The elderly population in Japan reaches 36.4 million

The elderly population in Japan reaches 36.4 million

Sawako Utsumi and Noriko Watanabe

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of Japan announced that the elderly population (aged 65 or over) is now 36.4 million people. This is a record high.

On top of this, the ratio of elderly people in the overall population is now just over 29 percent. Therefore, new economic challenges, giving elderly workers more rights, reshaping the pension system, health care, housing, nursing homes, and other areas concerning welfare are of great importance.

Despite the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis hitting the elderly hard in countless nations – for example, in America and the United Kingdom – the death toll from coronavirus in Japan is relatively small in comparison. In a sense, this also highlights the lack of obesity in Japan and that many elderly citizens fully partake in the economic welfare of the nation.

Equally important, every morning, all over Japan, you will find elderly citizens doing light training outside or going for a brisk walk. Therefore, despite the graying of society, the elderly are a valuable commodity in the workplace and retraining the younger generation in small-sized family business companies.

NHK reports, “The ministry also says the number of elderly workers in Japan rose for 17 consecutive years to reach 9.06 million last year, or 13.6 percent of the total workforce, which is also a record high.”

The one in four of elderly citizens working is probably slightly higher concerning family-run companies. This concerns elderly people guiding the younger generation in person – and handing downing skills.

Other nations, including Italy and Portugal, have high ratios of elderly citizens in their respective populations. Similarly, in South Korea, approximately 34 percent of the elderly are working. Likewise, in nations of high immigration like America, 18 percent of the elderly are working.

In the future, Japan will tap into the elderly workforce even more and the same applies to other nations in the developed world.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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