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Annual Report on the Aging Society:
This English version of"Annual Report on the Aging Society:2002 Cabinet Office"is tentatively translated
in cooperation with the International Longevity Center(ILC-Japan).
The Annual Report on the Aging Society has been submitted to the Diet by the government since 1996. The report is based on the Basic Law on Measures for the Aging Society. It clarifies the status of aging, the situations how the measures are implemented for the aging society, and future measures in consideration of such status of aging.
The Annual Report on the Aging Society: 2002 consists of two parts: 1) The Annual Report on Status of Aging and Implementation Situations of the Measures for the Aging Society in FY2001 and 2) The Measures for the Aging Society to Be Adopted in FY2002
The Annual Report on the Status of Aging and Implementation of the Measures for the Aging Society in FY2001 contains:
Chapter 1 Overview of the directions of measures for the aging society, based on the New General Principles on Concerning Measures for the Aging Society
Chapter 2 Report on the status of aging based on fundamental statistics, etc.
Chapter 3 Implementation situations of policies for the aging society measured by the government in FY 2001, which is reported along the structure of General Principles on Concerning Measures for the Aging Society
Further clarified are the policies on the aging society to be measured in FY2002. In addition, a list of budgets (General account budget) related to measures for the aging society in FY 2002 is attached.
|The Annual Report on Status of Aging and Implementation Situations of the Measures for the Aging Society in FY2001
Chapter 1 Directions of Measures for the Aging Society
When postwar baby boomers attain old age around 2015, the population aged 65 or older is estimated to reach 33 million, 11 million larger than that at present, and the ratio of older persons to the whole population will be 26.0%. Toward the full scale of aging society, the New General Principles Concerning Measures for the Aging Society was resolved at the cabinet meeting in December 2001. The New General Principles show a basic attitude to modify the traditional stereotype image of older persons. Moreover, support of self-help in the old age, which enables diverse life style, is focused on as a cross-field subject.
In this chapter, diversity of life and consciousness of older persons are identified, and the future image of the aging society is pursued through surveying measures required horizontally in relevant departments from the three types of elderly people's viewpoints: active elderly, those living alone and those in need of care.
1. Diversity of Older Persons
- The average income and savings of older persons are as high as working generation. The ratio living in their own house is rather higher than working generation. Though it seems that health condition of older persons is inferior to that of working generation, three quarters of them have no negative influence on their daily life. 20% of them are still in the workforce, half of them are involved in some group activities, and about 70% of older persons are eager to participate in volunteer activities. Those living with their spouse and children are about 30%, older persons who are not living with their adult children are about a half, and those who hope to live with children or grandchildren are approximately 40%.
- Most older persons are living an independent life. Such older group is estimated to increase in future, as postwar baby boomers are reaching the older age.
- However, the attitude of older persons is different from person to person. While the number of bedridden or demented elderly will grow in future, active older persons will increase as well. Additionally the ratio of older persons living alone without a family member who can play a role of providing daily mutual support is estimated to increase.
Figure 1-1-5. Component Ratio of Households by Elderly Age Group and Sex
Figure 1-1-9. Elderly Income Standard by Income Category, 1997
Figure 1-1-14. Ratio of Older Persons with Some Health Problems Influencing on a Daily Life
Figure 1-1-17. Status of Elderly Work Force (Ratio of Work Force)
2. Active Older Persons
- Although quite a difference is seen among the family types of active older persons, most active senior citizens are a couple only household, living apart from their children. Some of them intend to have their house rebuilt, wishing to live with one of their children (and his/her family) in future. There are other older people who are taking a role of supporting the lower or upper generation by giving care to grandchildren or elderly parents among the family and the relatives, in addition to keeping them company.
- Many of them are comparatively well-off, preferring to invest their assets for themselves rather than to leave for posterity.
- Many older persons are in good health and continue working. There are also many who think it better to continue to work for health, while they are healthy enough, even in their 70s. There are some others who cannot take an opportunity to work due to the age restrictions, even though they wish.
- Many older persons are interested in, or are actually participating in volunteer activities. Some senior citizens do not participate in volunteer activities, because they have some personal reasons, they don't have friends with the same interest, or the activities they can easily join are quite limited.
Figure 1-2-5. How to Use Assets
Chart 1-2-8. Desirable Retirement Age
Figure 1-2-9. Ratio of Reasons Older People Participate in Work Force by Age Group
Figure 1-2-14. Age Structure of Persons Engaged in Volunteer Activities
(Directions of Measures)
- Constructing, enlarging or rebuilding a house is facilitated by utilizing loan systems, etc., so that older persons could live with or next to their children or grandchildren, according to different family structures.
- The money market is positively developed, and the opportunities of investment education are increased, so that financial assets like savings are actively utilized. Furthermore, environmental establishment of second-hand houses market, etc. is promoted to utilize assets such as land or houses.
- The Voluntary Adult Guardian Law is widely spread in order that older persons could maintain his/her life with dignity by taking advantage of assets, even after his/her discernment declines.
