The Direction of Research on Active Aging and Healthy Life Expectancy in Japan


In Japan, 18.1% of the population known as baby-boomers will become the late-stage elderly in 2025, thereby needing a foundation to support this change. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is promoting the development of a regional comprehensive system allowing the elderly to continue living in their familiar surroundings. However, a care shortage is inevitable unless elders are able to age in good health, regardless of the system’s level of enhancement. This study aims to review the literature on active aging, clarify trends in clinical operations undertakings and research in Japan, and consider relevant research issues. After combining the search results of “active aging” and “healthy life expectancy,” we used a text mining technique to analyze the abstracts of 120 original articles and 213 reviews, commentaries, and features. Eight categories were extracted from the original articles: health statistics, gender, age, etc. From the reviews, commentaries, and features, 16 categories were extracted: orientation, disease, and living, etc. Cerebrovascular disease and osteoporosis were the most common diseases covered in the original articles; there has been a substantial amount of research on “active aging” and “healthy life expectancy” because they can easily lead to being bedridden and to a decrease in QOL. In the reviews, commentaries, and features, lifestyle-related diseases and menopause rather than cerebrovascular disease and osteoporosis, were extracted. The categorical differences found in the original articles may be due to the possibility that Japanese researchers are publishing their research abroad rather than in Japan or they submit research on topics that are guaranteed to be published at home or abroad. Little research has been conducted using the terms, “active aging” and “healthy life expectancy,” evidenced by the small number of studies generated. Preparations for 2025 will require an increase in the number of studies from the perspective of “active aging” and “healthy life expectancy.”

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Tokushige, A. , Araki, D. , Suzuki, M. , Iwasaki, Y. and Ozawa, M. (2014) The Direction of Research on Active Aging and Healthy Life Expectancy in Japan. Open Journal of Nursing, 4, 475-482. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2014.47050.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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