The article below has been submitted to us by our friends from Ninja Girls, see below for the post in it’s original Japanese.
My parents in Japan. 私の両親です。
Everyone keeps saying that “Japan is facing a serious ageing problem”. But if we look at our average age, Japan and Singapore has only 5 year difference.
Singapore: 39.6 year old
Japan: 44.6 year old
It looks not so bad, right? But when we look at the elderly population, you can see the real problem there. The percentage of elderly people (over 65 year old) is very different.
And these old people are rich. In Japan, about 47% of millionaires are over 65, while Singaporean millionaire’s average age is only 46 year old. This generation owns more than half of Japanese wealth. They have volume and money! And also, older people has higher voter turnout percentage. Of course Japanese policy makers try their best to make this generation happy.
Therefore, Japan became a paradise for elderly people.
For example, my parents in Japan are 76 and 73 this year. They are living on a few thousands dollar pension (per month!) from the government. It’s a lot more than what they have contributed when they were young.
My mother had a cancer 2 years ago. She got a surgery and very good care in a famous private hospital, stayed there for many days. But what she paid was less than 10% of the total cost. Government paid the rest.
Where does this money come from? …….Yes, they use current tax payer’s money to sustain the system. And actually, even that money is not enough. Our government is spending more money than they earn. Japanese government has huge amount of debt and nobody knows how to get rid of it.
When we youngsters grow old and become their age, do you think we can still get the same kind of support? Of course not, we all know that our system doesn’t work this way forever. Those elderly people now are super lucky people who were born in very good timing.
Our country is a sinking paradise. Elderly people now will be able to enjoy their confortable life without watching the paradise totally sink into the ocean. And it’s up to us youngsters if we can save the paradise from sinking, or maybe we have to salvage it from the bottom of the ocean in the future.
Everyone likes to complain about Singapore government. I have to say they have some problems too, but at least so far they are not making this country a sinking paradise for elderlies. Singaporean voters are young and your policy makers know that they need to face the future to get support from you. But……
Your country is also ageing too. It’s totally possible that Singapore’s average voter age becomes old like Japan, and all the power shift to elderlies. As a PR holder, I wish from bottom of my heart that Singapore keep rejuvenating their people and mind, and don’t let it become like Japan. When country starts ignoring people with future and give up to create brighter tomorrow for them, that’s when it starts sinking.]
*Additional information about voter’s age in Singapore and Japan
Here are population pyramids of Japan and Singapore.
White part shows the population.
Red lines are “age 20” and “age 60”.
Ok, let’s have a closer look.
In Japan, voting power balance by age is like this.
Yes, there are more voters in 20-59,
But don’t forget that older people has higher voter turnout.
And older people has huge part of Japanese wealth.
In Singapore, voting power balance by age is like this.
It’s obvious that people of 20-59 has much more voting power.
And in Singapore, basically everybody needs to go to the election, right?
So, I guess it’s right to say younger people has more voting power.
Aya Imura was born and breed in Japan, she attended high school in Utah, USA and furthered in Beijing University, China. Mid way through her studies she had to return home Japan when her family business went under. She became stewardess with Japan Railway Hokkaido before following her interest, and joined “Recruit Co.” one of the biggest publishing and marketing industry player in Japan as a copy-writer. She won several copy writing awards including the prestigious East Japan Best Practice Award.
Aya Imura started building her business in marketing research upon arriving in Singapore and helped Japanese companies increase their awareness and market strategy for both local and S.E.A market. In early 2012, ninjagirls.sg was born with a few like-minded Japanese friends.
They made video blogs about fashion, food, tourism and anything fun under the sun (and even the moon)!