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Longevity of life a mixed blessing for Japanese

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I'm very happy my kids have two passports - almost time to abandon ship!

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"Weakening ties with relatives and neighbors have also been exacerbated by a shortage of nursing homes, thus putting a major burden on younger relatives."

I lived with a Japanese woman for many years who was a nurse. She did home health care during this period. There were many families who did their best to take care of elderly relatives to be sure, but there were also stories from her on a regular basis about incapacitated seniors left in squalid conditions, and not a few who were abused.

The Golden Years are often anything but a treasured time in life in Japan.

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Longevity of life

Errm, isn't "of life" a bit redundant?

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The only part that interests me in this report is that Asao is planning on spending money on the wrong part of the medical world. Obviously no one has showed the women in his family a good way to give birth, so they could inform him better. Neonatal intensive units for what? Japan also has the highest mortality rate for infants I read in yesterdays report. Sounds like more money going to manufacturers and machines than to people and knowledge.

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highest mortality, meaning that most infants survive here

immortality anyone?

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A steady increase of Japan’s longevity reflects good medical care, nutrition and successful economic development, and that alone is a good thing,” Norie Handa, a Cabinet Office official in charge of aging issues, said Friday. “What we really have to look at is whether we can live long in good health, and peacefully

I call BS. Nobody knows why. This is just a politician, predictably, taking good news, taking credit and spinning it.

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bcbrownboy at 06:39 AM JST - 23rd May

I'm very happy my kids have two passports - almost time to abandon ship!

Well, one of those passports would not be Japanese would it? I don't think Japan allows for dual nationality.

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They pick their citizenship at 22, Simon. Until then they can have both passports.

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Japan on Friday welcomed the news it had topped the world longevity ratings

Surely this is the last thing the government wants. If most people dropped off at 70-75, most, if not all their worries about the sustainability of the pension scheme would be solved.

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Weakening ties with relatives and neighbors have also been exacerbated by a shortage of nursing homes, thus putting a major burden on younger relatives.

Weren't these younger relatives a burden to these old people beofore? Just like how it works in other countries both rich and poor, it is the younger relatives turn to look after their own.

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COnsidering that in the future there will be no young people in Japan, who is going to support, feed and clean up these pensioners in their 80s and 90s? There will likely be roving gangs of pensioners on the streets, eeking out a living from scraps of food given to them by Chinese tourists gawking at them!

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There's no point to having a long life if you're not in robust health and you don't have the cash to fund this long existence. Most oldies will have neither. Just expect the suicide rate to skyrocket from its already mega-high levels. Immigration would be obe answer to the problem but japan doesn't wanted the country polluted....

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Yes, I'd rather have quality of life over length. No sense in living till 95, bedridden for one's last few years.

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It sounds like Japan has no future! Japan has about 125 million people. UK has about 58 million. Germany has about 82 million. Russia has about 144 million. Japan has too large population for too small islands.

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longevity of life??

As opposed to longevity of death, is that?

longevity |lɒnˌdʒɛvɪti| noun long life

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"bcbrownboy at 06:39 AM JST - 23rd May

I'm very happy my kids have two passports - almost time to abandon ship!"

Shhhh, if one of those passports are Japanese. Tsk, tsk! :(

"However, in a country where the birth rate has been declining for decades—the population fell by 51,000 last year,... from JT"

Well, in a country were in 2008 over 32,000 off'd themselves I'd say they've got bigger problems. :(

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In Canada last year the number of new immigrants equaled the number of babies born in the country for the first time. Get it? Man, does this country ever need to look in the mirror.

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Health Care has become the issue affecting the world population and the concept of old has changed. There has been a growing number of people living over one hundred and the number is probably getting larger. japan is not the only country that has a graying population, because people were encouraged to take early retirement of older workers; this was supposed to allow the companies to save money. I would love to live over one-hundred years but also with the quality of life; why do I have to chose between longevity and quality? Everyone should have a long life and quality.