- Meanwhile, some older persons are better-off than working generation. Thus, across-the-board concession in the tax systems and the social security systems for them is reexamined.
- The independent effort for health improvement by reviewing daily life habits is supported.
- The introduction of extending retirement age and a continuous employment system is positively developed and led. Further, in order to promote various styles of work and participation in local communities, facilitated are activities of Silver Human Resource Centers providing casual or short-time jobs, and venture business by older persons. Also encourage employers to ease age restrictions in employment.
- The diversity and flexibility of work styles and shortening labor hours should be fully considered, so that they could make friends out of workplace since young. Positively seek for an opportunity to join volunteer activities after retirement. To prepare for such activities, promote trainings and researches for volunteer activities, secure the centers for them, spread and utilize NPO corporate systems, etc.
- Older persons are eligible to continue to work in various forms without age restrictions as long as they wish. If affluent elderly share some allotment according to their ability, the social security systems will be fairer among generations, and could last longer.
- There are many older persons taking a major role to support local communities on behalf of the working generation who are busy with work or child care, making friends in the community while they are even young, and participating in NPO activities after retirement in partnership with younger generation.
- Though family structure of households is different, most older persons play a certain role in the family, having some contact with family members. Professional support is given so that they could enjoy a healthy life habit such as exercise or nutrition with family members and friends. They will also be able to make best use of their assets like savings or housing so as to continue to live in affluent circumstances even in the old age.
3.Older Persons Living Alone
- Among older persons living alone, there are some well-off, whereas there are others, especially older women, who are economically unstable. There is a tendency that more older persons who live alone live in rental apartments. Many apartment houses are below the housing standard, having problems with structure and equipment. Some older persons are even rejected to rent such an apartment house.
- They are slightly older and unhealthier, compared with other older persons. Opportunities of their employment, social involvement and contact with neighbors are also less. They are, however, likely to depend on neighbors in emergency or when they need help.
- Most of them go out on foot. Only a few of them drive a car, and family members rarely drive for them. Accordingly, they are liable to use a bus or a taxi more often than other older persons.
Figure 1-3-4. Annual Income at Households with Elderly Persons by Sex and Age Group (Single Households, Households of 2 Persons or More, 1997)
Figure 2-2-42. Tenure of Elderly Dwelling
Figure 1-3-8. Ratio of the Persons Who Answered 'There Is No Problem' in his/her Housing
Figure 1-3-11. Social Contacts with Neighbors
(Directions of measures)
- What should be done for older persons to earn income and appropriate amount of pension are: secure fair opportunities and treatments in employment throughout life regardless of age or sex, support to manage both a professional and family life, give help to find a job or professional trainings which meet with women's needs, promote women's participation in management of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and promote to review public pension systems to avoid unfair treatments due to differences of individual life-style selection.
- Promote local networking for daily life support as well as contact and support in emergency. Let older persons be well informed of such networking. Also promote to provide older persons' residences with life support services, public rental apartment with life support facilities, group homes for those without blood relationship, etc.
- Provide rental houses which meet the needs of older persons so that they can live comfortably.
- Private rental houses available for older persons are registered by the prefectural governors. Arrears of rent for such houses should be settled, which will eventually get rid of owners' worries and promote registration.
- Thus, living arrangement is improved, so that they could have a circle of association in the neighborhood and promote social participation. Municipal measures to promote local welfare programs are supported, so that meticulous services based on such welfare in the community could be promoted in consideration of each local characteristic.
- Opportunities for women to develop their professional ability throughout life have been increasing, and it has also become easier to cope with both a career and a family life or seek re-employment with appropriate pay and treatments after child-care. Differences between men and women in payment or a pension admission period will be reduced. Meanwhile, unfair treatment in the pension system due to working situations will not occur. Thus the economic condition of older women living alone with low income will be improved.
- Rental houses provided with appropriate structure and equipments for older persons have been increasing. Lately private rental houses also accept older persons. They can select out of a variety of living styles such as living in an elderly dwelling provided with life support services, or living with close friends, etc.
- While there are some who start activities in the community even in working age due to shortened working hours or commuter time, there are others who start to participate in various local exchange programs to make new friends at an older age. They are able to live safely in the community, since daily support for going-out, etc. or networking in case of emergency is established.
4. Older Persons in Need of Care, etc.
(Directions of measures)
- Based on 'Gold Plan 21,' establish in-home services such as home-visit care or commuting care (day service), care facilities or care-houses, according to the plan.
- Facilitate to spread and establish the Long-term Care Insurance System.
- Promote opportunities to train 'care managers,' 'home-helpers,' etc. and encourage care service stations to release full information. Promote study on dementia care, professional training and networking for research and training. While single private rooms and unit care are positively introduced in all the special nursing homes for the elderly, programs to abolish physical restraint in facilities are promoted.
- Regarding abuse and assets rights invasion, whereas Adult Guarding Law and Regional Welfare Right Protection Programs are enforced, activities to protect elderly rights and relieve sufferers are facilitated by counseling, survey and management about cases related to human rights invasion.
