Japan has an aging problem.
The Japanese paper says the government spent almost $2 million on the silver dishware last year.
And the number of Japanese centenarians continues to rise.
Kyodo says the number of 100-year-olds will reach 39,000 in 2018. The number back when they started handing out the silver dishes a half-century ago? One hundred fifty-three. (Video via BBC)
At 84 years, Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
Japan also has a low-birthrate problem. So the national population is both declining and getting older.
And as far as conventional wisdom goes, an aging population isn't exactly good for the economy.
So, what's Japan doing about it?
As for the aging population, that's a bit trickier. You can't really tell a group of people to, well, stop living.
But you can tell them to work longer. One fix the government is trying out is raising the minimum retirement age from 61 to 65 incrementally by 2025.
For now, there are some grim forecasts for Japan's economy if the country doesn't find a way to solve its aging crisis.
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