目前，越来越多的国家，也包括发展中国家——中国都步入了老龄化社会，人口老龄化（graying of population）不再仅仅是发达国家的“富贵病”，已经成为全世界面临的共同难题。1970年日本65岁以上老年人口在总人口中所占比例超过7%，成为亚洲最早进入人口老龄化社会的国家，同时也成为人口老龄化“东亚模式”的典型代表。在30多年应对人口老龄化的过程中，日本建立了较为完善的法律法规和应对措施，积累了较为丰富的经验。本文分析日本人口老龄化对经济发展，特别是对日本近年来经济长期低迷的影响，以及日本为应对人口老龄化而采取的相关措施，并为中国应对人口老龄化问题，促进经济发展提出建议。
More and more countries, including developing countries—China, have stepped into the aging society at present. The graying of population is no longer only "rich and powerful disease" in the developed country, but has already become the common problem all over the world. Japan became the first country entering the aging society in Asia with the population over 65 exceeding 7% of total proportion in 1970. Meanwhile, Japan is the typical representative of "mode of east-Asia" of aging population. Japan has set up comparatively complete laws and regulations, and has accumulated comparatively abundant experience in the course of dealing with aging population for over 30 years. This text analyzes the impact of the graying of population on Japan’s economic development, especially on Japan’s long-term economic depressing in recent years and the relevant measures of Japan to deal with the graying of population and puts forward the suggestion on China’s aging population problem in order to boom the development of economy.
This text has firstly analyzed the relationship between Japan's economy and graying of population, and the role of population factor during the economic depressing. After brief introducing Japan's economic development and the change of the population age structure, the text proposes author's view: Graying of population is not merely a population issue, but an economic social issue, closely related to the national economic development. The function of the change of population age structure can be found both from economic liftoff miracle and long-term depression of Japan.
This text has made a further study on the impact of graying of population that is potential, complete, and profound to Japan's economic development, especially to the long-term depressing. This text tries to analyze the influences on five respects such as workforce's supply, social security, deposit and consumption, industrial structure adjustment, technological innovation of aging population.
Firstly, graying of population influences the workforce supply. The workforce is one of the key elements of booming the economic growth. The birth rate is falling in the aging society; the proportion of Children and teenagers of the total is getting smaller and the amount of population is reducing. Therefore, the employable workforce, the main force to create social wealth, has become shortage. On the other hand, the increasing amount of the elders — another respect of the aging population — will cause the increasing of average age of population; furthermore, will result in the graying of population and strike the economic development. Meanwhile, the reduction of the workforce of the right age, and aging of workforce can strike the array of annual work, and lifetime employment system — two of the “three major miracle systems” (the array of annual work, lifetime employment system, and trade union in enterprises) to the economic liftoff that called by Japanese themselves — in which the crisis of distribution and employing system will influence enterprises’ competition, and restrain enterprises developing.
Secondly, aging population will assault the social security system. As Japan's aging population intensity is being strengthened constantly, elder population increases day by day, pension needs to be paid by social security, and medical fees are increased rapidly too. Correspondingly, it is more and more difficult to run the social security for the government that will arouse the paying crisis of the social security because the more the elders are, the less the government gets from pension paid by employable citizens, whereas the government has to pay more money to support the living of the aged and the medical insurance.
Thirdly, aging population influences the deposits and consumption of the society. On the aspect of employable population, the declining of young and middle-aged employable population who has the strongest desire to deposit will cause the decline of the deposit rate. However, because the pessimistic expectancy of young and middle-aged labors to future results from the aging population, the declining of employable population will also cause the decline of the consumption and the low deposit rate with the decreasing of the consumption intending. On the respect of the aged population, the consumption partiality of aged population will cause the increasing of old articles consumption constantly, and it will cause the change of social consumption structure and style. The propensity to consumption of aged population is high; but the deposit rate is relatively low. The elders not only consume the deposit in the past, but also will cause the decline of depositing money in the future. Hence, it is inevitable to influence investment and economic development with the low deposit rate and the changing consumption structure of the aging population.
