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Life expectancy for men and women in Japan at highest ever

19 Comments

The life expectancy for men and women in Japan in 2014 is the highest ever recorded, according to a report released by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The average life expectancy for Japanese men is 80.5 years of age, while for women, life expectancy was calculated at 86.83 years of age, Fuji TV reported Friday. Both groups increased by 0.29 and 0.22 years respectively over 2013.

For male life expectancy, Japan ranked third after Hong Kong and Iceland, but remained No. 1 for female life expectancy for the third year in a row, ahead of Hong Kong and Spain.

As reasons for the extended life expectancy in Japan, the ministry cited lower numbers of deaths from cancer and heart disease due to advances in medical treatment, Fuji reported.

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19 Comments
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Although higher life expectancy is good, it only exasperates the growing aging population, and lower birth rate issue in Japan. Both which contribute to a declining population.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

MH - I'm failing to see how an increase in the senior population contributes to an overall decline in population. Can you elaborate on your mathematical rationale? In addition, longer (not sure about the grammatical correctness of 'higher') life expectancy is not necessarily a good thing, whereas an increase in the quality of life at the end stage is. It seems a fair assumption that lower rates of debilitating illness like cancer and cardiovascular disease would contribute to an increase in the quality of life for seniors. The statistical increase mentioned is only 2 to 3 months more for one's overall lifespan. However, if those additional 3 months are relatively free of pain and suffering, I would say this is a good thing.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I remember years ago when Mr Aso Taro said people in Japan who were elderly and suffering terminal illness should die rather than causing social burden to the state. An ugly fact and resented by people but that is true. Unfortunately !

-2 ( +4 / -5 )

Simply put longevity has no value unless it is accompanied by a great love for and a great enjoyment of living.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Well, said Novenacharma! I totally agree!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unfortunately there aren't enough younger people to take care of the aged and infirm.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Life expectancy? Um. If you live long or not, all human beings are destined to pass away after all and pass our places to the next generation. That said, I'd like to stay alive as long as possible. ;(

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Here is what I said before and will say gain. Don't fire (um "retire") people when they reach a certain age unless they wish to retire. in this way older people can be productive and not be a burden on society, the labor shortage will be reduced and younger workers won't have to support legions of "retired" workers. When people are engaged in meaningful work they are less likely to go potty in the head. What is killing Japan isn't a low birth rate but ageism.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

onomato,

While it might not directly affect a decline in population, the COST for supporting seniors in Japan is already a MASSIVE expense & increasing daily, SO that pressure financially on young people if they eve bother to marry will mean LESS kids!

BTW this is ALREADY happening & has been for a few decades, just saying

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Aso Taro may have said 'old people should die of terminal illness' or that may have been taken out of context but even if it's true it's not like people can just commit suicide and people should be allowed to live as long as they can. My solution would be to have a national 'draft' where young people are forced to spend 6 months of their lives looking after the old- like it or lump it. Of course not everybody could be a great caretaker, but people would be assigned jobs respective to their personality-- however all positions would be for the benefit of the elderly, cleaning their house, walking their dog, assistance with shopping, etc. People might scoff at the idea, but it is viable if done right. The other option is just to let them rot. As a person that lives in the countryside surrounded by the old, I can see how miserable they are and incapable of simple tasks, they really need young people's help but pride often gets in the way. If young people were able to carry out tasks for them, they wouldn't be as 'in the way' as people think, as we could also ask them in exchange to limit their time in the cities.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This means juniors inheritance will be delayed. More years to pay seniors' life insurance annually.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So what. Quality over quantity every time. What is the point living to an advanced age if you are in pain, debilitated to an extent that you rely on others for the tiniest of things or are demented.

I'd rather snuff it before all that kicks in.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Novenchama: "Simply put longevity has no value unless it is accompanied by a great love for and a great enjoyment of living."

For once we are in complete agreement. I just hope some if not most of the elderly who have put the average lifespan up there are indeed enjoying life at that age, and are both healthy in mind and body.

KyushuKris: "My solution would be to have a national 'draft' where young people are forced to spend 6 months of their lives looking after the old- like it or lump it. Of course not everybody could be a great caretaker, but people would be assigned jobs respective to their personality"

Ridiculous suggestion. No one should be forced to do anything of the sort. We're already being forced to pay a lot more, and it'll get worse, in terms of monetary support through taxes. I'm all for helping others, but it can't be forced unless the government is willing to give all these young people the six months off from work or school -- and then there would be no taxes going into the system to keep the elderly propped up and the system running, or if students it would mean they have to be taken care of during that time as well, which would require support. A perfectly viable option, though, would be to allow in people from poor nations who want a chance to live and work for a better life to come in and do the things you suggest. But the government is scared of this option, as are many of the people who depend, or will depend, on the system to support them. And that system will collapse.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Seniors usually keep family assets until they die. You don't have to recruit anyone to take care of older people unless planning to steal family assets..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Longevity in Japan is achieved by feeding tubes inserted through an incision directly into the stomach......

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is only a short article - but reading a fuller account, the most interesting stat for me is Hong Kong is placed 2nd for women & 1st for men making their combined longevity the world's highest. This trend has been continuing for some time now with the difference between HK women & Japanese women only a few weeks.

I assume HK also has high quality medical services accounting partly for the longevity - but I wonder if the medical technology available to all equals that of Japan. I suspect that the other big factor deemed as equally critical - The Japanese diet - is also only part of the picture. Which then indicates other forces are in play.

If we look at a random sample of the top longevity countries eg Italy, Singapore, Australia, Spain, Scandinavia etc - many of these cultures embrace a sense of bon homie, where family and friends build a community / society based on a kindred spirit. Okinawa - until recently the longest living prefecture in Japan - was/is famous for such social relationships.

The elderly in Japan also have a history of such familial & communal ties. And they are the ones living longest even though most of them have suffered terribly at one time or another through war & deprivation.

Somehow I doubt many in the following generations have such grasps and cling to a belief in dna or the hope of medical science to keep pulling themm up a rung or two.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seniors usually keep family assets until they die. its best to sell them off and spend it or give it away before you die, otherwise the J gov will take another big chunk of it in inheritance tax.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If seniors give their assets ro juniors, Gift tax in Japan The amt of gift tax do not produce anything,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is great news, but I think more has to be done to reduce mental deterioration and other mental health issues common with ageing, so the elderly are able to enjoy their historically long lives..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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