Population ageing is one of the most pressing social agendas faced by countries around the globe today, with Japan ageing faster than any other country. It is expected that in 2020, 29.1% of the Japanese population will be aged 65 and above.
Japan’s successful bid for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games came with the Japanese government’s commitment to deliver a strong Cultural Olympiad and to develop the Japanese cultural infrastructure in the lead up to 2020. This commitment presents new opportunities for the Japanese cultural sector which has begun to consider how they can work better with and for older people in a super-ageing society.
In the UK, where population ageing is also a big social concern, the cultural sector has been working in partnership with the welfare and academic sectors to develop programmes that engage older people, and is now seeking international partnerships to share good practice and develop collaborative projects globally.
The British Council will promote opportunities for Japan-UK collaborations in this area, to promote the exploration of the positive impact arts and cultural engagement can make on the lives of older people, including those living with dementia.