Successful Aging in Japan - Prof Takeo Ogawa




Abstract - Successful Aging in Japan

The life expectancies in 2010 of Japan were 79.55 years old for males, and 86.30 years old for females. At 65 years-old, males will survive another 18.74 years, and females will survive another 23.8 years. Furthermore, there were in 2013, there were 54397 Japanese centenarians. How can we live in well-being in our long latter life?

In Japan, in order to have a social security system, in which anyone can enjoy always anywhere,  universal pension coverage,  medical insurance for the whole nation, and public long-term care insurance system were established.

However, with low birthrate and longevity progressing, the Japanese population has decrease. It means that Japan is having a disadvantageous population structure for economic development, i.e., the demographic onus. Thus, the government decided to undertake comprehensive reform of social security and tax.

From now, national policies will shift towards continued employment, healthy-life-expectancy improvement, and the construction of the integrated community care system. If everyone can live longer and healthier, how will he/she spend his/her long life-time?

We should learn from best practices of older persons with active lifestyles. They are teaching us about various ways of time-spending: not only time-money exchange (for-paid work) but also gift of time (volunteerism), time-to-time exchange, timeless art and time sharing.

For realizing "Aging in place", older persons need to construct reciprocal communities in which they support one another not only within a family but with the neighborhood, and with various service providers. It is indispensable to establish a community intermediary which supports local resident's activities.


About the Speaker - Prof Takeo Ogawa

Ogawa, Takeo Ph.D. President, Asian Aging Business Center
Professor, Kumamoto Gakuen University
Emeritus Professor, Kyushu University and Yamaguchi University
A Founder of Active Aging Consortium in Asia Pacific
Researches: best practices of active aging in Japanese communities
Advices: local administrators and policy makers
Program Developments: community intermediary in order to prepare toward population aging
Writings: 2008 "Changing Social Concepts of Age: Towards the Active Senior Citizen." Florian Coulmas, Harald Conrad, Annette Schad-Seifert, and Gabriel Vogt (eds.), Brill: Leiden, pp145-161
2009 "New Centenarian Studies: Towards Active Ageing." Yamaguchi Prefectural University.
2010 Ogawa, Takeo. ed. "Challenges toward Aging in East Asia", Kyushu University Press.
2010. 'Contributions by Older Persons', in Saito, Masahiko ed. "Some Consideration of Aging Societies". World Planning Co.
2013 "Partnership for Training of Transnational Care Worker and Nurses in Asia/Pacific", Asian Aging Business Center