Japan Population Issue: Increasing Aging Population

by ebazaar 18 September 2009 No Comment

Japan is faced by another problem that literally may not sound much like a threat but reality couldn’t be much bitter. One thing for sure that it is one unique problem that is not faced by many countries – it’s Japan increasingly aging population or koreika shakai. It seems like the number of centenarians in Japan has doubled in the past six years to more than forty thousands people. That doesn’t add up yet the total increase of people above the age 60 years.

Japan population with rate of senior citizens increasing

Japan population with rate of senior citizens increasing

Japan has one of the world’s longest lifespan, which is about 86 years old for women and 79 years old for men. Ratio of Japanese people who are 65 years old and older to the total population of Japan is about 22 percent. The number of elderly people in Japan is expected to grow approximately around 650,000 people per year. I was quite shocked to read about a projection that was made by the United Nations; that said by 2050, Japan is expected to populate nearly 1 million centenarians.

I think you can see how this can be a problem that could substantially affects a country in many different ways. One way is to look at the mandatory requirement age of retirement. For Japan, it is 60 years old but the government is gradually extending the age to 65 years old. Some company might even have extended it to 70 years old even! Take note that Japan is a country that commonly practices the seniority system. So, that means the higher the worker’s age, the higher is their pay – hence increasing most company’s wage expense.

On the contrary, the Japanese government is also faced with the problem of significantly substantial amount of pension cost but at the same time, they need to maintain the long stability of the pension system overall, plus the welfare of the pensioners. So many things have to be taken into account. Health care is another issue at hand. This problem has forced Japan to stipulate a law that health care expenses for elderly people were to be covered partly by fixed rate contributions from local government.

Other issues that accompany the growing of this problem are the need of proper facilities and resources development for Japan’s golden citizens, projected drop in economic facility and tax revenue. This particular problem of aging population got me thinking too – how do the Japanese get to have a long lifespan? Perhaps it’s because of their diet and advanced technology, but I’ll get more details on this for sure. Till then!

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