- Promote to provide a safe and comfortable house for people requiring care, by spreading a guideline of housing design and making use of loan systems, etc. Promote to study and research daily equipment of 'universal design.' Improve the public facilities such as streets, stations, vehicles, hospitals, theaters, government, etc. so that everybody can easily use them. Promote research and development for in-home study, social participation and health management systems by utilizing IT.
- Houses in careful consideration of older persons will be established, barrier-free and provided with assistive equipments such as handrails, to prevent falling down or born fracture. Various domestic articles should be safe and easy for everybody to use. QOL of persons requiring care has been enhanced and family caregivers' burden is lessened by using high quality services like home-visit care or commuting care (day service).
- Institutional life can be similar to in-home life by introducing single private rooms or a small-sized care unit and abolishing physical restraint. Research on dementia care is developed, and appropriate care will be further provided even for older persons with dementia.
- Abuse and assets rights invasion can be lessened by reducing family caregivers' burden, training formal caregivers, and enhancing awareness about elderly human rights. If any invasion might happen, prompt relief would be given.
- Regarding roads, etc. sidewalks have been widened, and have got barrier-free. It becomes possible for older persons requiring care to go out, contact neighbors and enjoy a life in the community. In addition, information technologies also enabled them to receive medical services such as health check, communicate with friends, or join various activities, without going out.
Chapter 2 Status of the Aging Society
1.Status of the Aging Society
(Status and trends of aging)
- The total population of Japan on October1, 2001 was 127,290,000, of which 22,870,000 (18%) were the elderly aged 65 or older. While the younger old-aged population (65-74) was 13,340,000, the older senior citizen population (75 years or over) was 9,530,000.
- The elderly population is estimated to increase rapidly until 2020 and stabilize after then. Meanwhile, as the total population is to start decreasing, the percentage of aging is estimated to continue increasing, 26.0% in 2015 and 35.7% in 2050. There is a prospect that the younger old-aged population will be the highest in 2015 and change to the decrease after then, and the older senior citizen population is estimated higher in 2020 than the younger senior citizen population. The percentage of older senior citizens will be much greater.
Chart 2-1-1. Status of Aging
Figure 2-1-2. Changes of Aging and Population Projections
(Aging by region)
- The percentage of older persons aged 65 or older by prefecture is low in the three biggest urban areas and high in the other areas.
Shimane Prefecture is the highest, 24.8%, and Saitama is the lowest, 12.8% as of 2000. The ratio is estimated to grow in every prefecture in future. According to the projection the highest will be 33.8% in Akita Prefecture, and even the lowest 22.8% in Shiga Prefecture in 2025.
- Municipal distribution by the percentage of older persons mainly concentrated on 10-15% in1980 and 1985; in 2000, however, 20-25% was the highest with a wider distribution.
(Causes of aging)
(Influences of aging)
- The labor force population aged 65 or older was 4,920,000 in 2001, which is 7.3% of the total labor force population. As the work force population declines sin future, their aging will probably grow even faster.
- The total benefit for social security in pension, medical health and welfare was 75,041,700,000,000yen in 1999, 19.6% of the total national income, which was 5.8% in 1970.
Figure 2-1-15. Trends and Future Prospects of Labor Force Population
Figure 2-1-16. Trends in Social Security Benefits
(Global trends of aging)
2.Status of Older Persons
(Elderly and family)
- The number of households with the elderly aged 65 or older is 15,650,000, 34.4% of the whole households (45,550,000). Its breakdown is as follows: 3,080,000 single member households (19.7%), 4,230,000 husband and wife households (27.1%), 2,270,000 parents and unmarried child (14.5%), 4,140,000 three generation (26.5%). This shows while three generation households have decreased, the ratio of households living alone and living with spouse only has greatly increased.
- The ratio of the elderly living with children tends to decline, 49.1% in 2000.
Figure 2-2-6. Trends in the Percentage Distribution of Households by Family Type Containing at Least One Older Person
(Economic status of older persons)
- The average annual income of elderly households in 1999 was 3,289,000yen, merely a half of the average of the total households (6,260,000yen). Concerning the amount per family member, it is 2,180,000yen in the elderly households, with no much gap between the average amount of the total households (2,198,000yen) and the elderly households. Regarding elderly employment, the ratio of working male aged 60-64 is 66.5%, and 51.6% in 65-69. Among the unemployed persons aged 60-64 (33.5%) more than half of them, and nearly 40% of those aged 65-69 (48.4%) hope to work.
Chart 2-2-12. Income of Households of Aged Persons
- The ratio of working female aged 60-64 is 41.5%, and 28.7% of those aged 65-69 is working. Over 30% of unemployed women aged 60-64 (58.8%) and over 20% of those 65-69 (71.3%) wish to work.
