A significant aging problem in the nation's business sector is becoming apparent, with the average age of Japanese company chief executives having increased for 33 consecutive years as of last year, according to recently released research. This trend suggests challenges lie ahead in ensuring a smooth business succession to the next generation of leaders.

As of December last year, the average age of such leaders stood at 60.5 years old, up by 0.1 point from the previous year, Tokyo-based research firm Teikoku Databank said Friday.

Since Teikoku Databank began tracking the issue in 1990, the figure has continuously increased. In 1990, the average age was 54. The research was based on the firm's database of about 1.47 million domestic companies.