Fourthly, the workforce’s change of supply and consumption that caused by the aging population can restrict industrial structure adjustment. The reduction of the young workforce supply caused by the graying population will influence the upgrading of the industry; will restrict the development of relevant industry, such as labor-intensive industry, working flowability intensive industry, fast renewal knowledge industry, hard labor intensity industry, and so on. The aging population becomes the advantage compositions of the society because of the more and more aged population in society. This phenomenon will influence the adjustment of the industry, resulting in that the developing of relevant industries is strengthened to satisfy the demand for the elders’ need; On the contrary, the relevant industries for producing goods for children and teenagers will shrink and slump because of the dropping of birth rate, and the reducing number of young people.
Fifthly, aging population will also influence the technological innovation. Science and technology is the most key factor of current economic development. However, with the decline of total amount of population, and graying of population, and the reducing of young and middle-aged talents with strongest technological innovation ability, it is inevitable that the technicians become less and older, scientific and technological innovation ability is weakened, the development in science and technology will be weakened too. Meanwhile, the aging population has comparatively fixed consumption demand, and does not change the propensity to consume easily, therefore the elders’ desire for demand new product, new technology is so low that this will influence the new technology, new development and ripe of industry, and influence the technological innovation. The decline of the talents and technological innovation ability will eventually cause weakly development on economy.
Japan has experienced a gradually development course in dealing with the aging population problem. The initial understanding of aging population problem of Japan is on the surface of the population issue, caring about the question of the aging life, focusing on being subject to the social security. In addition, the economy developed at full speed has concealed the influence of the aging population problem too. However, the Japanese government has obviously strengthened the legislation and measures about the aging population problem, and relevant legislation is issued year after year, the measure is becoming more and more complete with Japan's economy long-term dispirit, the intensification day by day of the economic social influence of aging population because of the further affect on economic society.
Japanese Government pays close attention to the aging population problem. For example, the government took the measure of men and women’s participating in the management together and selecting younger gentlemen to take on the position of minister in the cabinet in 2005. In the face of the tremendous aging population problem, Japanese Government has mainly taken the following measures: First, the Government encourages women to have more children, to go to work, to stimulate the consumption. The Government takes multiple measures to encourage Japanese young people to live in the condition of "pregnancy voluntarily, delivering easily, raising easily." by encouraging having more children, enlarging the investment in the public affairs, and protecting the right of women; meanwhile, takes methods to raise the consumption and revive the economy. Second, the Government reforms the social security system and brings about an advance in economic stability. Through reforming the endowment insurance, medical insurance system, the government puts forth effort to solve the elders' "worry" problem, tries hard to "look after elders carefully, provides elders with proper medical treatment", manages and makes the investment to the public pension fund in unison, which plays an important role in such aspects as basic construction investment, promotion economic recovery. Third, the Government promotes the aged to obtain employment, through setting up "silvery talent's centre", stipulating enterprise's old employees’ minimum proportion strictly. The government applies favorable policy of corresponding loan to run enterprises and subsidizing to the aging population, relieves the pressure of employees’ shortage, and makes the employable aged people, who try hard to "do something in the old age", go on working. Fourth, the government carries out "the gold plan" to promote the development of old industry. Japanese Government has advanced the aged health care welfare plan strategy actively to drive the old industry to develop rapidly, and make it become maturity. As a result, it plays an important role in spurring economy. The "gold plan" puts forth effort to solve the difficulties of the aged people’s life, makes the old all live healthy and happy lives, tries hard to "provide the old with opportunities to enjoy themselves". Japanese Government’s relevant supplementary measures of aging population not only solve the aging population problem effectively, but also solve Japan's economic recovery helpfully.
In the last part, this text focuses on the enlightenment and conclusion of the Japanese experience on the aging population to China. The graying of population in China, where is "not rich but old first", is more complicated and difficult to solve compared with the developed countries. Therefore, the beneficial experiences and lessons of Japan during over 30 years are great help to China because there are a great deal of similar characteristics on graying of population between Japan and China. With Japan's experience, this article puts forward five proposals in view of China to the graying population problem: First, develop the economy positively and improve the economy bearing capacity; second, perfect the social security system and set up the social security network; third, China should display the market system and develop the elders’ industry vigorously; fourth, China should use "the population dividend" to realizes the sustainable development; fifth, prepare for the pressure of the graying population for a long time.