Elderly people wait for a bus at a bus stop in Tokyo. Photo: REUTERS file
politics

Abe vows to improve social welfare amid graying population

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A major topic will be how to encourage the elderly to work longer and continue to pay taxes.

social welfare!!!!! (⌒▽⌒)

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Abe instructed his cabinet members, including Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister in charge of social security reform, to come up with concrete measures.

Concrete measures? Right, Abe is raising the consumption tax this time, to pay for the social welfare benefits for the needs related to children, education, insurance, daycare, etc etc etc.

The only thing Abe will end up doing is spending more and more money.

Better idea? Come up with some concrete measures that will cut the number of koumuin that are in service now, save the taxpayers loads of money that can be used to fund any new programs.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

This is pledge number 3,475,285 from Abe. How about some actual progress instead of mere speculation ledge? Japan: Form over Substance.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

A major topic will be how to encourage the elderly to work longer and continue to pay taxes.

So make them work until their time so no need to pay their pension at all right.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

"Reform toward social security for all generations is the biggest challenge," Abe said Friday at the first meeting of a government panel tasked with dealing with the challenges. "We will consider sustainable reforms for the entire social security system

Ok where's the implementation so far? Especially for working parent? How about paternity leave, each one need to fight to court for their right so far.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Reform toward social security for all generations is the biggest challenge," Abe said Friday at the first meeting of a government panel tasked with dealing with the challenges. "We will consider sustainable reforms for the entire social security system."

Consider sustainable reforms. Consider. So they'll sit in some meeting room for an hour or two, talk it all over, someone will say "It's difficult, isn't it," everyone else will nod sagely and then they'll all head off to a posh restaurant for shabu-shabu. Treble sakes all round!

17 ( +17 / -0 )

There is positive co-relationship between peace and longevity.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

You make a lot of pledges abe, how many have actual concrete results? How about starting with reducing the number of politicians in the diet, reduce their pension and pay, and reducing the number of bureacratic koumuin? That's a good concrete step? Then stop using the dang hankou and start going paperless! Government wastes too much money on paper. No more Golden Week investigative trips abroad for public servants.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

I did JET about 15 years ago in northwestern Tohoku and ended up marrying a local girl, so we're currently on our yearly visit to Japan.

It is nothing short of depressing to see how this place has withered over the years, as viewed from my annual snapshot.

The place has become one big geriatric ward. Half the place is boarded up. Many a rice field have been abandoned and left to the weeds. 15 more years of this trend, and we've got a genuine impoverished little Asian country on our hands once again.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Another pledge? Vow, promise? He seems to think if he says it then his job is done.

The 16-member council involving six ministers, business executives and academics will compile an interim report by the end of the year and the final edition in the summer next year.

16 it takes sixteen mostly unqualified people at tax payer expense to talk about the pension system? Biggest problem is government waistful spending so I guess the irony of 16 people is lost on them.

Private-sector members include Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, (Huge Nippon Kaigi)the country's biggest business lobby, ( notable for not giving a crap about people) former internal affairs minister Hiroya Masuda and Atsushi Seike, (government insiders who will toe the line) former president of Keio University ( being a president of a University is not an academic role) and a labor economist ( just one economist)

Not one representative from aged care, Labour Organisation.

Doesnt matter really the result is already set. Work until death.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

A major topic will be how to encourage the elderly to work longer and continue to pay taxes.

This is what they are calling social welfare? Old people forced to work to put food in their mouths, and to pay more taxes to keep the gravy train rolling for Abe and his cronies.

In other words, in Abe's mind, social welfare equals milking even more money out of the sheep.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

It’s funny how Japanese can’t see how useless this guy is!

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Why does he keep making empty pledges after pledges when his party will stay in power in the next elections anyway?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Japan: Form over Substance.

Or as I like to say:    Perception is MORE Important than Reality!

