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Tuesday, 14th May 2013
In General Japan News,

Japanese forced to leave work to care for aging population

Both men and women in Japan are being forced to give up their jobs to help care for their elderly parents, a study by the Institute for Research on Household Economics has revealed.

More than a quarter of women - 27.6 per cent – have been forced to quit work because they need to care for frail relatives and cannot afford the high costs of care.

The report also showed that an increasing number of men have to take on the responsibility of caring for a parent. The statistics reveal that 13.4 per cent of Japanese men aged between 40 and 64 are currently living with a mother or father who requires nursing care.

Keiko Tanaka, a researcher at the institute said: "Turnover among men to provide care (to their parents) is rising."

She suggested that the reason an increasing number of men are taking up the role of carer is an economic one as "they are squeezed by higher nursing costs".

A 2012 report by the Japanese government's Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, revealed that the number of people aged 65 or over in Japan has exceeded the 30 million mark for the first time.

It's clear that this aging population will have implications for those left caring for their relatives and it seems that the dwindling number of young people in the country will not help matters.

The study showed that there are now officially more elderly people than there are children in the country. The number of people over 65 is higher those aged 14 or under for the first time ever. The issue exists in all 47 prefectures across the country.

Of all the districts in Japan, Akita Prefecture has the largest percentage of people aged over 65. The report listed that nearly a third of its population – some 30 per cent – were over 65.

In June 2006, it was reported that 20 per cent of the nation's population was aged over 65, but it is estimated that this will increase to 38 per cent by 2055.