Studies show that every one out of four individuals in Japan is over 65. However, instead of retiring, they prefer to apply their extensive knowledge and return to work. According to them, staying at work helps keep them physically and mentally healthy.
Atsuko Kasa, a sprightly and enthusiastic 68-year old, has a similar mindset and does not want to slow down. Atsuko Kasa plans to keep working at the Silver Jinzai Center near her home in Yokohama, Japan. She jokes that she is too young to retire and wants to help others.
Kasa is not the only elderly employee at Silver Jinzai Centre. A total of 700,000 pensioners are registered within the company as the employees. It started back in 1975 to encourage elderly to remain busy and active as well as giving back to the community. They did not want to pick up traditional hobbies or sit at home just taking care of their grandchildren.
Kasa is in-charge of preparing meals in a cafe that helps people with disabilities. She took on this job because she wanted to work and experience a world she was never a part of before. The chairman of the organization, Takao Okada, said that the employees only work 20 hours in a week.
They are generally employed in positions such as gardeners, caretakers, receptionists, etc. Some others use their computer-aided design skills to clean up the streets. Okada stated that people with language skills are in high demand.
Different tasks are paid at different rates and these vary across the country. However, a Silver Jinzai worker typically earns 870 yen (EUR6.70 or $7.80 an hour), cleaning windows is 910yen and gardening is 1,040yen. While the more difficult job of clearing snow from northern prefectures is worth 1,855yen an hour.
This is not a bad scheme as Japan does have a huge labor shortage and better medical care has led to less mortality rate. Especially when the birth rate is on the decline. Although the government has gone the exact opposite path by making retirement mandatory at the age of 65. Researchers expect a huge labor shortage of workers in Japan by 2030 by almost 6.44 millions.
Also read about Japanese Children Are The Healthiest In The World
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