11 because the funeral halls were full. Even crematories were full and the bodies had to be buried temporarily. (I think) there are no certain rules for having funeral. Even you can have your own funeral before you die. It's called 生前葬(seizen-so)

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You need the death certificate to get "Burial (or Crematory) Permit"

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last 14 years has seen 420,000+ deaths by suicide, more than all deaths by natural disasters in the last 100 years. seems to me Japan should be spending more on suicide/mental health issues than deaths by natural disasters

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