It may be a common ailment for our elderly population in the not-so-distant future. The health ministry's latest estimate is that the number of people aged 65 or older suffering from dementia will reach 7 million in 2025, or one out of five people in that age group.

The government, which recently adopted a new strategy on measures against dementia, needs to follow through on the idea of ensuring a better quality of life for patients by heeding the wishes of sufferers and their families.

The new strategy was hastily put together in about two months after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who spoke at an international conference on the issue held in Tokyo in early November, gave the order to the government. It expands on the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry's five-year program started in fiscal 2013, which was based on the policy adopted by the previous Democratic Party of Japan-led administration.