For me it has gone WAY beyond depressing watching Japan do itself in, I have just become numb, if Japan & Japanese are hell bent on doing NOTHING (which IS a conscious CHOICE) then LET THEM!

All we can do here is live for OURSELVES & loved ones, pains me to write that but that is the conclusion I came about 15yrs ago because CLEARLY the govt doesn't give a damn & the people keep electing the SAME fools who are driving the country INTO the ground!

It is nothing short of depressing to see how this place has withered over the years, as viewed from my annual snapshot.

CaptD,

At least you LEFT for  better pastures I hope anyway, yeah I live in the inaka & again depressing seeing so many old folks & watching the numbers of abandoned homes, businesses sky rocket around me

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Several years ago regenerative medicine was supposedly being mooted as one way to keep the elderly more active.

However, visits to my local public hospitals for any such treatment draws a blank.

There are plenty of private clinics offering such treatments with eye candy receptionists but the costs run into the millions of yen!

Why aren’t these treatments being set up (now) in public hospitals at affordable prices for the rapidly aging population?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

However, visits to my local public hospitals for any such treatment draws a blank.

There are plenty of private clinics offering such treatments with eye candy receptionists but the costs run into the millions of yen!

Why aren’t these treatments being set up (now) in public hospitals at affordable prices for the rapidly aging population?

Not one hour ago, I was listening to an extremely interesting podcast on anti-aging, that got into the matter of regenerative eye treatments, talking about using benign viruses as a transport method to regenerate optical cells and nerves with stem cells. They've seen good results in mice, but human testing has not yet happened.

They start around the 2 hour mark (give or take some minutes) talking about eyes in particular:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-joe-rogan-experience/e/63819349

I've been wearing glasses then contact lenses, since I was in grade school. The idea of stem cell treatments to fix the problems my eyes were born with appeals to me. I hope that reality can catch up to the science fiction I grew up reading. Digital technology seems to be getting there, it will be interesting to see the progression of biological technology.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A major topic will be how to encourage the elderly to work longer and continue to pay taxes.

Translation:

How to screw the elderly of their golden years

This is pledge number 3,475,285 from Abe. How about some actual progress instead of mere speculation ledge?

If he did that, he wouldn't be Abe

Why does he keep making empty pledges after pledges when his party will stay in power in the next elections anyway?

Good question.

It’s funny how Japanese can’t see how useless this guy is!

Its insane.

For me it has gone WAY beyond depressing watching Japan do itself in, I have just become numb, if Japan & Japanese are hell bent on doing NOTHING (which IS a conscious CHOICE) then LET THEM!

Very very true, and I have come to the same conclusion myself.

All we can do here is live for OURSELVES & loved ones, pains me to write that but that is the conclusion I came about 15yrs ago because CLEARLY the govt doesn't give a damn & the people keep electing the SAME fools who are driving the country INTO the ground!

100% on the money.

CaptD,

At least you LEFT for better pastures I hope anyway,

After decades of living here and putting down roots, my wife and I decided after our babies were born that we wanted to give them a chance at a good life. I see Abe destroying this country I've called home for so long and its hard to watch. I don't know what the future holds but I can't say its gonna be good. I think there are dark days coming for Japan and it wont be long. Hopefully, within 2 years, we will have immigrated to Canada. Also am talking with alot of my foreign friends who have Japanese wives and children and they agree. I will be helping them make the move too just as soon as we get there. Rats off a sinking ship.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

yay meetings! lots and lots of meetings!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Strangerland

Thanks-I’ll take a listen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Aly R,

Sadly it has INDEED come to that, a sinking ship!

If the Mrs & I had kids I don't think I could forgive myself if I stayed here, again pains me to say that but that is just the reality & its getting worse & worse, hardly ever hear good news about people doing well or the country getting better at this or that or here & there its almost ALWAYS negative!

And Japan losing kids from Japanese\non-Japanese marriages is a DOUBLE whammy for Japan, BUT people cant be expected to sacrifice their kids IF they have better opportunities elsewhere.

