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Japanese Seniors Moving North January 18, 2007

Posted by David in North-East Asia.
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An interesting story appeared in todays Japan Times claiming that Hokkaido is looking to attract retirees to its shores. According to the story, Hokkaido has launched an aggressive campaign to lure retiring baby boomers to the northern island.

Why would you want your cities filled with cranky old folks?

The prefecture believes that if it can get 3,000 baby boomers to move there, they will bring with them as much as 570 billion yen in economic benefits.

Actually it makes a lot of sense when you take into consideration the longer lives we live, and the level of activity seniors exercise compared to just a few decades ago. Its no longer just a bunch of old people complaining about the local youths, and their aching knees. These days, senior citizens are quite active, and continue to spend well after retiring.

For Hokkaido, where the benefits of the country’s current economic expansion have been slow in coming, this plan of action is smart. Especially when you consider the high number of baby-boomers, in Japan.

When you think about it, for someone who has spent their entire working-life battling Tokyos pollution, terribly hot summers and other challenges, enjoying your last years where, there is no rainy season and few cedar trees, which release hay fever-causing pollen, is very appealing. The one challenge is Hokkaidos cold winters At least for those not accustomed to the occasional -7 Celsius winter days.

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