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People aged 65 or older now make up 15.43 percent of Japan’s total population, topping the 15 percentage mark for the first time, the Home Affairs Ministry said August 6.

The figures indicate that the pace at which the Japanese population is graying is accelerating, officials said. A demographic survey released by the ministry also showed that the total population of the nation as of March 31 was 125,257,061, an increase of 342,688 over the previous year. The female population in fiscal 1996 was 63,764,157, slightly more than the male population of 61,492,904.

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