Figure 2-2-20. Status of Elderly Employment and Unemployment
(Health and welfare for the elderly)
- Regarding health condition of older persons, the ratio of the elderly aged 65 or older with some subjective symptom due to illness or injury was 530.3 per 1000 in 1998. The ratio of the elderly aged 65 or older with some effect in daily life (Those who has trouble in moving, going-out, work, house chores, study, exercise, sports, etc. because of health problems, except for those who were hospitalized and who were bedridden for over a month) was 203.3 per 1000 elderly population.
Figure 2-2-22. Ratio of Older Persons 65? with Complaints and with Effect in Daily Life
- The number of the people aged 65 or older requiring care (In need of one assistance at least for the followings: washing their face, brushing teeth, changing clothes, meal, toilet, taking a bath, walking) are 1,004,000, which is 48.7 per 1,000 persons aged 65 and older. The elderly living in 'Welfare facilities for the elderly,' 'Health care facilities for the elderly,' 'Medical facilities for the elderly' are respectively 292,000, 211,000, 98,000 (13.3, 9.6, 4.5 per 1,000 persons aged 65 or older).
Chart 2-2-30. Number of Older Persons Requiring In-home Care
(Older persons and society & community)
- As to friendship with the neighbors, 25.5% of older persons rarely associate with neighbors, while 21.0% associate with them almost everyday. Especially 31.5% (one out of 3) of males rarely associate with neighbors.
Figure 2-2-37. Contact with Neighbors
- 52.6% of older persons are participating in some group activities; for example, 24.7% in local community activities, 18.1% in hobby groups, 14.0% in activities for improving health, and 8.7% in social welfare activities.
Figure 2-2-39. Elderly Participation in Group Activities
- Regarding elderly houses, 70.8% of elderly only households and 76.6% of elderly households living with a spouse only are above the Leading Housing Standard (a guideline to lead enhancing housing stock quality in the Eighth House-building Five-year Plan). In the households living in a rental house among them, 41.1% of single elderly household and 34.0% of elderly husband and wife households are above the standard level.
- Regarding requests on remodeling house structure and equipments for older persons, nearly half requests some remodeling, while only 54.1% requests 'No remodeling in particular.' For instance, 'I'd like to have a hand rail fixed' 20.9%, 'I'd like barrier-free floor' 19.6%, 'I'd like a bath tub easier to step in' 11.0%, 'I'd like a bathroom installed heating' 8.6%, 'I'd like a barrier-free approach from the entrance to the road' 8.4%, etc.
Figure 2-2-46. Structure and Equipment to be Hopefully Remodeled in Future
(Living environment of older persons)
- What elderly people feel inconvenient and worried about are: 'It's inconvenient to go to a doctor or a hospital' 12.0%, 'Inconvenient for daily shopping' 11.6%, 'Transportation is not easy to use for older persons' 9.5%, 'Worried about being involved in a traffic accident' 8.2%, 'The road in the neighborhood is not in good condition' 7.0%, etc.
Figure 2-2-51. Inconvenient Points in the Community
- The number of older persons aged 65 or older who died in the traffic accidents amounts to 3,216, that is, 36.8% of the total death of traffic accidents. The majority of death due to traffic accidents had been youth aged from 16 to 24 by 1992, but the number of the elderly exceeded that of the youth in 1993. After that, the ratio of the elderly has been increasing, whereas that of the youth has been decreasing.
- Regarding crimes and disaster related to older persons, damage or loss by the crimes of the elderly aged 65 or older, judged from the cases acknowledged as victims of criminal offence, was 184,638 in 2000, 8.6% of the whole. Moreover the number of death of older people 65 or older due to fire (excluding suicides by arson) was 646 in 2000, which amounts to about half of the total death.
Figure 2-2-52. Trends in Traffic Accident Death by Age Group
Chapter 3 Implementation of Measures for the Aging Society
1. Fundamental Framework of Measures for the Aging Society
- The fundamental framework of measures for the aging society in Japan is based on the Basic Law on Measures for the Aging Society (Law No.129 of 1995).
- At the Conference on the Measures for the Aging Society, crucial issues related to measures in the aging society, etc. is discussed. The chairman is the Prime Minister, and cabinet members are appointed to the committee.
- The government has an obligation to draw up the General Principle Concerning Measures for the Aging Society by the Basic Law on Measures for the Aging Society, which is a basic and comprehensive guideline of the national policies for the aging society.
- Five years have passed since the first General Principle Concerning Measures for the Aging Society was implemented. According to changes of economic and social situations, the New General Principle Concerning Measures for the Aging Society was determined on December 28, 2001 by the Cabinet.
2. Budget Related to Aging Society Measures
- Measures for the aging society have been steadily developed. A relevant budget in the government general account amounts to 11,239,800,000,000yen, including 5,488,400,000,000yen for employment and income, 5,586,200,000,000yen for health and welfare, 35,600,000,000yen for study and social involvement, 32,900,000,000yen for living environment, 96,800,000,000yen for promotion of survey and research, etc.
