ILC-Japan held a round table meeting on February 8, 2013 with a theme of “Productive Aging for The Elderly in the World.”

It has been 30 years since Dr. Robert Butler introduced the concept of Productive Aging. Throughout his life he advocated that the value of longevity is not its length but how it is utilized. Unfortunately we do not yet see the power of the elderly being used to the utmost extent even in countries where longevity is realized.

We held this meeting with the aim of creating a new model for a 21st century longevity society and show it to the world. It was our honor to invite Baroness Sally Greengross, the Co-President of the ILC Global Alliance and the President of the ILC-UK, to join the meeting.

About 30 specialists in Japan from non-profit organizations, government, experts, and members of the media gathered and had a vibrant discussion from various perspectives.

At the end of the meeting, after incorporating opinions from the participants we proposed a statement and released it as the “Productive Aging Tokyo Statement.”

Below is the full statement:

Productive Aging Tokyo Statement
Participants of the Round Table Meeting

International Longevity Center-Japan
International Longevity Centre –UK

With the Longevity Revolution, the world entered a new and unprecedented stage of human development, the impact of which has been made greater because of its speed.  While many people now enjoy healthy long lives, institutions such as education, work, politics, economy, ethics, and elderly people’s way of living have been rendered obsolete.  This is the opportunity to make fundamental changes in outdated mind-sets, values, and socio-economic arrangements to meet this new era of longevity.

For instance, society needs to abandon the notion that people make contributions in their working lives in return for support in retirement.  Such an approach does not understand the value of social contribution by the elderly throughout life.

In order to truly enjoy benefits from longevity, elderly people themselves need to be independent, live actively, and keep contributing to society. 
We believe it is important to clarify the rights and responsibilities of the elderly for better and happy living.

  • When possible, older citizens have a responsibility to remain in the labor market to contribute to the socio-economy, which will also enable retention of skills and minimize the fiscal burden on taxpayers.  Employers and society should also support the elderly to enable longer working lives.
  • The elderly have a responsibility to remain active in their communities after retirement.  Many old people are eager to be involved in volunteer work to stay active after retirement.  Volunteering should be flexible, enjoyable, and oriented towards utilizing the skills, wisdom and the experiences they have developed during their working lives.
  • The elderly should have a right to remain in their own homes.  At the same time, it is also important for the elderly to work on establishing independence and mutual aid systems in their communities.  In addition to the elderly who are healthy, those who need assistance and care can also contribute by lowering the degree of social dependence by having the determination to live dignified lives with appropriate “personalized” care plans which also contribute to the new economy.
  • Advanced aging countries have a responsibility and are expected to lead the world to prove that longevity makes society affluent and all generations can benefit from it.




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