Japan has been struggling with a sharp decline in population. The baby boomers started to retire years ago, and we will need to come up with a solution quickly, so we can deal with the lack of workforce especially in elderly care.
Japanese government is trying to resolve its aging population from different angels. They are trying to reform immigration policies so more immigrants from developed countries are able to come to Japan to work for nursing homes.
But there are a number of issues the Japanese government needs to think about. Japan is not a diverse society, so altering immigration policy alone will not be enough to support the foreign immigrants and their families who will be coming with them.
Also, many Japanese citizens are concerned about possible conflict and safety issues these immigrants can bring.
Japan is the society with the highest number of senior citizens. (65+) But we don’t have enough children to support the senior citizens and it is estimated that roughly 40% of the Japanese population will be 65 and older by 2060. That is kind of scary but it’s the reality Japan is facing.
Then I learned about Robear. When I first saw the picture of Robear, I didn’t know what to make of it. It looks cute but it doesn’t look like a stuffed animal, yet it’s lifting a person!
Japan loves robots and researches have been done to develop robots that can assist the elderly in Japan. It sounds like a joke but the assistant robots could potentially resolve the issue of Japan’s aging population. But can robots really replace a human caregiver?
I want to be optimistic but I am still not sure.
When I was a kid, I thought that the car would be technologically advanced enough to drive us anywhere. So we don’t have to drive. But I am still driving and have to get driving directions in Google Maps. I want to be optimistic about robot caregivers. But it will still have a long way to go.
Japan is definitely at the frontline of robot industry.
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