Chart 3-0-1. Budget Related to Aging Society Measures (General Account)
3.Status of Implementation of Measures by Field
(1) Working and Income
- The Comprehensive Project to Establish Employment Environment (Jump 65) has been carried out since 2001, aiming to advise and support employers who are eager to extend the retirement age to secure the employment up to the age of 65, or introduce and improve a continuous employment system.
Figure 3-1-1. Ratios of Companies with Employment Security until Age 65
- For the government or local officials in charge of public services, a new reemployment system was introduced to enable them to work up to the age of 65, or work shorter hours. (Regarding the upper age limit, one year is raised every three years as a temporary measure, starting with 61 years old.)
- Subsidized are the employers who made a certain effort to support the older employees who are leaving the job due to retirement or dismissal but are wishing reemployment, and additionally a fund to secure employment of older persons was founded for the employers who are willing to hire middle-aged and elderly persons within their corporation group. (Dec. 2001)
- Due to the revision of the Law Concerning Stabilization of Employment of Older Persons in April 2001, employers are obliged to make efforts to release the age restraint in the recruit or adoption, and the guideline for employees to appropriately cope with this regulation was formulated.
- In order to realize the society where every one can continue to work regardless of his/her age, the Conference of Intellectuals on Development of Society with Job Opportunities Regardless of Age has been held since April 2001 for the purpose of exchanging opinions in a wide range about how employment systems should be or how the employment conditions from adoption to retirement should be.
- The Human Resources Development Promotion Law was amended in April 2001 to facilitate spontaneous development of vocational ability in line with the vocational life plan of each worker. (Enforced in October 2001)
Furthermore, in May 2001, the 7th Basic Plan for Human Resources Development (2001-2005) was measured to promote the establishment of infrastructure, etc. to cope with expanding mismatches in vocational ability, so that labor market could work accurately.
In 2001, on the basis of the revision of the Law and the Plan above, a fund to support promoting a career development was created, and 'a corner to support building up a career' was established in prefectural centers of Employment and Human Resources of Development Organization of Japan. In addition, designated seminars in the universities or graduate schools applicable to the Education and Training Benefits System have been expanded. Thus, while a variety of opportunities of education and training were secured and founded, researches were promoted toward the establishment of an evaluation system of vocational ability or information distribution systems.
- In November 2001 passed a bill to partially revise the Law on Childcare and Family Care Leavers, including restrictions on overtime work, etc. Thus measures to support them to cope with both continuing a job and child care are promoted. By the partial revision of the laws related to government and municipal officials, a measure to raise the age restriction of children eligible for child-care leave, etc. up to three years old, etc. was revised.
- In the public pension systems, 'finance re-account' is carried out to review the prospects of pension finance at least once every five years. Toward the next-term 'finance re-account'to be continued until 2004, the Pension Section in the Social Security Council started to comprehensively examine the system in January 2000 in order to establish a sustainable and safe system in future.
- Since a national Consumer Price Index in 2000 was lower than the average in 1998, the benefit amount should have been reduced in April 2001. However, based on the Law Concerning Special Cases of Pension Amount Review, etc. in the National Pension Law of FY2001, adopted were the measures to leave pension benefit by the National Pension Act unchanged as an exception in 2001.
- Regarding the Farmers'Pension System, a partial amendment of the Farmers'Pension Funds Law was conducted in June 2001 including easing the applicable conditions and a shift to installment style, etc. in order to secure agricultural manpower and to consolidate pension finance. (Enforced in January 2002)
- Regarding the issues of women and pension, a discussion from a wide range of viewpoint has been developed since July 2001 at Conference on Updating Pension System to Changing Women's Lifestyle. In December 2001, a report was released, including a basic concept and future discussion points concerning 6 specific subjects: a concept of standard pension (model pension), and application of the Employees Pension System to part-timers, etc.
- Based on the decision at the Cabinet meeting about Centralization of Public Pensions System in March 2001, a law to abolish the Insurance Cooperatives of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Organizations Act, etc. was approved in June 2001, aiming for consolidating it into the Employee Pension System. (Enforced in April 2002)
- The Definite Contribution Pension Plan Act was decided in June 2001 to introduce definite contribution pension as a new option to assist national self effort, in which benefits are decided based on contributed premium and its profits on investment, in addition to Defined Benefit Corporate Pensions, etc. (Enforced in October the same year)
- The Definite Benefit Corporate Pension Plan Act was decided in June 2001, which defined a unified framework between labor and management, from a viewpoint to protect benefit rights, etc., respecting both autonomies as well.(Enforced in April 2002)
(2) Health and Welfare
- In March 2002, a bill to "National Health Promotion in the 21st Century (Health Japan 21)" was submitted to the 154th Diet, to take a measure required to improve national nutrition and other health, while defining fundamental matters about synthetic promotion of national health improvement.
- The Preventive Vaccinations Law was partially revised in October 2001, which decided to conduct a preventive shot against influenza for older people. (Enforced in November the same year)
- The Long-term Care Insurance System, in its second year, has been steadily carried out on the whole, including the launch of collecting the original premiums from older persons as well in October 2001. In practical operations, a certain improvement was measured; for example, the provision limit amount of the short-term stay services and home-visit commuting services was unified in January 2002, so that either service could be available within the same provision limit according to their request.
