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Japan's centenarian population hits record high

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Good food, walk a lot, clean air, some of the best water in the world.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Shouldn't there have been a dip when the government cleaned up the pension rolls?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Scientific explanations for longevity appears to remain elusive and their is no specific pattern. However happy people seem to live longer and happiness and contentment probably increases health and longevity. That's why optimist live longer than pessimists so it's no surprise that centenarians are a happy and optimistic lot. Positive thoughts and attitudes seem to somehow do things in your body that strengthen your immune system, boost positive emotion, decrease pain and provide stress relief. In the end there is no magic bullet when it comes to aging well. Generally speaking, the better you treat your body throughout your life, the better your aging experience will be and in many ways life can continue to get better as the years go by.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Who is paying for these old folks who collect pensionsand health care for over 40 years after the retirement? No wonder Japan has a budget problem. Since people are living longer, Japan goverment should raise the full retirement age to 70 to 72 years old if they want to escape the bankruptcy.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Better raise the consumption tax to 15% to pay for all this, lol.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Hats off to the centenarians but as Japanese Governments loves to boost about itself I wonder how many are actually alive being that the law doesn't require physical contact with a person collecting a pension.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In the end there is no magic bullet when it comes to aging well.

Yes there is. GENETICS

Not what a lot of people like to hear, but there it is.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Novenachama Yes! While in linguistic tests they come way down the list, because they are realistic I think their longevity demonstrates happiness.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

While many are living longer in Japan, sumo wrestlers are always the shortest living people in Japan. Generally athletes do not live long doctors as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

gaijininfo - genetics certainly is aconsiderable factor in determining many aspects of the human condition, but not quite sure if it's the "magic bullet" you allude to. And as you stated some people don't acnowledge it's role.

However lifestyle choices, unforseen circumstances, technology and just plain luck can skewer any "set-in-stone" presumptions re DNA.

Re the great longevity of many Japanese, it'scritical to look at their histories. In most parts, all have been through severe hardships, deprivations, sadness, stress and uncertainty for large portions of their lives. Together with extended periods of malnourishment one could well expect their lives to be shortened. But no. Is the X factor DNA, diet, communal spirit, will, positivity, luck, or a combination of these and or other elements? If DNA is the all powerful factor, should it not have been evident for centuries? For instance, does data shows the longevity of Meiji citizens to exceed that of the French or Irannians of the same era?

It is also interesting to note what similarities exist between other long-life communities. For example Hong Kong-ites live in what many people believe are physical conditions not conducive to long healthy lives. Congestion, pollution, lack of privacy etc. But statistically the longevity of those people is equal to or greater than the Japanese. Italian men generally live longer than Japanese men and womens lives are only a little shorter. DNA? Wine? Diet? Family? Positivity? Medicine?

All interesting, but personally I think those who believe the Japanese possess a magic longevity bullet , may find it's a blank when it fails to fire in the near future. The wonderful people of great age will begin to decline as the lifestyle factors of dietary habits, tobacco & alcohol use, a relatively sedentary existance, pollution and stress begin to impact and guarantee that the ensuing generations will envy their grandparents.

But I could be wrong.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Living long without money is not very much enjoyable. I have many neighbors who stay in their houses spending most of time watching TV. They don't subscribe to newspapers to save money. They go to super stores after dark where they can buy foods cheaper. They rarely travel. Also, they come to need help of others to live which is not welcome by their families. It is not necessarily a happy thing to live too long.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I've got to agree with other comments about quality of life for the elderly in Japan. In many cases it is not good at all! I'm also a little suspicious about how the longevity trend will be effected by the MacDonalds generation. All these centenarians grew up in the pre-MacDonalds era. I don't specifically mean MacDonalds. I mean the generation of fast foods, crazy working hours, binge drinking and depression. These things were quite rare in Japan 50 years ago. However, it is an everyday thing thing now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Disillusioned: I'm also a little suspicious about how the longevity trend will be effected by the MacDonalds generation. All these centenarians grew up in the pre-MacDonalds era. I don't specifically mean MacDonalds. I mean the generation of fast foods, crazy working hours, binge drinking and depression. These things were quite rare in Japan 50 years ago. However, it is an everyday thing thing now.

My great-grandparents were born late 1800's, lived til their 80's and 90's, one grand-aunt made it to 103, not many processed foods when they were around, I remember they liked pecans, maybe those were better than vitamin pills. They were very measured people, talked slow. My grandparents were smokers and started adulthood around the time the US turned modern and busy (cheap automobiles), died in their 50's and 60's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and bad news for the young taxpayer...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've got to agree with other comments about quality of life for the elderly in Japan. In many cases it is not good at all!

Count me in. I have a lot of elderly neighbours who are on the borderline between being self-sufficient and in need of care. Their lives are not easy. Even when they do make efforts to go outside, they have to rely on canes or trollies to get around. It must be a massive undertaking just to get to the local supermarket and back.

I also know elderly people who live at home, but have home-helpers come in every day. On average one elderly person requires the assistance of three helpers. Contrast that with how many carers required for children?

Longevity is not always a good thing. Japan is learning this lesson the hard way.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is not a small achievement of Japanese. The world has a lot to learn about healthy living from them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am not questioning the findings but are we sure they are all really still alive? it's apparently not unusual that relatives do not register deaths to scavenge off elder citizens' pensions (Y_Y)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I remember reading that most of these old folks do gardening each day and catch the sun. Also they drink a little sake each day too. Food for thought?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The 116 year-old mentioned in the article can be seen on Youtube on her birthday. She has hearing difficulty but otherwise looking pretty good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u7Gp3TQjA8

Wonderful!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It used to be older family members had family assets and younger ones depended on them. So possibly these old folks are not poor like some people think. These older people probably don;t know what pension means. When they die, ato-tori family inherit the assets such as houses and savings. They could be vegetablians as when they grew up. meat eastin customs were not normal in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Damn would rather be dead at 80 than live off diapers at 100 ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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