And Cda's lifestyles BLOW Japan out of the water bigtime, was home in July, just no comparison. But it aint perfect lots more left wing nut jobs back home LOL!! They are so far left they BARK up the BUTTS of the right wingers for crying out loud & cities are painfully expensive.

BUT there are futures there, I look at my brothers two kids out of Uni & they are doing incredibly well!

Would love to see Japan do better but it IS its OWN worst enemy sadly!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Sorry for young people working until or past 70.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"A major topic will be how to encourage the elderly to work longer and continue to pay taxes." This is not social welfare, which is a scheme for pensioners to live out their days on accumulated savings after a life's work - it's just more employment. Does the government really expect the elderly to drop in harness for the good of the budget, or are they hoping that by putting up the retirement age enough of these workers will die before they can start collecting benefits and that they'll save money?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan can continue to fund its programs by borrowing its own money, as long as that money remains strong and stable. That's what Japan has been doing already, and the repercussions are....?

I'm certain the report with Keidanren input will offer political and corporate solutions - not economic ones - that favor the wealthy and the corporations, and shifting more of the burden on the working class.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

We’ll keep getting asinine pledges and promises until the hideous constitution is changed. It could mean many years..if he does it legitimately.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

ピンピンコロリ is what our Dear Leader is looking for. Let them work till they drop..literally. In my neck of the woods is where they have the most people over 65 in Japan. They’re crawling, literally, all over the place. I don’t see many of them able to hold a job unless walking with a walking stick to get around counts.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Even to a non-resident like me, a frequent visitor to Japan, the demographics are pretty obvious. You go to Tokyo, Osaka, for example, they're lively places, lots of young people. Even there, though, it seems like some suburbs consist entirely of senior citizens. Then you go to the inaka, and young people are like an exotic species.

Every time I read something like this - and there've been a lot of articles like it in JT since I've been reading it - I wonder how it is that Japan doesn't have a better pension and social welfare system. From what people here are saying, it seems more like a consequence of inertia than anything else.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yet another ‘vow’ from Abe. Get ready to pay more for social insurance people. Get out if Jason while you still have some money.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All he do is talk talk talk.....

Abe instructed his cabinet members, including Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister in charge of social security reform, to come up with concrete measures.

A major topic will be how to encourage the elderly to work longer and continue to pay taxes.

I can also give that kind of instruction.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan's social welfare expenses, including public pensions and medical care, are projected to skyrocket from 2022, when people in the postwar baby boomer generation will turn 75 or older.

The healthy lifespan or active lifespan or whatever that stat is called is about 74 in Japan, which is world number one. So that yes, on average, medical expenses will start ramping up for people in their mid 70s. Once you get to 85, about one in two elderly needs some form of care, whether it's a meal service or visitor or something much more comprehensive. If not family provided, this means caregiving costs on top of the medical costs mentioned here. The government has somehow kept the plates spinning by printing more debt, but this could well be the final blow, if a metropolis-based natural disaster doesn't get in first.

This was all entirely predictable forty years ago when women started marrying later and the birth rate crashed.

The active lifespan stat doesn't get much press, but I reckon I reckon it should be a big consideration for those with the knowledge and resources to plan a retirement. If you retire at 65, the figures say that you may live to 85 on average but only be active for seven or eight years. Based on that, it could be wiser to semi-retire at a much earlier age.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Does the government really expect the elderly to drop in harness for the good of the budget, or are they hoping that by putting up the retirement age enough of these workers will die before they can start collecting benefits and that they'll save money?'

The govt is hoping for both obviously ....this being Japan the thing is , a percentage of sheeple will no doubt comply ...you know cause being able to gambaru and gaman is just sooo important.

