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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;

  • Involvement of family
  • Quality control of care services
  • Intermediate institutions for home care
  • Organization of volunteer activities
  • Care management
In concluding remarks, President Igata listed the following important points:
  • 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.

 

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