A Country for Old People

Japan faces a unique demographic challenge. The country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world and the Japanese live longer. These two factors together contribute to an aging population. Fewer and fewer working young people have to finance services, infrastructure and care for a growing group of seniors. The problem of aging, and what this means for Japan's future, is visible on a daily basis. Photographer Noriko Hayashi (Panos Pictures) captured an increasingly gray Japan.
De 91-jarige Toshie Ueno maakt een wandeling in een bergachtig dorpje in Shikosu. Ze is de laatste persoon die in dit afgelegen gebied woont. 

Tadao Inoue, 84, is a dairy farmer in Tochigi Prefecture who only has one dairy cow.
Tsukimi Ayano makes a scarecrow, in the form of an elderly woman, at her home in the town of Nagoro. Tsukimi started making scarecrows to protect her field from crows in 2002.
Kiyotaka Suzuki and his wife Imiko harvest Japanese leeks on their farm. The couple have been growing leeks together for 47 years, since their marriage in 1975.
Hideyoshi Araki (72) sweeps the floor of the Lawson supermarket where he works.
Kazuko Kori (89) cuddles and talks to Telenoid, a remote-controlled android robot, in Yume Paratiis Nursing Home. The Telenoid robot has proven to be a help to people with dementia.
Nanae Takaishi (100) practices in the dressing room of the 'Shinseiyu' bathhouse. Nanae started rock climbing when she was 70 years old as a hobby and continued climbing until she was 92 years old.
The city of Kotobuki became famous during Japan's economic boom as the "city of day workers", where many young people flocked.
Vrouwen gebruiken een zwembad voor oefeningen in het Kadokawa Care Prevention Centre. De faciliteit is gespecialiseerd in langdurige zorg, in 2011 opgericht met als doel de gezonde levensverwachting van ouderen te verlengen en de toename van het aantal mensen dat langdurige zorg nodig heeft, te verminderen.

Hiromu Inada, an 80-year-old triathlete, and the oldest person to complete the Ironman World Championship.
De 90-jarige Fumie Takino, oprichtster van een cheerleadersteam van senioren met de naam Japan Pom Pom, en het oudste lid van het team, probeert thuis haar kostuum uit.
Ikuko Akasaka, a legendary 82-year-old Geisha who still performs after 64 years, with younger Geishas she trained, prior to a party.
A student at the 'Okuribito Academy' learns how to 'broadcast' the dead.
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