Thursday, 29 March 2007

Pensions and Partners, Japanese Style

I read an interesting article today about the baby boomer generation (aged about 60) in Japan. I know that this blog is mainly about health-related issues and so you may be wondering whether the article I read is relevant.

Well, read on and find out.

Pension rules in Japan are due to change in April. The new system will, for the first time, allow wives to claim up to half of their husbands' pensions if they divorce. Traditionally, many Japanese men have been absentee spouses, forcing women to take on most of the responsibility for raising the family.

This year more than 5 million Japanese workers are expected to retire. Experts think that this will put a strain on many marriages as previously absent husbands begin to spend more time at home with their wives.

One woman whose husband will be retiring soon is 59-year old, Yoshiko Yamauchi. She says:

"I am so used to not having my husband around the house I am so worried about his retirement, to be honest".

Another woman, Kinuko Ito agrees:

"If we get too involved with each other, it will become too stressful for both of us."

There is no doubt that stressful relationships and divorces can affect one's health.

To read more about the Japanese men and women of the baby boom generation go here.

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