Data from a new study by Japan’s Institute for Research on Household Economics shows that more and more middle-aged Japanese men are quitting their jobs to take care of elderly parents. According to the study, 13.4 percent of men aged between 40 and 64 are living with parents who are requiring nursing care – these men had quit their jobs to care for their elderly relatives. Data also showed that 27.6 percent of women facing the same situation quit their jobs to do the same.
As a firm evidence of Japan’s growing elderly population, recently released government data shows that Japan’s number of workers aged 60 years and above reached record highs in 2012. Japan’s elderly workers – numbering at 11.92 million in 2012 – make up almost 20 percent of the country’s workforce.
For the second straight year, figures show that Japan's population continues to decline while its elderly population continues to increase. In a population survey conducted by the Internal Affairs and Communication Ministry, the population fell at a record 0.22% to 127.515 million as of October 2012 while those 65 and older breached the 30 million mark for the first time.
In what looks to be an innovative push to revitalize local economies and businesses, Japan’s Internal Affairs Ministry is sending middle-aged employees from the country’s top three cities that have specialized skills to smaller, less-populated ones. The ministry sees these employees, aged 40 and 60 years old, as people who just might be able to jumpstart businesses and economies of cities that are having a major lack of skilled manpower.
It has been a successful century for Nestlé in Japan, starting with a small Yokohama branch in 1913 to the brand giant that it is today. All of this success, the global brand is attributes to the company’s ability to adapt its internationally known products to meet very specific local needs, as it has done in Japan.
Yesterday, the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, a health ministry-affiliated research institute, said that the overall population in Japan will considerably drop in 2040 compared to the recorded numbers in 2010. All 47 prefectures are said to be affected, with Okinawa having the least possible decline of 1.7% and Akita with the highest drop at 35.6%. These estimates were formulated on the basis of national census data gathered in October 2010.
The combination of a declining birthrate and rapidly aging population are among the biggest problems currently facing Japanese society. With already over 20% of Japanese aged 65 or older, and the expectation that the percentage will double by the year 2060, the country's government is exploring many options to improve the situation. But Seiko Noda, a lawmaker with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has suggested an option that would surely lead to controversy: banning abortions.
Homelessness and the greying of the population are among some of Japan's current biggest concerns. Put them together and the ageing homeless population becomes a growing problem for the country's policy makers.
In nearly all coastal municipalities of the three prefectures that were hit hardest by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami—Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate—the overall number of population has dropped. Records show that roughly 72,000 people have made an exodus from their hometowns and continue to refuse to return because of radiation fears, lack of employment opportunities and destroyed infrastructures. Of this number, people under 40 years of age make up the majority of those who left at 65%.
A new estimate by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research shows that single-person households will comprise one-third or 33% of Japan by 2015 up from 32% in 2010. The estimates are based on figures from the 2010 national census.