- Considering the status of the Elderly Care Insurance Plans, etc. in the municipal corporation, based on Five Year Elderly Health and Welfare Promotion Strategy: the Gold Plan 21 (From FY2000 to 2004), establishing the foundation of high quality long-term care services, which meet elderly persons' needs, is steadily in progress. Also promoted are measures to support elderly persons with dementia, whose number is estimated to drastically increase in future.
Chart 3-2-4. Outline of the Five Year (2000-2004) Elderly Health and Welfare Promotion Strategy (Gold Plan 21)
- Zero Physical Restraint Campaign is promoted, aiming to reform the awareness of care spots and improve care, in order to realize the abolishment of physical restraint in the Special Nursing Homes for the Elderly, etc. Measures to deliver and spread a guidebook for Zero Physical Restraint Campaign are developed in consideration of practical use in nursing care institutions.
- Regarding elderly patients' partial burden of medical expenses, a ten-percent charge system with a maximum amount per month was introduced in January 2002, according to the improvement of economic status of older persons.
- General Principle on Medical System Reform, which showed the fundamental viewpoints and future directions about a medical system including a medical care system, a medical treatment fee system, and a medical insurance system, etc., was resolved at the Council of Government and Ruling Parties on Social Security. In November 2001, a bill to revise a part of the Health Insurance Law, etc. was submitted to the 154th Diet in March 2002.
- In the Measures to Help Parents Balance Work and Childcare, a Cabinet decision in July 2001, it was decided to take care of totally 150,000 or more children after school by FY 2004, as Operation to Reduce the Number of Children Waiting for Daycare to Zero.
- The number of children eligible for the Child Rearing Allowance enhanced due to widely relieving parents' or other supporter's income limit and also raising a payment rate up to 85% in June 2001.
- Comprehensive practical researches are conducted and counseling on child- care is promoted, in order to facilitate to support child rearing in a kindergarten, based on Preschool Education Promotion Program. The measures to support child rearing are conducted in response to a variety of guardians' or local needs about child care, such as increasing a subsidy for kindergartens which is carrying out overtime nursing, or raising the exemption unit price of the second, third, and more children's fee in the same kindergarten to lessen guardians' burden, etc.
- Concerning in-home education, measures to support it have been developed, such as improving the system in which guardians with troubles and worries about child rearing or discipline can easily take counsel in the community, whereas Social Education Law is partially revised to establish the administrative system of social education for improving home education.
(3) Learning and Social Involvement
- In order to establish the system to promote life-long learning in local communities, Departments of Life-long Learning (all prefectures and 2,764 municipalities as of April 2001), Prefectural Lifelong Learning Councils (38 prefectures as of April 2001), etc. were founded.
Additionally, regarding the establishment of infrastructure to provide life-long learning opportunities, establishment of prefectural life-long learning promotion centers connected with various municipal or local life-long learning organizations is promoted. (As of March 2001, established in 33 prefectures and 6 cities designated by ordinance.)
- As for school education, a partial revision of the School Education Law was conducted, aiming for improving experience activities like social volunteer activities in elementary, junior and junior-high schools, in June 2001. (Enforced in July 2001)
- To correspond to growing lifelong learning needs, flexible admission of adult students has been facilitated in the universities, such as a special selection of adult students, a night graduate school, a day-and-night course system, a part-time students system, etc.
- In the University of the Air, media such as TV or radio stations, are utilized to widely provide with opportunities of college education for adults. 11.7% of the students enrolled are at the age of 60 or older, 52.3% of them are salaried-persons, officials, etc. with many diverse attributes. The Study Centers to view and listen to broadcast classes are established in every prefecture (50 sites as of 2001), and graduate schools to train high-quality professionals, were founded in April 2001 and started to accept students in April 2002.
- A deal of learning opportunities are provided for a wide range of people in the institutions for social education like public halls, libraries, museums and female education centers, and the Boards of Education. Classes and lectures about the ageing society or for older persons are also opened.
- From January 2001 to March 2002, basic courses for IT skills were held in the social education institutions and the school institutions, aiming the public including older persons could learn IT basic skills (1,893,000 participants as of August 2001).
- Senior Citizens' Clubs positively participating in social activities in the community are subsidized for further promotion of their activities, so that each older person could find a role or a challenging work in the society.
- The Senior Overseas Volunteer Enterprise sends abroad middle-aged or advanced-aged persons with abundant knowledge, experiences, technology, and also a volunteer spirit to contribute to the developing countries. (The newly dispatched persons amounted to 336 persons in 2001.)
- In order to establish a foundation of volunteer activities, supported are the activities of volunteer centers of the Council of Social Welfare in municipalities, prefectures, cities designated by ordinance and the nation.
- A part of the Social Education Law was revised in June 2001, stipulating that the Board of Education should take charge of providing young people with opportunities to experience voluntary social service activities, etc. (Enforced in July 2001) Additionally, it asks for a certain consideration so as to properly evaluate volunteer activities or voluntary social service activities, in a student selection in high-schools or universities.
