Global Economics

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State of Japan
Australian International School Hong Kong

Managing an Aging Population

The process of an aging population occurs in almost every country around the globe and has become a global issue which has brought about much concern, particularly in Japan, which has an aging population outweighing that of any other nation worldwide. During the decade after the Second World War, Japan was still suffering the disastrous aftermath imposed previously by large scale conflict, and amid the post war decade only an estimated 5% of the Japanese population belonged in the sixty five years or older category. However, due to steady reconstruction and Japan’s large economic boom through the post war decades, so has our standard of living and along with that our life expectancy, which is currently the highest out of all nations. This has caused an imbalance where there is rapidly declining population of youth and a constantly increasing elderly population.

The delegation of Japan is greatly concerned about its aging population and recognizes that bulkier populations of youths are needed to maintain a growing economy and to act as a counterbalance to a country’s elderly population. For the past two decades, the nation of Japan has seen a dramatic rise in its proportion of elderly citizens, increasing from 11.6% of its population being 65 years or older in 1989 to a staggering 21.2% in 2007, accounting for approximately 27.4 million Japanese citizens. By 2050, Japan’s aging population is expected to rise to 40%.

It is certain that Japan’s aging population will result in future spending pressures and cripple Japan’s monetary position worldwide. Spending on health, pension and care in general has increased from 6% of national GDP in 1970 to 18% in 1989, with elderly care and pensions accounting for approximately 40% of all social welfare spending. Although currently Japan has overcome the consequences its aging population has established, concerns such as the...
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