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Crossing Continents Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 17:18 GMT
Japan's greying population
Graphic displaying Japanese old man
Life expectancy in Japan is the highest in the world
BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 20 March, 2003 at 1102 GMT.


Japan has the most rapidly ageing population in the world. It also has a record number of citizens over 100 years old.

And although this is cause for celebration in a country with great respect for its elderly, the speed with which this is happening is causing alarm.

In Japan's tense economic situation who is paying their pensions?

And as traditional family networks break down, who will care for them?

In addition, suicide and depression among the elderly is now higher than in any other social group.

In this special programme, Rosie Goldsmith explored the perils and pleasures of being old in Japan.

The programme will be repeated on Monday, 24 March, 2003 at 2030 GMT.

Reporter and producer: Rosie Goldsmith
Editor: Hugh Levinson

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10 Mar 03 | Country profiles
19 Mar 03 | Crossing Continents
16 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
22 Dec 00 | Asia-Pacific
09 Apr 03 | Crossing Continents
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