President Igata made his remarks under the theme of "Future
Prospect of Welfare Policy in Japan". He cited about importance
of (1) international cooperation on the welfare policy for the elderly
and aged people, (2) the creation of the ideal aged society is the
common task of mankind, and (3) every country should cooperate with
each other in its common know-how and information. He introduced
historical perspective of how the national care services insurance
system was established. However, he touched on some of emerging
issues yet to be resolved. He stated that "its economical basis
to the sustainable one and regional care system will be the most
important problems in the future". Commenting on three years of
experience of the long-term care insurance system, he pointed out
that there are (4) major factors which have either changed Japanese
attitude toward the universal long-term care service insurance system
or possible emerging problems ahead. He elaborated the following
points; (1) its enforcement has changed the concept of welfare and
social habit of Japanese, (2) the users have increased rapidly,
(3) its new unique advantages were indicated, (4) the system has
been put it in place by the concept of "Try and Run" and (5) it
must be restructured as the sustainable system.
He further advanced his remarks concerning the future perspective
of this system. He pointed out that how can we achieve the self-independence
of the aged people? to what extent is the sustainable system possible?
His view of this system from economic point of view which are; (1)
the new care insurance system became to be regarded as a new industry,
(2) the shortage of manpower in this field might be expected in
Japan, even after full mobilization of elderly man power.
He urged the importance of "Preventive Care" in order to ensure
and enhance the sustainability of this system on the account of
the reasons which are; (1) it is noted that the goal of the care
insurance is not the relief of handicapped, but the promotion of
self-independency, (2) regional care is indispensable is to be heeded,
and (3) the rehabilitation is indispensable, not only for disease
related handicaps, but for prevention of infirmity.
President Igata emphasized that the long-term care system is the
public system for all and it will be the case that in the ideal
care system, one need not save money for the future. He stressed
the importance of "terminal care in the welfare institutions. He
pointed out that the dying in the hospital is not always happy for
the aged people. He further stated that the dying with dignity for
natural death should be respected. He said that the peaceful dying
is a cardinal premise for the ideal aged society.
President Igata stresses the fact that this system has contributed
economically to the growth of regional industry as a new industry.
It will pave the way for promising high technology in the aged society
and the long-term care insurance is a new industry.
Since one of the important aspects of this symposium is to have
the shared knowledge and concerns on the issue of aging and its
relevant matters, President Igata emphasized the furtherance of
the bilateral relationship on health and aging between Japan and
the United States. He cited about some of points that Japan should
learn from the United States. These are;
In concluding remarks, President Igata listed the following important
- Involvement of family
- Quality control of care services
- Intermediate institutions for home care
- Organization of volunteer activities
- Care management
- The creation of the happy longevity society is one of the biggest
tasks, which mankind has not experienced before.
- Its creation will be possible through try and error
- In collaboration with many countries, it will be possible to
cope with the common problems of mankind in future.