Steady-State Economy

March 19, 2014


Keidanren Proposes Housing and Town Planning More Suitable for Japan's Aging Population

Keywords: Aging Society Diversity Manufacturing industry Non-manufacturing industry 

Photo: Arm rail
Image by Shoyuramen Some Rights Reserved.

The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) released on December 7, 2013, a policy proposal related to the aging of Japanese society, which is happening at a rate seen nowhere else in the world. The proposal was titled "Housing and Town Planning Well Suited for Aging Society--Toward Long, Independent and Healthy Senior Living."

As a national strategy, the proposal emphasizes the importance of implementing measures through public-private cooperation, keeping a balance among self-help, mutual assistance and public assistance from both "hard" (tangible, such as infrastructure) and "soft" (intangible, such as programs) perspectives. The private sector is expected to take on the primary role in implementing these measures so as to avoid putting excessive burden on the public sphere, and doing so will require policy changes.

Specifically, from the perspective of "long and independent living," Keidanren proposes the development of housing units for elderly people and services to ensure smoother relocation, as well as the utilization of information and communications technology (ICT) and other advanced technologies for home medical care and nursing care, such as remote medical examinations and nursing. And from the perspective of "comfortable and healthy living," it suggests the promotion of the healthcare industry and the creation of smaller communities where key facilities such as administrative, medical, nursing, retail, financial, and other services are accessible by foot.

In Japan, the number of people over the age of 65 surpassed 30 million in 2012. It is estimated that by 2025, one in three Japanese will be an elderly person.