The land ministry is devising digital initiatives aimed at averting accidents involving elderly individuals during snow removal from rooftops.

In areas with heavy snowfall, labor shortages have often compelled elderly residents to climb onto rooftops to remove snow themselves, resulting in a heightened risk of accidents and injuries. In fiscal 2022, 49 people in Japan died during activities related to the clearing of snow. Of these, 39 people — or roughly 80% — were age 65 or older.

The ministry's plans entail the development of a system to assess the risk level associated with snow removal at individual residences. The system will utilize metrics such as snow accumulation weight and the structural age of specific buildings to estimate the potential hazards of snow clearance.