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Japanese people are living so long that the country’s definition of "elderly" could change

日本人超長壽 改寫全國「老年」定義

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

The Japanese Gerontological Society, a group of medical doctors and university professors, have proposed changing the threshold for "elderly" status from 65 years old to 75 given the country’s widespread longevity, NHK World reports.


Census figures from 2015 show 26.7% of Japan’s population is 65 years or older. The proportion will rise to 33% by 2035 and 40% by 2060.


Economists have expressed concern over the widespread aging because younger generations aren’t having children like they used to. With fewer young people to cover greater social-security costs, people are taking on larger individual shares, limiting their personal spending.


Redefining "elders" over 75 instead of 65 would allow more older Japanese people in great physical shape to continue contributing to the labor force, and hopefully boost the economy.


According to the Japan Times, a recent survey conducted by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry found, 70% of respondents who are 60 or older would be willing to work past 65.


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