Japan's Seniors Go Back to Work to Help with Domestic Deficit

A rising number of Japan's elderly will remain in the work force. A Government White Paper revealed that the employment rate for adults in their 60s interested in working is less than 40 per cent. More senior citizens willing to work instead of relying on pensions is good news to a country with a growing domestic deficit.

Satoshi Itsukaichi, 78, was an office worker until he retired at aged 55. He is now a farmer in his second career. "It's fun. What I'm cultivating bears fruit. It's like I'm rearing my children," Mr. Itsukaichi told ChannelNewsAsia.com.

Shinji Naganuma, CEO, Kohitsujikai Group, told the media source: "I like farming too, and it's suitable work for the elderly. The tea salon is to encourage people in the community to venture out and talk to friends. We also seek their help to do the cleaning and laundry."

Other Japanese seniors choose different options. Toshie Kimura, 77, is a former department store worker who prefers to mingle with very young people. One of 18 registered helpers at a kindergarten, Ms. Kimura works part-time reading stories, playing with children, and helping to clean the premises. Unlike young people, the elderly are willing to work short hours. It's a mutually beneficial relationship.

Part time work is a good idea for Assisted Living and Continuing Care residences in North America.