@Aly After decades of living here and putting down roots, my wife and I decided after our babies were born that we wanted to give them a chance at a good life. I see Abe destroying this country I've called home for so long and its hard to watch. I don't know what the future holds but I can't say its gonna be good

Sad but true, brother.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Those poor old folk waiting for the bus in the picture. Japanese society cares so little for the old that it can't even provide a few seats by a bus stop. What chance a decent pension or other support?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Hows this charlatan keep getting away with being useless? How's there absolutely no accountability?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

In this article, all the best defects of Japan : sheepish attitude, no action only talks, work til death, no help to family, more wealth to the rich.

What a plan !

My Japanese wife never tried to ask me to stay and carry on working in Japan. Life in my home country is so more everything. She will never admit it though, like any good Japanese.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

A major topic will be how to encourage the elderly to work longer and continue to pay taxes.

Yeah, make us pay for your inability to run a country properly.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

My kids were both born and raised in Japan but attended college in the US. My daughter has chosen to remain there, and my son, who has a "good" job in Tokyo, is hesitant to start a family here for obvious reasons. "Abandon ship" is the most logical choice for the young.

Abe aside, I think there's nothing any goverment could do about the aging society. We'll just have to wait it out and suck it up.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I am 65 and retired here. I had 26 years in the system. My salary was over 10 million a year easily. Was divorced once. Being divorced makes you lose 50% of your Kosei nankin, not your kokuminnenkin (Old age) nor kayakunenkin. So I will get about ¥1,700,000 a year. Would have been ¥900,000 more without a divorce.

If you have no debt, meaning own your own place, your costs for two people will be a minimum of ¥200,000 a month to cover utilities etc etc. This means you are looking at ¥2,400,000 a year minimum, so if you do not have extra income from investments or other areas, you will not even be able to go get a cheese burger once a month.

The divorce law rule needs to be changed.

The amount of kokuminnenkin needs to be raised.

Stop the pork barrel garbage spending such as on Olympic things and take care of your people first Abe-Kun.

And get rid of all those old men in your cabinet that are raking in the dough and let the younger people step in.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Old age care,

Like others have already said it is so ironic that there is no seat for the people waiting for a bus even though they appear mature.

Abe,Aso,et al have never had to experience normal stuff like catching a public bus so how can we rely on them to 'pledge' to help us in the future?

This photo speaks a million words about Japan and the LDP.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Here's what Abe REALLY needs to do to save this country: Aggressively promote, encourage, and incentivize WORKING REMOTELY.

They did the whole 'CoolBiz' thing for energy conservation, and now office buildings have the AC set noticeably warmer and people have shed their neckties and unbuttoned their shirts.

Well, now it's time to send people who moved to Tokyo to live in rabbit hutches back to the heartland to live in big, cheap houses, where they can do their menial paper shuffling jobs online, and communicate with their colleagues via conference calls and webinars like the rest of the civilized 21st century world. Use tax incentives to subsidize their shinkansen trips back to the mothership when their presence is truly required.

Everybody wins: Quality of life is improved for the transplants, companies save on real estate, and people might actually have kids when they realize they'll be able to play outside, ride their bikes to the park, and fall asleep to songs of crickets and cicadas.

I work from home in rural Massachusetts and commute into Boston a couple times a week. For raising my kid and enjoying life with my wife I wouldn't have it any other way.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What exactly does abe meant ???.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And don’t forget, the government will take more than half your assets that you saved all your life after you pass. I shudder to think what Abe will use that for...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Big liar,    nothing is changing except increasing tax , tax and tax.  and how many people can work until 70.   pay tax from 18 to 70  and get pesion later on. wow     gooood abe.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Well, you reap what you sow.

The people deserve what they are getting for continously voting the party that has been screwing them with impunity.

I for one places all the blame squarely on the pathetic media.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If Abe was leader in another country, his govt. would've ousted already.

Such a failure PM

He Failed everybody.

Youngsters & old.

Women & men

Children also.

North Korea in future will become paradise compared to his oyajis-run LDP-land

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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