The Revision of World Population Prospects , released in June , predicts the proportion of people aged 65 years and older in Japan will increase from the current level of 28 per cent to 38 per cent by These demographic trends set the fundamental context for challenges and changes to Japanese society in the coming decades. This population is likely to increase by another 7 million by At this time, a much smaller younger population will face the task of supporting this large number of elderly Japanese.
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To enjoy our content, please include The Japan Times on your ad-blocker's list of approved sites. By , one in every three people will be 65 or older, and one in five people plus years old. The rapid aging process in Japan is striking because of the high rate of economic growth and changes in family and social structures in the postwar period. Increasing life expectancy is another driving force behind the aging trend. Fifty years ago, life expectancy at birth was about 72 years; it has since climbed to 84 years. One aspect is the increase in the proportion of the elderly in the total population.
Mieko Nagaoka first started swimming in her 80s to help recover from a knee injury sustained while practicing Noh, a traditional Japanese theatre. When she was , Nagaoka published her book entitled: "I'm years old and the world's best active swimmer", before going on to set the first world record for her age group , swimming 1,m in a 25m pool. At years old, she still enters Masters competitions and currently holds 18 world records. Then in September , to much media fanfare, Nagaoka announced her retirement before entering her last competition, the Japan Masters held in Fukuoka. She left the poolside smiling to the applause of her fans.