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Wednesday, 31st August 2011
In General Japan News,

Japan has highest life expectancy

People in Japan generally live longer than those in any other country in the world.

That is according to a paper in a Lancet series on healthcare in the nation, which was brought to light by the Guardian.

Men in Japan now have a life expectancy of 80, while women can push that further to 86.

The increase in life expectancy has been prompted by an improved healthcare system, healthy diets and increased awareness about general hygiene.

Professor Kenji Shibuya, of the department of global health policy at the University of Tokyo, and colleagues, believes social and cultural attitudes have also contributed to the good news.

The news provider quoted the paper as saying: "First, Japanese people give attention to hygiene in all aspects of their daily life.

"This attitude might be partly attributable to a complex interaction of culture, education, climate, environment and the old Shinto tradition of purifying the body and mind before meeting others."

Moreover, people in Japan are unafraid to go for regular health checks, which increase the chances of problems being detected at an earlier, more treatable, stage.

Local government authorities provide mass screening for people at work, in schools or in the wider community.

"A systematic check-up of the whole body, referred to as a human dry dock, is another type of health screening, which is popular among business people - they stay at clinics or hospitals for several days to undergo thorough physical examinations," the Guardian quoted the Lancet paper as writing.

Lastly, diet has a major impact on the longevity of people's lives - however, an aging population has meant that numbers are actually in decline, with predictions that the nationality will reduce to 95 million by 2050, down from 127 million.

The World Health Organisation has also highlighted Japan as the nation with the longest life expectancy, stating 83 as the average age people can expect to live to, compared to 80 in the UK.

Posted by Graham McPherson