- On the opportunity of International Volunteer Year 2001, symposiums and art exhibitions were held so that a wide range of people could understand the meanings and roles of volunteer activities.
- Environmental establishment has been under way to promote NPO activities including volunteer activities, through giving a corporate qualification based on the Law to Promote Specified Nonprofit Activities.
Chart 3-3-12. Number of Specified NPOs
(4) Living Environment
- Based on the Eighth House-building Five-year Plan (a Cabinet decision in March 2001), stable and high quality housing is secured by means of provision and development of the houses in which older people could basically keep living on even after a decline or a disorder of physical function due to aging, properly coping with their diverse needs, strengthening a tie with medical, health and welfare institutions and establishing housing environment.
Chart 3-4-1. Goals of the Eighth House-building Five-year Plan
- Based on the Law Concerning Stable and Secure Housing for the Elderly, older persons' houses have been secured since October 2001 by, for instance, a registration and perusal system for rental houses available for older people, promotion of providing high-quality barrier-free rental houses for them, a foundation of the Lifetime Housing Lease System and a creation of the special loan system to subsidize barrier-free-ization, etc.
- In order to improve the market which is able to fully utilize the existing housing stock through moving into another house according to the life-stages, Action Plan for Establishing Housing Market was measured. Based on this plan, measures aiming for the environmental improvement such as second-handed house market, house reform market, etc. have been developed.
- The Guideline Concerning Designing Older Persons' Houses (A notice by Ministry of Land and Transportation, 2001) was measured and has been spread, so that older persons could keep 'living in place,' even after they suffer declining physical function due to aging.
- Based on the Transportation Accessibility Improvement Law (Traffic Barrier-free Law), basic principles were measured to promote smooth mobility. A variety of policies have been taken toward barrier-free-ization of public transportation and improvement of walking environment, so that older persons could move safely and comfortably in response to the expectation of older persons' independence and social participation.
- Regarding the facilities for passengers, a Accessibility Guideline for Public Transportation Passenger Facilities etc. was measured in August 2001, and regarding vehicles, etc., the Accessibility Guideline for Public Transportation Rolling Stocks etc. was measured as well.
- Then Action Plan to Promote Comprehensive Railroad Accessibility Improvement was adjusted as an independent plan by railroad-related people in October 2001.
- In order to improve criteria or guidelines of road structure in consideration of older people, an amendment of the ROAD STRUCTURE ORDINANCE was enforced in April 2001 for older persons to secure safe walk space, and measured was the Guideline for Accessibility Improvement of Road and related Facilities (November 2001).
- In March 2002, a bill for partial amendment of the 'Heartful Building Law' was submitted to the 154th Diet, including placing specific buildings with a certain use and size under an obligation of 'barrier-free-ization,' or expanding the subject required such effort, etc.
- Based on the 7th Traffic Safety Basic Plan (2001~2005), awareness of traffic safely for older persons is being deepened and spread, by promoting trainings for traffic safety involving participation, experience and practice, educating the leader of traffic safety for older persons (Silver Leader) and promoting other relevant enlightening activities.
- In order to protect older people from being involved in crimes or accidents, police officers visit older persons' home, or go round the community to take care of elderly people wandering due to Alzheimer's disease. Such systems are set up and promoted in partnership with the municipalities.
- Preventive measures are taken in the fire-fighting organizations to widely lessen the number of deaths due to a fire caused by the elderly, based on the notice in April 2001 about the Promotion of the New Measures to Prevent Fire by the Director-General of the Fire-Defense Agency.
- Older persons' independent activities in rural communities are promoted, such as establishing facilities to support elderly agricultural activities, giving a loan system for such activities and also supporting workshops in cooperation with older people in urban areas.
(5) Promoting Survey and Research
- Researches on diseases elderly persons are liable to suffer, such as dementia, cancer, etc. are promoted as a part of Medical Frontier Strategies. Meanwhile, survey and research have been developed in the General Research Project of Longevity Science, like developing treatment of immune deficiency syndrome, early diagnosis of the Alzheimer's disease, or creating the guideline for treatment of osteoporosis, etc.
Figure 3-5-1. Promotion of Comprehensive Strategies toward the Rich and Vital Aging --Promotion of Medical Frontier Strategies--
- It started in August 2001 to review middle-term and long-term measures for cancer research after FY 2003.
- In searches of the part where the genes differ among individuals, essential to realize 'tailor-made' medical care (Medical care appropriate for individuals, with no side effects), the original target of 150,000 was completed in 2001.
- Regarding medical apparatus technology, researches of apparatus outstanding in safety and convenience are promoted with the forefront of industrial technology fully utilized. Newly conducted in 2001 were High Technology Medical Equipment Development Program for Cancer,Heart Disease Etc, the two major causes of death in Japanese citizens, and a Research and Development of Artificial Vision System to recover eyesight function, from a strategic and long-term viewpoint, whereas 14 research and development projects were continued since 2000.
