Thursday, 5 March 2009

Japan's growing group of centenarians

In the Rainbow Years, we quote the fact that in Coronation Year 1953 the Queen sent out 200 telegrams to centenarians whereas in 2008 there were over 10,000 sent out. The equivalent in Japan is sending out special silver cups on September 15, a holiday designated Respect for the Aged Day. year. The cost varies but it is approximately about £55 apiece, including a wooden presentation box. Last year 19,769 people reached triple figures in the world's most rapidly ageing country, compared with only 153 in 1963, the year when the cups were first presented. The G'ment is now about to cut the size of the cups to save money as the numbers of centenarians grow each year.

The Japanese are the world's longest-lived people, a phenomenon experts have attributed to a range of factors, including diet and widely available health care. There are 36,436 people aged over 100 in a population of 127.8 million.

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