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80% of respondents in Japan do not want to live to 100: survey

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TOKYO -- Eighty percent of respondents in a survey conducted by a Japanese foundation say they do not want to live to the age of 100 or beyond.

    While the Japanese government has declared the current era as one where more people live to 100 years old and underscored the need to plan one's life on the assumption of living to 100, the survey results show that the majority do not want to live that long.

    The Japan Hospice Palliative Care Foundation in the city of Osaka's Kita Ward commissioned a research firm to conduct an online survey in September 2022 of approximately 500 men and 500 women in their 20s to 70s nationwide, asking them if they would like to live longer than 100 years old.

    About 70% to 80% of respondents of all ages answered that they "don't think" they would like to live 100 years or more. The proportion of women who said so was 83.5%, noticeably higher than the 72.4% of men who gave the same answer. When asked why, with multiple answers permitted, 59% said they did not want to bother their family or others, 48.2% said their physical condition would gradually get worse, and 36.7% said they were concerned about their financial situation.

    According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, as of September 2022, there were 90,526 people aged 100 or older in Japan, an increase of about 4,000 from September 2021.

    A representative of the foundation commented, "We were surprised to find that the number of people who wish to live longer than 100 years old is much smaller than we had imagined. As the '100-year-life age' becomes more of a reality, people may have begun to question whether they are really happy with that."

    The survey also found 30% of respondents living alone do not have an attendant or someone present when they need to be hospitalized or have surgery. The foundation pointed out that society faces an urgent issue of how to support those who are facing death.

    (Japanese original by Mirai Nagira, Osaka Science & Environment News Department)

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