Japan – A Trendsetter Nation:
Land Of the Rising Sun.
And if that can be used as a metaphor the rising sun keeps pointing to our future of the world, a future that already is there in Japan.
What can the world expect that Japan already is experiencing?.
We have to remember that Japan is a country of sharp contrasts – the old and the new.
A country where traditions thousands of years old are honoured and sacred.
A country where innovation, social breakthroughs are embraced with gusto and relish.
And Japan always manages to overcome social and demographic trends by working with them, instead of against them.
Japan has the world’s oldest population and amidst the gleaming high-rise towers of business and commerce the old is alive and well positioned to take care of, respect the elderly, in a conclave that is uniquely theirs.
Here narrow streets, small businesses one after the other, right beside each other fill the streets, selling merchandise uniquely focussed on the elderly. The hustle and bustle of commerce provide colour, a sense of place for the elderly in an area in Tokyo that is for old folks only.
But the elderly pinpoint another problem for Japanese society. Urbanization has eroded family values. The sense of family now is a thing of the past. Today modern families no longer have that sense of belonging often impossible to achieve given that family members are scattered all over the country, scattered all over the world.
But despite the longing of family dies not go away. instead it lingers in the minds of many. They want it and yet they know they cannot have it.
Ever eager to fulfill the need for family they turn to rent their yearning, their need for family.