In Japan, grave times for the tombstone trade

Sep 16, 2014

In Japan, grave times for the tombstone trade

by Yiyuan Wang

An Jianxing can see he is in a dying business. The gravestone designer, who takes pride in works featuring musical instruments and heavenly gates, says years of shrinking sales are driving him to close up shop in Japan and move back to his native ...

Aug 4, 2014

The elderly who need help

The rapid aging of Japan's population has created a situation in which more than half of the elderly people who are incapacitated and live in their own homes are being taken care of by a similarly aging family member.

Jun 29, 2014

Pensioners to get less as they get older

The nation’s economic and demographic woes are likely to force pension payout ratios to sink below the required 50 percent minimum, according to a new Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry estimate. Based on the pension reforms of 2004, the law stipulates that pensioners must ...

Baby boomers becoming gray gang

May 27, 2014

Baby boomers becoming gray gang

by Sawako Obara

As the last of Japan’s baby boomers turn 65 this year and retire, many are taking low-paid or voluntary work to get them out of the house — a trend that could have broad-reaching effects. The transition came later than expected as many workers ...

Skin divers turn to tourism to stem the tide

Apr 24, 2014

Skin divers turn to tourism to stem the tide

by Chikako Mogi

At the Sea People restaurant in Shima, a coastal hamlet in Mie Prefecture, sea diver Machiyo Yamashita wants a piece of a tourism industry dominated by the cities that sapped her town’s vitality by luring away its youth. “I want to cook and serve ...