No.29 | Discuss Japan-Japan Foreign Policy Forum

Archives : No.29

Dec 2015-Jan 2016

No.29
Economy, No.29  Jan. 25, 2016

Special report/Is it “time to sell” in Japan? – Shedding light on what happenedFull Details of the Second Stage of Abenomics

Yamamoto Kozo, a member of the House of Representatives, of the Liberal Democratic Party, has been involved with the drafting of Abenomics initiatives, advocating, if nothing else, large-scale monetary easing since before the second Abe Shinzo administration was formed. Yamamoto, who is also the chairman of the “group that makes Abenomics a success,” a Diet member caucus, was reportedly surprised and could not keep himself from displaying anger when he heard the announcement of the second stage of Abenomics on September 24. The content of the second stage caught him by surprise like a thunderbolt, as he did not recognize any term such as “financial measures” in the list of policies. The Nagatacho sources consider that a significant change has taken place in the part of the brain of the Abe administration that drives financial measures. People who had advocated reflation were excluded from ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.29
Jan. 16, 2016

Thinking about Terminal Care for the ElderlyChapter 3: Thinking from the perspective of onsite home medical operations

Yamazaki Fumio, Care Town Kodaira Clinic Director

The era of multiple deaths is coming in Japan. There were around 1.2 million deaths in 2014, but 2025 is projected to see annual deaths of 1.6 million. Cancer, which comes at the top of the rankings of causes of death, is said to be a national disease, and 50% of Japanese nationals suffer from it. Currently, one in three people die of cancer, but the percentage is anticipated to reach 50% going forward. 1. What I learned through working as a hospice doctor in the palliative care ward After working as a surgeon for 16 years, I learned many important things by working as a hospice doctor. First of all, it is crucial to palliate painful symptoms to help patients live human lives. It is basically important to set patients free from pain, even if their diseases are incurable. Currently, it is said ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.29
Jan. 16, 2016

Thinking about End-of-life Care for the ElderlyChapter 2: From the perspective of medical ethics

1. Landscape of end-of-life care for the elderly One of major issues concerning end-of-life care for severely frail elderly is what to do when they can no longer eat even with assistance. The major trend in Japan in the 1990s was the use of feeding tubes when severely frail elderly could no longer eat. For example, there was a hospital that created a policy of “choosing natural death when severely frail, bed-bound elderly with advanced dementia can no longer eat.” The hospital came in for some harsh criticism, saying that the hospital was practicing a policy of“passive euthanasia” by withholding tube-feeding that could enable elderly people to continue to live. Today, nearly twenty years later, there have been an increasing number of media reports in recent years claiming quite the opposite of what newspapers argued in the 1990s. These reports present skeptical views about ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.29
Jan. 15, 2016

Thinking about Terminal Care for the ElderlyChapter 1: Medicine in the age of longevity

1. The change in the population structure and medicine for the elderly With the world’s highest average life expectancy, Japan is facing population aging. In this situation, the entire society is bewildered by this rapid change. Population aging inevitably leads to changes in medical care. The issue of death just ahead of that is considered to be a sacred cow, and if people attempt to discuss the issue, they face a barrage of different views and are unable to make progress with their arguments. If this issue is left unsolved, however, things will get even worse. Japan is the world’s largest population-aging country. The major indexes for aging society are the percentage of population aging, the average life expectancy and the rapidity of population aging, and Japan is number one in the world in all these indexes. Japan has reached over 25% in terms ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.29
Jan. 15, 2016

Thinking about Terminal Care for the Elderly – What it means to attend the deathbeds of the elderly in the age of longevity

Introduction Now that Japan has become a major country of longevity in the world, social security system reform has long been one of the most important national administrative issues. The Council for the Promotion of Social Security System Reform is currently holding a broad range of discussions from a cross-disciplinary perspective with a focus on 2025, when the baby boomers will reach the age of more than 75 years. However, it is the issue of terminal care that is still left behind when medical and nursing care issues are being considered. Japan’s average life expectancy is the highest in the world, and the percentage of population aging (the ratio of the population aged 65 or over to the entire national population) is over 25%. The number of deaths is also increasing along with this trend, with about 1.2 million people dying in 2014. The ... ... [Read more]

Economy, No.29
Jan. 14, 2016

The Approaches of Kyoto CompaniesThe secrets of competing in the international arena seen in the ancient capital

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Society, No.29
Dec. 22, 2015

“Palliative Medicine” rather than “Life-Prolonging Medicine” for Elderly People in the Terminal Stage of Life

Mark Twain said with humor, “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes.” However, few people attempt to look straight at this undoubted reality, especially the latter. With the technological development of life-prolonging medicine, only “life prolongation” comes to the fore, and it is said that old people are abused in terms of terminal medicine in the name of medicine. I had the opportunity to listen to reports about terminal medicine from two experts on medicine for the elderly at a trustees’ meeting of the Japan Productivity Center that was held in late September 2015. The trustees who attended the meeting showed keen interest in their vivid explanations about reality. The lecturers were Hokkaido Chuo Rosai Hospital Director Miyamoto Kenji and Sakuradai Koujinkai Hospital Comprehensive Dementia Support Center Director Miyamoto Reiko. They are husband and wife, and established the Association for Studying ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.29
Dec. 16, 2015

What Is True Internationalization? – Nurturing Creative Leaders –

How do we nurture people who can act internationally? What do we mean when we talk about the internationalization of universities? In my view, education and research are two separate problem areas. From the perspective of education, the current focus is on educating global human resources, but what is the ideal image of people who are able to act internationally? To start with, they have the fundamentals of education. They are also able to use the languages of international communication. Another important point is whether they are able to form unique ideas and to express themselves. This is a very difficult point because no matter how much knowledge you cram into your head, it does not follow that you acquire the ability to think and make your own decisions. How to nurture this ability is a major issue. We live in the IT age. ... ... [Read more]