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Regarding the Jan. 11 editorial, “Baby boomers can continue to shine“: The concept of age seems to be difficult to grasp in Japan, especially in the workforce. A clear example is The Japan Times, which routinely runs ageist classified employment ads where no one in the existing world can be over the age of 35.

In the editorial, The Japan Times points out that “baby boomers are still healthy and have strong intellectual curiosity” and that “baby boomers can continue to live creative and socially meaningful lives if they use their imagination and make efforts.”

What do these comments mean? That generations before baby boomers weren’t healthy and didn’t have “strong intellectual curiosity”? Don’t younger generations need to “use their imagination and make efforts” to have “meaningful lives”?

It may be true that certain young people have more physical energy (although if you look at the smoking, drinking, cell-phone addicted, sparkly nailed, self-infatuated youth of Tokyo, you aren’t going to find them), but that does not automatically mean that “baby boomers” do not have the mental and physical strength to continue to work as long as they want.

People are living longer, healthier lives. Thinking that people should be put out to pasture because they are not “young” is a dangerous concept, especially when older people have so much to offer in the way of knowledge and experience.

The Japan Times patronizingly suggests that “some baby boomers can contribute by establishing their own companies.” Baby boomers know what they’re able to do.

david chester

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