Webinar on "Redesigning Communities for an Aging Society ~Kashiwa Model, Japan~"

On Wednesday, March 17, 2021, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles and JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles co-presented a webinar entitled “Redesigning Communities for an Aging Society ~Kashiwa Model, Japan~.” The main speaker, Dr. Hiroko AKIYAMA, spoke about her research on the aging society in Japan with a focus on the Kashiwa Project, a social experiment conducted in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, Japan which showcased how a community could be thoughtfully designed to enhance the lives of aging citizens. The webinar was moderated by Ms. Yuko KAIFU, President of JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles.

Japan is at the forefront of a rapidly aging society. A look into the demographic shift in Japan reveals that those aged 75 and older are steadily increasing while those below age 64 are de-creasing. With an increase in the aging population, Japan must redesign the infrastructure of communities once built to accommodate a population much younger to better meet the needs of the highly aged and aging society.

Dr. Akiyama explained the research done in Kashiwa City that focuses on extending the years of being independent for an individual, creating an environment for aging in place, and main-taining and strengthening human connections. The project included work activities, easily ac-cessible assisted living, and services for older adults. The results indicated an increase in mental, physical, and social wellbeing in the individual while also benefiting the community at large. Further research is needed to develop action research in gerontology to meet the needs of the aging society and create a sustainable model for generations to come.

The webinar was followed by questions by the audience including Japan’s promotion of aging in place, activities after retirement, and cross-national senior exchanges. Over 170 people at-tended the webinar.

Professor Hiroko AKIYAMA and Ms. Yuko KAIFU

Watch the webinar here: https://youtu.be/ls5kw6kb7d8

Speaker profile is available at: