Most people in Japan do not want to live to or beyond 100 years old, according to a new survey.
In September 2022, a research firm commissioned by the Japan Hospice Palliative Care Foundation in Osaka conducted an online survey with approximately 500 men and 500 women aged in their 20s to 70s nationwide, asking them if they would like to live beyond 100 years old.
According to researchers, 72% of male respondents and 84% of female respondents said they “don’t think” they would like to live that long. When asked why, 59% of respondents said they did not want to bother their families or others.
There were also 48.2% of respondents who said their physical condition would gradually get worse, and 36.7% who said they were worried about their financial situation.
“We were surprised to find that the number of people who wish to live longer than 100 years old is much smaller than we had imagined. As the ‘100-year-life age’ becomes more of a reality, people may have begun to question whether they are really happy with that,” a representative of the foundation said, according to The Mainichi.
Japan, which has one of the world’s most rapidly aging societies, is one of the top countries with the longest life expectancy at birth.
As of September 2022, there were more than 90,000 people aged 100 or older in Japan, which is an increase of about 4,000 from the year before, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
The survey also noted an urgent issue of planning support for Japanese people facing death as 30% of respondents living alone do not have someone present for when they need to be hospitalized.
With a smaller workforce and fewer taxpayers to sustain the country in the years to come, the rising cost of caring for its elderly is draining the nation’s coffers, making it the world’s most indebted country.
The Japanese government has been working to increase the labor force and to boost the population and economy. However, the dismal birth rates continue to undermine the country’s initiatives to remedy its aging population.