The welfare ministry plans to launch a large-scale, long-term survey in 2005 to track the health and living conditions of thousands of postwar babyboomers.

The move is aimed at analyzing medical, nursing and pension needs as the generation heads toward retirement.

With Japan facing a rapidly aging society, the baby boom generation — some 8 million of which were born from 1947 to 1949 — is expected to represent a significant burden on society as it ages.

The 10-15-year study, which will begin in summer or fall 2005, will involve a survey of 30,000 to 50,000 men and women aged between 50 and 64.

Once a year, they will be asked about their health, work, income and social activities, Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry officials said.

Survey results will be used to analyze the anticipated increase in medical costs and nursing needs.

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