Introduction: Japan's Aging Society
Work to retirement in Japan is a sequential transition for the most part, and Japan permits mandatory retirement by firms at age 60. A number of hypotheses are examined, having to do with pensions, health, opportunity, interest in working, cultural attitudes and public policy initiatives. Japan's cultural attitudes and existing policies appear to have set Japan on a unique course in considering the aging of its population. The structure and pattern of work and retirement is quite different in Japan than in other major industrialized nations. The most innovative model developed in Japan for retirees interested in working is the Silver Human Resource Centers (SHRCs), sometimes called the Silver Talent Centers. The goals of the SHRC include: enlarging work options for the elderly after retirement, improving the role and status of older people and enhancing the contributions of older people to the local community.