According to Singapore's "United Morning Post" reported on the 26th, Japan's aging population has led to labor shortages and increased the burden on the social security system. In Japan, more than half of the population aged 65 to 69 is still working, and as the statutory retirement age is repeatedly adjusted upward, the Japanese elderly may eventually never retire.

More than half of Japan's 65 to 69 year olds are still working

The Japan Times reports that there are millions of elderly people who still have to engage in low-paying, unstable manual labor to earn a living in their twilight years.

Data previously released by Japan shows that the workforce over 65 years old has increased for 18 consecutive years to 9.09 million people, accounting for 13.5% of the working population; 50.3% of people between 65 and 69 years old are still working.

A report released by the Japanese Cabinet Office in 2021 also shows that 40.2% of seniors over the age of 60 still want to continue working, higher than the United States, Germany and Sweden.

Chiba University of Economics Associate Professor Mihide Fujinami noted, "The population in most developed economies is aging, but not as fast as Japan's. At the same time, the data show that the willingness of Japanese seniors to work is higher than those in some Western countries."

Why are Japanese "silver-haired" people delaying retirement?

In 2013, Japan's "Employment Stability for the Elderly Act" came into force, obliging companies to keep employees working until the age of 65. The law will be amended in 2021 to extend the retirement age to 70 years old.

However, reports indicate that Japan's job market is rigid and it is very difficult for older people to find new jobs. Data show that in 2020, the silver-haired workers over 65 years old, as many as three-quarters of low-income temporary workers.

Fujinami pointed out that it is because of the difficulty for the elderly to find jobs that government policy focuses on ensuring that older employees remain in the companies they originally served, and does not encourage them to find another job.

The Japan Financial Services Agency released a report in 2019 stating that if a couple lives another 30 years after retirement, they must have at least 20 million yen in financial assets on top of the pension they receive in order to maintain a normal old age. Therefore, the lack of money to retire is the reason why many elderly people continue to work.

Security guards, cleaners, and apartment managers are the top occupations for older job seekers. There are about 590,000 security guards in Japan, 64% of whom are over 50 years old.

Tetsuro Kamiakin, 67, retired from a foreign-owned medical supply company ten years ago and now works as an apartment manager in Tokyo. He works five-and-a-half days a week and earns 180,000 yen a month. In addition to financial insecurity, another major reason Japanese seniors choose to work is that they find themselves without friends to keep them company and to take time.