As per Japan’s Health Ministry, on Sunday July 22nd, the world’s oldest person passed away at 117 years of age. Miyako Chiyo became Japan’s longest-living woman when Misao Okawa, Japan’s then-oldest, passed away in the spring of 2015.
Chiyo came into this world on May 22nd, 1901, and was described as a kind, patient, and chatty lady, who brought happiness to everyone around her. She loved eating traditional Japanese foods like eel and sushi, and practiced calligraphy as a hobby.
CNN reported that she was recognized by the Guinness World Records (GWR) as the oldest woman and person alive, and her female success has yet to be confirmed by GWR. However, Masazo Nonaka, who recently hit 113 years of age this past July 25th, hold the honor of the oldest man in Japan.
Referred to as ‘graying’ Japan, the country has always had a low fertility rate and is thought to be a super-aged country, where hitting a 100 years of age in no new feat. In fact, most of Japan’s population is currently over the age of 65.
Moreover, this past February, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications relayed that approximately 69,000 individuals living in the country were over 100 years of age; nine thousand of them male, 60,000 of them female.
Still, Japan’s predicament isn’t that extraordinary anymore. As per a Moody’s Investors Service 2014 report, by the time 2020 hits, there will be 13 super-aged nations across the globe. And unfortunately, an aging populations not only place a strain on the families of these elderly, but also social systems within countries.
In fact, the International Monetary Fund forecasts that working-age populations within Western economies will decrease by over 20% over 2015 to 2055, which includes gross domestic product.
Despite this, there is research being done on how older individuals can live healthy and happy lives as they age. Perhaps retirement needs to be reviewed, so that those older individuals within society are still given the opportunity to contribute to a nation’s productivity.