Local governments in Japan are moving to support the end-of-life preparations by elderly people with no relatives, by asking their wishes for funerals and cleaning up their belongings to mitigate their worries in their closing days.

The move comes as the number of single elderly people is increasing in the country. According to a survey on living conditions conducted by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, the number of single-person households with members aged 65 or older came to 8.73 million in 2022, more than double the figure in 2001.

The number of such households are expected to increase further as more people remain single.