Keynote Proposal 3

"Conditions of an Active Aging Society"

Picture Atsushi Seike

Atsushi Seike
  • Professor, Faculty of Business and Commerce, Keio University

Japan is experiencing aging that is unprecedented globally. As a result of this aging, we lose rationality in classifying the generation of the actively employed and the generation of those who are retired in terms of the existing age norm. Fortunately in Japan, elderly individuals themselves are highly enthusiastic about employment. In making use of the abilities of elderly persons who are determined to work, it is vital to build an “active aging society,” a society for the elderly supported by the elderly members themselves. The problem is, within the national pension system and hiring system of companies, there are factors which hinder the realization of an active aging society. The employees’ pension scheme and the compulsory retirement system not only frustrate elderly individuals’ desire for work, but these also become obstacles to the utilization of these abilities. The reforms in the wage and hiring system which promote employment for elderly individuals share the same orientation as the reforms needed in order for companies to survive in a harsh competitive environment. Under the structure of an aging population and heightened market competition, the enhancement of capital investment for the sake of upgrading individual abilities is essential in aiming for a prosperous economic society. The realization of an “active aging society” can possibly be a theme shared by the entire Asia-Pacific region.

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