Live long and prosper.

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“A steady increase of Japan’s longevity reflects good medical care, nutrition and successful economic development,

Oh, my dog! It's so hard to type a comment with tears of laughter blocking my view. Are they talking about the same Japan or is there another one?

Because of the size of Japan's population packed onto one little island these statistics should be broken into regions to see which part of Japanese society is responsible for these results. I would expect the rural areas to be the winners cos living in these cities with up to 5,000 people per square kilometer will kill you quickly.
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Japan in 2050 = Florida without the sun and beaches.

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Its a good thing people are living longer, otherwise, the population in Japan would be dropping a lot faster!

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Well.. this sucks.. the only solution is the couples should consider if they want to become a family ;P

But theres more to it then just having kids.. and becoming a family.. or they will just be 'a couple with kids' lol they have to really want to ;P

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Sharky1,

with the suicide rate ballooning up, i would say they are right on track

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Are they talking about the same Japan or is there another one?

You may laugh all you like, but I still haven't seen anyone here denied any surgery they need, or started out on the cheapest meds possible just to save an HMO money. My parent's treatment for cancer was pretty awful. If you're over or around 75 and don't have the best insurance in the US your options are limited. They certainly are not here. We considered bringing my father here for his treatment, but unfortunately one of his vertebra broke and the US hospital said that cementing it 'wasn't warranted', so the trip was out.

Here, if you're healthy enough for the treatment you get it.

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"Here, if you're healthy enough for the treatment you get it".

I think you should at least watch some of the shows on Japanese tv, read some newspapers here and you'll get some real information, not just personal anecdotes.

Furthermore, have you ever read stories (which seem to be fairly common) that people get into the ambulance when they have an emergency, but never make it to hospital as that hospital won't take them?

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We can look forward to bigger houses and more fish in the sea and less traffic. Win, win!

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Meaning there isn't an arbitrary age cut-off for chemo or surgery.

I work in a clinic! Personal anecdotes my foot....

The ambulance problem is another problem entirely with many different causes. We bring that into the discussion and we could be here all weekend.

I still think that the Japanese system (besides the ambulance problem) works better and gets you current drugs faster than an HMO......you really want both my parents' treatment history with HMOs I'll put it up here, its a carnival of missteps, misdiagnoses and band-aids on gaping wounds type of thing. In a city billed as America's medical Mecca.

Moderator: All readers back on topic please.

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Cheers to Long Life! Ive seen plenty of genki old geezers. I want to try and proove that it is possible to live to 150. Perhaps then my kids will try for longer. Ive been here, too long, I forget the geezer on Star Wars, Yoda? Looking like that would be OK.

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not even close to a 'mixed blessing'...it's a full-blown catastrophe

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I'm very happy my kids have two passports - almost time to abandon ship!

Might not just be kids with two passports abandoning ship. There is the potential for a real brain drain as young and educated Japanese people bail out and emigrate, with what's left a country of old folks and pachinko players. That would make a bad situation that much worse obviously.

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The brain drain of smart women leaving japan has been going on for years.

Japanese society needs to radically change or it will collapse. Long term Japan is a sell, that is for sure. Working the way out of the prison of the Japan post WW2 success to the new aged Japan will be a bigger challenge than rebuilding after WW2. For sure the LDP has to go since they cannot move past 1970, as the NK hostage issue proves.

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@ Himajin

Compared to the US health system Bali has better health benefits. I'm not surprised you wanted to bring your parent here for treatment. I've seen that Micheal More documentary where he takes 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba for treatment cos the US system is such a joke! Now, I'm really laughing!

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Officials have stepped up programs that encourage older citizens to stay active and continue working. The government is gradually extending the retirement age to 65 from 60, and is even pushing for a further extension to 70.

This is the whole of the matter! Why a retirement age at all? I can understand retirement for police, firemen, military and airline pilots but not for anything else. Labor shortages are caused by the retirement thing, and not allowing women to enter back in the work force after having children.

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