“Aging in Japan”
As of April 1, 2003, the percentage of people aged 65 and over was 18.9% in Japan, which would make us the oldest country in the world.
This unique phenomenon in Japan has attracted global interests. As a growing number of researchers and practitioners in other countries make requests for information on Japan, our organization (Japan Aging Research Center = JARC) sees a critical role to respond. The information they seem to be interested in includes population dynamics in Japan, its contributing factors, its social implications, current conditions of the Japanese elderly, social policies that are related to the elderly, and our brief comments on these issues. These are exactly what we like to learn from other countries.
Hence, JARC has developed an international information “Aging in Japan” web site, in both Japanese and English languages, to disseminate information to people in other countries who are interested in Japanese aging populations.
Some information about Japan is already available elsewhere. For example, JARC has periodic publications “Aging in Japan” since 1991, which provide information on population aging and social changes in Japan. Japanese Statistics Bureau also makes relevant data available to the public. Therefore, this web site will provide brief overviews of Japan and its aging populations based on the latest data and research results.
Japan has several holidays for different age groups, such as “Children’s day” or “Boy’s festival” on May 5th and “Respect-for-the-aged day” in mid-September. In such occasions and more, Japanese government releases a number of data on populations and social changes, and media effectively disseminate these data. Incorporating these latest data, we would like to provide new information in our web site at least quarterly.
This site is developed not only by JARC staff but also by researchers and practitioners from various fields in Japan, who contribute valuable knowledge and experiences to the site. We would also like to share information and brief papers from other countries as well, both in Japanese and English languages.
In this issue, we will talk about the rapidly declining fertility rates in Japan, using the latest data on birth rates and the number of children.