Average Life Span Marked Record Highest in Japan
The Japanese have led the world for some years in the average life span. Men and women have stretched life span by 0.69 and 1.20 years, respectively, over the period between the two national censuses since 2010.
According to the latest data, the average life span for women hit nearly 87 years (96.99) and that for men 80.75 years - both leading the 7 leading member-countries of the world.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare attributes the feat to overall medical advance and the health-mindedness of the aged. The ministry promises measures to further help promote a healthy life of the nation for years to come.
It is often asked why prolong life if accompanied by mental and physical impairment. Then emerges the notion of healthy life expectancy or the so-called healthspan. In this sector, the WHO data for 2012 shows Japan (with Singapore) leads the world with 77 years for women and fourth for men with 72 years behind Singapore, Cyprus, and Iceland.
Women outlive men in Japan. Men's mean life expectancy is 9 years over their healthspan and that of women 13 years. There is no wonder then that more grandmas are around lately than grandpas in my neighborhood; local gyms are membered by more women in higher age brackets than aged men.
That said, let me close this episode with some data for comparison. In 1880, in the twilight hour of the Yedo Period, men and women averaged 30 or so years in mean lifespan and the "aged" retired at age 50. The average life expectancies of men and women rose in 1947, two years after the end of WWII, to 58 and 61.5 years, respectably. (Nathan Shiga)