- From the viewpoint of supporting the development of daily life articles, a life base and systems with universal design, researches and development of basic technology to objectively analyze the suitability of human beings and products and environment, and also to conform products and environment to the features of individual human behavior are in progress, through measuring, understanding and accumulating various human behaviors on individual levels.
- Establishment of institutions for information communications like a support system for in-home health management, which connects medical institutions and elderly houses, etc., was supported.
- In order to improve researches to conquer diseases peculiar to older persons or adult diseases, establishing the facilities to conduct collecting and analyzing clinical information required to promote basic researches on a variety of diseases and the researches which bridge the research results to the clinical research stage were assisted, while establishing the collaborative base by industry, university and government which establishes the system to build and provide, and promotes researches on sugar chain, making use of local researches in Osaka area, etc. started.
- Concerning declining physical function of older persons due to aging, while the measurement evaluation method is established, the database is built, as a base for promoting research and development of daily life articles focusing on elderly people's viewpoint.
- Since researches in recent years are not only highly and complicatedly developed but their border and compound domains are expanding, efforts are made for training and securing of human resource, improving its quality and flowing it.
The Measures for the Aging Society to Be Adopted
in FY 2002(Summary)
1.Budget of the Measures for the Aging Society in FY 2002
Measures for the aging society will be steadily enforced in each field of working & income, health & welfare, learning & social involvement, living environment, promotion of survey and research, etc.
The aging-related budget in FY 2002 among the government general account amounts to 11,738,700,000,000yen. Its breakdown is: 5,638,700,000,000yen for working & income, 5.913,100,000,000yen for health & welfare, 35,500,000,000yen for learning & social involvement, 26,300,000,000yen for living environment and 125,100,000,000yen for survey and research.
2.Promotion of the Measures for the Aging Society
The new major policies in FY 2002 in each field are as follows:
(1) Working & Income
- Vocational bureau for older people will be established in municipal institutions, etc. to promote counseling about work, maintaining close ties with welfare measures for older people in the community.
- Model programs will start with the aim of assisting civil activities to go into business under the leadership of women and older people, for the purpose of employment of women and older people and creation of a variety of industries.
- In order to establish sustainable and stable pension systems in future, the systems will be comprehensively reexamined toward the next term finance re-account to be conducted by FY 2004.
- Regarding raising the national burden ratio of the Basic Pension up to one half, it will be examined as one of the concrete policies to secure steady finance.
- In order to fully secure an income in older years, Definite Contribution Pension was implemented in October 2001, and definite benefit type of corporate pension to be implemented in April 2002 will be widely diffused.
(2)Health & Welfare
- In long-term care protecting and living support services enforced home-visit services by neighbors, volunteers, etc., to watch or talk with older people with dementia are newly added as subsidiary measures.
- While the Long-term Care Insurance System will be steadily carried out, the review of municipal programs related to the Elderly Care Insurance Plan will be assisted and rewards to long-term care will be reexamined toward the second program period from April 2003.
- The systems to support care managers will be strengthened, whereas higher quality home help services and sufficient manpower will be secured.
- In order to realize higher quality services in Special Nursing Homes for the Elderly, establishing a new type provided with entirely private rooms and unit care will be facilitated.
- Reforming the medical system for older people will be promoted.
- As a policy to support child-rearing, establishing and operating day care facilities for children set up in the vacant stores in the shopping malls will be supported.
(3)Learning and Social Involvement
- Through efforts to smoothly implement the new government curriculum guidelines to execute volunteer activities and exchange programs with older persons in elementary and junior high schools, the opportunities of volunteer and experience activities will be fulfilled both in and outside of school.
- Local learning activities in partnership with administration and private bodies including NPOs will be subsidized, so that the local communities could cope with the challenges of senior citizens education, etc. in all. Further, comprehensive programs to revitalize local educational capacities in each prefecture will be promoted, such as supporting after school and weekend programs for children, or intergenerational exchanges with older people, etc.
(4) Living Environment
- Through revising adoption criteria in the project to establish the facilities for traffic safety, etc., subsidies to establish the facilities useful for barrier-free walking space will be improved.
- Regarding the 'Heartful Building Law', a revised act will be adopted, in which some buildings with a fixed use and size will be placed under the obligation of barrier-free-ization and a range of effort obligation will be expanded, and moreover its diffusion and smooth implementation will be facilitated.
- For effective learning of IT, curriculums and materials will be developed and verified for older farmers, etc..
(5)Promoting Survey and Research
- Regarding diseases older people are liable to catch, a study will be promoted to clinically apply results of fundamental researches.
- In addition to starting the project searching for the efficient creation of new medicine by practical use of genome information, a basis to realize 'tailor-made' medical care (individual medical care free from side effects) will be developed.
- Strategic collection, development, preservation and provision systems of bio-genetic resource, which will be useful for the development of a study on concurring diseases peculiar to older people, will be established.
A list of budgets (General account budget)in FY 2002
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