Picture: (from left to right) Mr. Yoshiyasu Ishii, Mr. Tsukasa Kanai, Mr. Masaki Tanaka, Mr. Shuhei Ishii, Mr. Toru Saito and Mr. Shinji Hattori.

ILC-Japan and Working Group of Principles for Financial Action for the 21st Century hold a seminar on the role of companies in supporting people with dementia and promoting social participation.

Building communities is one of the major themes in Japan, a hyper-aged society. An urgent challenge we face is how to build new networks so that all people, including those with dementia, can solve problems with daily living in their communities. As the first initiative in the country, we organized a seminar to bring the business and government sectors together, discussing how different organizations, companies and individuals could play their roles and how we could build a vibrant aged society through networks that bring these resources together. The seminar showed the importance of collaboration across industrial borders as well as the potential of building communities in innovative ways.

A number of targets under the New Orange Plan, a national dementia plan promoted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, are about to be achieved thanks to the support by companies and other stakeholders. As of the end of FY 2017, for example, 10.66 million people have been trained to become dementia supporters, and about 6,000 municipalities have established dementia cafés.

At the seminar, representatives from the financial industry, the apartment management industry and the convenience store industry (the top 3 industries in training dementia supporters) presented what challenges they faced and what measures they had been taking to support people with dementia in communities. This was the first time in the country to have this kind of event.

Since these three industries are closely involved in daily living of people with dementia, the speakers reported many examples of troubles and difficulties on the front line. In response to these challenges, they have developed manuals based on the actual cases to handle the situations, provided seminars on a regular basis, and actively collaborated with communities such as comprehensive community support centres. Moreover, the convenience store industry has launched the Safety Station program as an activity to protect women, children and older people in order to foster safe communities. Across the country, convenience stores have protected older people for over 16,137 times, and 6,158 stores have prevented older people from becoming victims of bank transfer scams in 2018.

Collaboration between municipalities and companies has also been increasing gradually. While some municipalities are still hesitant due to their concerns about fairness, some advanced municipalities have overcome this barrier, willing to work with companies that are interested in working with the public sector.

An inclusive society can be made possible only when we build our future in our communities by bringing all possible resources together, including companies. The event stressed the importance of bringing together a variety of resources in communities.

Mamiko Fukuhara, Operation Director of ILC-Japan

Contact: ILC-Japan;

Picture: (from left to right) Mr. Yoshiyasu Ishii, Mr. Tsukasa Kanai, Mr. Masaki Tanaka, Mr. Shuhei Ishii, Mr. Toru Saito and Mr. Shinji Hattori.


Ms. Masako Osako, Executive Director of ILC Global Alliance Secretariat, recently sat down with Ms. Keiko Higuchi, President (rijicho) of a Japan-based NPO, Women's Association for the Better Aging Society (WABAS) and a leading social commentator and popular author in Japan. At 90 years old, Higuchi has recently published a new book titled, “Hold on! I am still alive and thriving at age 90,” which is a sequel to her enormously popular book published in 2019, “Ready, set, go! You are now becoming an “old-old person.”

To celebrate World Women’s Day on 8th March, ILC-I organized an online Essay competition exclusively for older adults where they expressed their thoughts on the topic titled “An inspiring lady who has influenced my life!”

This report shows the real life of older adults in Japan. Their labour participation rate, financial assets, relationships with neighbours are described first, and then systems such as pension, medical and long-term care are being explained with numbers and figures.