• Kyodo News


Japan’s diplomatic missions abroad helped out 18,843 Japanese in 2009, up 4.1 percent from 2008, the Foreign Ministry said in an annual report released recently.

People aged 60 or above accounted for 3,627 cases, jumping 30.5 percent from the year before. Amid a 7.3 percent increase in elderly citizens traveling overseas, a number fell sick or experienced a worsening of existing chronic diseases due to demanding itineraries.

Of 1,070 people assisted due to illness, some 345, or 32.2 percent, were aged 60 or older, comprising the largest portion of the category, up nearly 80 percent from a decade earlier, it said.

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