As the Japanese continue to age, so do their pets. Improvements in animal rearing and care have seen pets living longer, prompting the creation of new businesses that cater not only to the elderly, but to their animals as well.

Tokyo-based Seikatsu Kagaku Un-Ei Co., which operates nursing homes and condominiums, allows residents at 18 of its 27 facilities to live with their pets. There are 25 households in its condominiums that keep dogs or cats.

"I decided right away (on this property) once I heard that I can live here with my pet," said Kayoko Kitao, a 76-year-old resident who lives with her cat, Ku, in a condominium managed by the company in Fujimino, Saitama Prefecture. "My conversations with other residents and the staff members here are more lively thanks to little Ku."