Do we really need to know ages?

Re: "Osaka: What are your hopes for yourself, Japan and the world in 2013?" (Views From The Street, Jan. 1):

Looking at your questions to people of Osaka about their hopes for 2013, I wonder — yet again — about the Japanese obsession with people's ages? What on earth is the reason for putting the ages of people next to their names? Are their views less or more valuable depending on their age?

Why not have a survey about whether people's ages in this type of situation are really needed?