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Japan is rapidly aging. Currently, one in eight Japanese is older than 75, and predictions indicate that by 2030 nearly one-third of Japanese will belong to the elderly category. This rapid demographic shift is not an isolated Japanese phenomenon, but rather a sign of a global trend. The Netherlands, too, is faced with a growing elderly population.

For several years, Japan has projected an image of itself as a front-runner in the use of IT in elderly care, presenting technology as the solution to the aging problem. In particular, the use of robotics received extensive attention in the media both in Japan and abroad. The “Aging Japan” project conducted by the LeidenAsiaCentre has put those claims to the test by, on the one hand, analyzing the content of the media coverage and, on the other hand, exploring the ways in which technological solutions were in reality implemented in Japan.

The results of the project will be presented at the closing conference on April 24, following lectures by prominent experts from Japan and the United States who will provide background information on aging and robotics in the Japanese context.

The conference takes place from 12:30-18:00 at Scheltema, Leiden. If you want to attend, please register below.


12.30 hrs          Registration and Coffee reception

13.00 hrs 

  • Kasia Cwiertka (Director LeidenAsiaCentre, Chair Modern Japanese Studies, Leiden University): Opening and welcome
  • Jennifer Robertson (University of Michigan):
    Robot Caregivers and Robo-therapy in Japan: Treating the ‘Trauma’ of Aging
  • Q and A

15.00  hrs          Break

15.30  hrs

  • Anoma van der Veere MA (LeidenAsiaCentre):
    Domestic care technology and elderly care in Japanese newspapers
  • Michel Bleijlevens (University of Maastricht):
    Innovation in elderly care: relevant lessons from Japan

16.30 hrs                 General debate on what we can learn from experiences in Japan – Moderator: Lily Sprangers

17.30 hrs                 Closing remarks by Prof. Kasia Cwiertka, followed by drinks

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