32,000 people in Japan turned 100 this year - how can the economy keep up?

32,000 people in Japan turned 100 this year - how can the economy keep up? 32,000 people in Japan turned 100 this year - how can the economy keep up?

September 22, 20161 min read
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Every year, on September 19, Japan celebrates Respect for the Aged Day - a national holiday on which every new centenarian receives a silver sake dish. The tradition is beloved, but it is becoming an economic burden. In 2014, purchasing 59,000 sake dishes cost the Japanese government nearly $2.1 million USD. This year, the government will introduce a less expensive silver-plated alternative.


Despite talk of a "demographic time bomb," many experts see Japan's ageing population as a tremendous opportunity for growth. In a recent public statement, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, "I have absolutely no worries about Japan's demography... Japan may be ageing. Japan may be losing its population. But these are incentives for us." Adjusting to the needs of an ageing population, said Abe, has motivated growth in robotics and technological development. "Japan's demography," he says, "paradoxically, is not an onus, but a bonus."


The International Federation on Ageing’s Expertfile is home to a number of top international experts on global ageing, all whom are available for media comment and speaking opportunities on this pressing issue.


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  • Dr. Jane Barratt
    Dr. Jane Barratt Secretary General

    As Secretary General of the IFA Dr Barratt is an internationaly respected speaker on age related issues across the globe.

  • Prof. Sarah Harper
    Prof. Sarah Harper Director and Professor of Gerontology

    Sarah trained as an ethnographer and her early research focused on migration and the social implications of demographic change

  • Dr. Anthea Tinker
    Dr. Anthea Tinker Professor of Social Gerontology

    Anthea Tinker's main areas of research interest are social policy and research ethics, specialising since 1974 in Gerontology.

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