Brainplay: Japan and the future of ageing

18th May 2017 (7pm)

‘Japanisation’ can have different meanings, but within Economics it is the idea that Japan has led what is an inevitable path for developed nations. During the 1990s, Japan suffered what is now referred to as the ‘lost decade’ of stagnant growth, alongside a shrinking workforce. With more than a quarter of its residents above the age of 65 and an average life expectancy of 83 years, Japan is the most elderly country on Earth.

This Brainplay will explore themes around Japanisation which became popular amongst academics following the Great Recession of 2007-09 – is Japan an outlier, or does it foretell an unavoidable fate for all advanced economies? Will shrinking populations in Germany, China etc bring about similar outcomes, and to what degree is Japan’s highly anti-immigrant culture to blame? And what role will robotics, in which Japan is the biggest investor, play in all of this?

In short, what can the lessons learnt from Japan tells us about the future of ageing?


THECUBE is a workspace for individuals interested and working within any of the three disciplines – science, technology and design. We curate a series of events each month for both our members and externals, ranging from philosophical discussions to neuroscience lectures. This event was organised with one of our members, who is interested in how the ageing population will have an affect on our economies.