In Japan, all citizens are entitled to receive a letter from the prime minister and a handsome sterling silver cup on their 100th birthday.
Newly installed Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will have plenty of correspondence to write.
As of this month, Japan is bursting with centenarians, 40,399 of them to be precise. The number of centenarians has increased at a continually accelerating rate, reaching 10,000 in 1999 and topping 30,000 in 2007.
Japan’s centenarian population is expected to reach 1 million by 2050.
The retirement age in Japan is 60.
Japan’s rise of the superelderly has put a strain on resources, even forcing the government to switch to smaller silver cups.
Compounding the problem, most Japanese centenarians are bodybuilders capable of outmuscling several generations of young weaklings. According to the photographic evidence, many of these golden agers are armed with spears and are constantly protected by ingenious air bags.
Once the oldsters discover that Hatoyama is sending out cheap silver trinkets, a gray rebellion will surely follow.