New Delhi, Aug 7: Japanese women have topped the world's longevity ranks for 23 years on the back of healthy food habits and tight social ties, among other factors. A Japanese Health Ministry report suggests that girls born last year can expect to live until they are 86 years old, which would make them the longest survivors in the world.
The report also suggests that boys born in 2007 can expect to live until they are 79.2 years old, ranking third after Iceland and Hong Kong. Government data shows that a tenth of Japan's population is aged 75 years or older. "People are in different social environments and are influenced by various factors and eating habits, so it's hard to answer the question of why people live long," the China Daily quoted a ministry spokesman as saying. "But we can say that the improvement of medical technologies helps," he added.Japan has improved treatments for cancer, heart disease, and stroke that are considered to be the ageing population's biggest killers.
Given that Japan has one of the world's lowest birth-rates, the country's government is facing the challenge of how to fund its pension requirements, take care of its elderly, and maintain productivity.