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Message from the GLAFS Coordinator

faculty_member_okata GLAFS Coordinator
Junichiro Okata
Director, Institute of Gerontology
Professor, Department of Urban Engineering,Graduate School of Engineering
The University of Tokyo
Changing the World by Creating an Age-Friendly Society

Many people no doubt associate gloomy images with the term “super-aged society”: bedridden elderly, wandering elderly, seniors having to provide care for other seniors, care-exhausted family members, low-paid caregivers, a young generation burdened by welfare costs . . .
That may very well be the future that awaits us—if we do not take action now. But we have the power to avoid that dark tomorrow.
Elderly people can remain in their community throughout their lives and enjoy their friends’ company. They can receive support from their family, public services, and neighbors if they become frail. And they can live the final years of their life with joy and dignity while using their abilities to the fullest extent possible.
To achieve a society that fulfills this vision, we aim to channel the creative energy of young people in various fields into systematic and strategic action. As the world’s most rapidly aging country, Japan has a responsibility to build a model society that can serve as a guide for other nations.
Creating a new social system of this sort involves researching and developing new physical, spatial, social, and legal infrastructures. This research will give birth to innovation, new businesses, and new leaders. It will also benefit Japanese society by boosting the nation’s economy and international competitiveness.
We have prepared a place where young pioneers in this venture may put down roots, grow and flourish. The field has been ploughed; it now awaits your arrival. Join us and become one of the world’s leaders in building the age-friendly society of tomorrow.