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Too young to be old


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Business Spotlight - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 1/2022 vom 15.12.2021

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Not elderly in Japan: just ?pre-old?

Nearly one out of three people in Japan are over 65 years of age, making it the oldest country in the world. But some cities, such as Nagano, have decided that people under 75 are no longer elderly. Instead, they are now called “pre-old.”

Japan’s 2020 White Paper on the elderly says that the traits connected to the term “elderly” do not describe most people in the 65 to 75 age range. It also says that women in Japan can expect to live into their late 80s, and men live into their early 80s. Nagano hopes the new category will keep people active longer.

Many of the new “pre-old” people like the decision because they want to keep working. Farmer Norihiro Aizawa, 38, told The Wall Street Journal that his father is still farming in his 70s, and he also plans to do so. “We say here that a person in his 40s or 50s is still a child with a runny nose,” he says. “And people in their 60s and 70s are in the prime of their careers.”

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