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 ...

Aging 3/11 foster folks facing health worries

Mar 13, 2014

Aging 3/11 foster folks facing health worries

Three years after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami heavily damaged the Tohoku region, many children orphaned by the disasters are in the care of grandparents or other elderly relatives who are facing health concerns that could limit their ability to continue as foster ...

Japan's elderly reach for the joys of romance

Feb 12, 2014

Japan's elderly reach for the joys of romance

by Sawako Obara

On her first date with her stoop-shouldered “prince,” Tae, a 77-year-old widow, felt her heart flutter in her chest as she gazed with him toward brightly lit Tokyo Tower. While this may just be a scene from a recent Japanese movie about a gray-haired ...

Feb 4, 2014

Care home shortage grows acute in Tokyo

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and 23 ward offices are stepping up efforts to address an acute shortage of special nursing homes for the elderly. The homes are for people 65 or older and recognized by municipal governments as needing daily care. Tokyo has some ...